As a history major, you will gain a broad introduction to civilizations of the past and present, preparing you for diverse careers or graduate study.

What courses will you take?

History major Benjamin Beverage talks about his experience at UMass Lowell.

Located in a city steeped in history, UMass Lowell's History Department has a small department feel with the resources of a large research university.

You will take courses designed to help you think and write critically about history. The program requires 39 credits (13 courses), including survey courses in world and U.S. history as well as advanced courses in European, American and global/comparative history.

We also offer two seminars on methodology and research, allowing you to gain additional training in historical methodology. Advanced undergraduates may take graduate classes in history, or other subjects, with instructor permission.

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing and to learn about the History minor. To plan ahead for courses in future semesters, see the course rotation.

  • Degree Pathways are a semester-by-semester sequence of courses recommended for successful completion of a degree, diploma, credential or certificate from the university. The most current degree pathway is:

    1. Develop a thorough grounding in the historical process and offer a variety of perspectives through which to view human thought and action.
    2. Evince an understanding of the distinctiveness of people and societies of the past, as well as the threads that connect the experiences of all peoples over time.
    3. Gather, interpret and analyze a wide range of primary source material.
    4. Display an understanding of interpretations developed by different historians (i.e., historiography). 
    5. Analyze contemporary issues with reference to prior events.
    6. Explain processes of change and continuity over time.
    7. Communicate effectively with both oral and written methods, and especially to be able to tell a clear, cogent, and compelling story.

Why study history at UMass Lowell?

Bobbin Girl by Winslow Homer - kAn old drawing of a women working in the textile mill with other women's.  Image by Lowell National Historical Park

Lowell as a Classroom

Located in the heart of the Lowell National Historical Park, including the Tsongas Industrial History Center, Lowell is the ultimate classroom to learn about the industrial revolution and immigrant populations. We're also less than 45 minutes to Boston.

Street view picture from 2017-2018 UMass Lowell Winter Study Abroad trip to Cuba. This traveling seminar will use the Cuban experience as a backdrop for experiential learning, along with discussions with professionals in that particular field of study, and writing assignments designed to allow students to reflect upon their experience studying and living in Cuba. Students will gain a multi-disciplinary overview of Cuban contemporary culture. and further understanding from a cultural, socio-political and historical context.

Study Abroad

The best way to learn about history is to see it come alive—whether that is traveling to Havana, Cuba, or exploring Athens' ruins. Check out our exchanges and faculty-led programs around the world.

UMass Lowell history student Kady Phelps delivers a lecture at a podium.

Internships & Research

Apply your skills in reading, writing, analysis, and archival research to real-world situations and obtain valuable job-related experience.


On April 30, 2015, civil rights activists Judy Richardson and Charles Cobb spoke at UMass Lowell about their involvement in the struggle for civil rights and voting rights as part of UMass Lowell’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. With them is History Professor Robert Forrant.

Bachelor’s-to-Master's Program

Get on the fast track to an advanced degree with our combined bachelor's-to-master's program.

  • Available to juniors and seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Offers a continuous, coordinated sequence of courses
  • Reduced credit-hour requirements can save you time and money

What can you do with a degree in history?

Graduates from UMass Lowell's History program gain valuable skills in reading, writing, critical thinking and public speaking, preparing them to thrive in a variety of careers. More than half our graduates go on to graduate school in history, education and other fields.

girls at a computer Image by Adrien Bisson

Job roles can include:

  • Archive management
  • Business and legal research
  • Government and public service
  • Librarianship
  • Teaching

Meet Our Students and Alumni

Kady Phelps with Kim Cosgrove in front of an exhibit they recently completed about St. Joseph’s Hospital, which was located where University Crossing now stands
Kady Phelps '17, '18
History

Kady Phelps came to UMass Lowell to major in education, but history caught up with her. She earned her master’s degree in history and the Excellence in Students Cultural Heritage Award for her work on an exhibit about Portuguese immigration to Lowell.

I feel really blessed to be in Massachusetts and here in Lowell in particular, with all the history.
Read More About Kady Phelps 
Sarah Elizabeth McDermott center flanked by the other members of Protohype
Sarah Elizabeth McDermott '22
History

Sarah Elizabeth McDermott is grateful for scholarships that are helping her to graduate debt-free, because in the future she won’t have to say “No” to any opportunities.

UMass Lowell is an affordable school, and it’s a great education.
Read More About Sarah Elizabeth McDermott 
Group of UMass Lowell students pose at an outdoor site in Madrid, Spain
Nicholas Trunfio '23
Business

Nicholas Trunfio immersed himself in history while studying abroad.

One of my hopes is to be a history teacher later on in life.
Read More About Nicholas Trunfio 
Bradley Sherwood helps a child weave on a loom at summer camp at the Tsongas Industrial History Center
Bradley Sherwood '20
History

Bradley Sherwood explains history to school children and adults at the Tsongas Industrial History Center, an educational partnership between the university and Lowell National Historical Park.

The city appealed to me. There’s a lot to do here.
Read More About Bradley Sherwood 
Maritza Grooms interviews UMass Lowell Prof. Robert Forrant and Emerging Scholar Sophie Combs about research being done on immigration topics on an episode of History in Lowell
Sophie Combs '20
History

Sophie Combs knows her research is going somewhere: into the online Library of New England Immigration.

Small class sizes and getting to know my professors personally was important to me.
Read More About Sophie Combs