May 27, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, M.A.

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Return to: 3320 Department of History  

Greg Moore, Director of Graduate Studies,

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program prepares students to teach in junior, community, or small liberal arts colleges; for careers in the management and use of historical records in archives or museums and in historic preservation; and for admission into a doctoral program in history.

Major fields of study for the M.A. degree includes: Colonial/Early National United States; 19th and 20th Century United States; Early Modern Europe; Modern Europe; World History; Regional and Global History; and Public History. The department also offers a number of regional fields as well as topical fields in a variety of subjects, including legal and constitutional history, labor history, urban studies, women’s and gender history, transnational and postcolonial studies, history of science, and historic preservation.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of History by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History has the following requirements:

  1. An undergraduate major in history or its equivalent, which includes survey courses in American, World, and/or European history.
  2. Acceptable scores on the General (Aptitude) Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
  3. A high standard of undergraduate achievement, especially in the major.
  4. A statement of the applicant’s educational and professional goals.
  5. A writing sample.
  6. Three letters of recommendation from faculty members (preferably in history) with whom the applicant has studied.
  7. Official transcripts of all previous college and graduate level work.

Degree Requirements


Students are required to take a total of nine courses. The distribution of courses is described below.

Directed Readings Courses

  • Students may take up to two directed readings courses to fulfill their course requirements.

Semester of Study Requirements

  • All new students should take HIST 7050 in their first semester of study and HIST 7000 in their second semester of study.

Major Field

Students must complete 3 courses in the major field and may apply HIST 7010, HIST 7020, HIST 7030, or HIST 7040 to their major field. HIST 7060 may not apply to major field course requirements. Major fields include the following:

  • Colonial/Early National U.S.
  • 19th and 20th Century U.S.
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Modern Europe
  • World History
  • Regional and Global History
  • Public History

Geographic Distribution

In addition to the regular M.A. requirements, students whose major field is in US history must also complete one course each in (a) European; and (b) African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history. Students whose major field is in European history must also complete one course each in (a) U.S.; and (b) African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history.


  • Remaining courses are electives.

Language Requirement

  • Proficiency in one alternate language.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination to be taken within one semester after completion of coursework. The comprehensive examination may written or oral; the format will be determined by the major advisor in consultation with the student. The exam will test knowledge of the student’s major field and coursework, including the core curriculum. A committee that consists of the student’s main advisor and two other faculty members with whom the student has taken coursework with will conduct the exam. The examination may be repeated once following a minimum interval of three months. A student who fails the examination for the second time will be subject to scholastic termination. Committees for both the thesis and the non-thesis option are nominated by the student and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies on behalf of the Chair of the department.

Continuous Enrollment

In order to remain in compliance with the university’s policy on continuous enrollment, students must maintain enrollment totaling 6 hours or more over all consecutive three-semester periods. Please note, graduate assistants are required to enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours each for the fall/spring semesters and 9 credit hours for the summer semester. These credit hours will consist of courses required for the prescribed program of study, as well as additional hours of HIST 8980, HIST 8999, and/or HIST 9999.

Thesis/Non-Thesis Options

  1. Thesis option requirements:
    A minimum of six hours of HIST 8999 - Thesis Research 
    A thesis prospectus, approved by a director and a second reader, and a thesis.
  2. Non-Thesis Option requirements:
    • One additional graduate history course, or a graduate course in a related department. A second comprehensive examination, either written or oral, to be administered by an examination committee, which will consist of the advisor and one additional faculty member.
    • In lieu of the thesis, research competence must be demonstrated on the basis of a research paper or other substantive piece of written work.


  • Students must be registered for a minimum of one hour during the term of their graduation.

Concentration Requirements

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