Schulman’s teaching and research concentrate on the history of the modern United States, particularly on the relationships between politics and broader cultural change. He is the author of three books and the editor or co-editor of five others, including From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt (1991), Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism (1994), The Seventies (2001), Rightward Bound (2008), and Making the American Century (2014). Schulman has held research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Marjorie Kovler Fund.
Schulman has also directed the research of 28 doctoral students, who have produced among them 21 books and occupied faculty positions at Columbia, San Francisco State, UMass-Boston, UCLA, Cal State Bakersfield, Armstrong Atlantic University, Tougaloo College, Bryant University, Salem State University, and several others. In recognition of that work, the American Historical association named him the 2006 recipient of the Nancy Lyman Roelker Award.
His interest in teaching has led Schulman to join in a major curriculum reform project in California. In 1989-90, he served as Director of the History Project in California, a joint effort of the University of California and the California State Department of Education to improve history education in the public primary and secondary schools. Over the past several years, he has also served as the Principal Investigator on three separate collaborations between Boston University and the Boston Public Schools under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History (TAH) grant program. In 1989-90, Schulman served as Director of the History Project in California, a joint effort of the University of California and the California State Department of Education to improve history education in the public primary and secondary schools. In 1993, as Associate Professor of History at UCLA, Schulman received the Charles and Harriet Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award and the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching. In January 2004, the Organization of American Historians appointed him to its Distinguished Lecturer program. In December 2007 he was named the United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year.
As much as he values teaching and original research, Schulman believes that scholars have an important role to play in public debate. In his writing and speaking, he has tried to lend a historical perspective to discussions of contemporary issues. Over the past decade, he has authored numerous opinion pieces for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the International Herald Tribune, and Reuters.
Schulman is currently at work on a volume for the Oxford History of the United States covering the years 1896-1929.