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Department of History

Master of Arts Degree in History

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in History offers students the opportunity to pursue the advanced study of history. The program is designed to develop students’ skills in historical analysis and to expand students’ understanding of the practice of history. M.A. students acquire competency in critical theoretical understandings of change over time and a broad knowledge of a thematic or geographic area. Students demonstrate this competence by designing and completing coursework and historical research projects or theses based on primary source research integrated with relevant historiographical knowledge.

Program Admission Requirements
In addition to satisfying the University-wide admission requirements, competitive applicants should have:

  1. 18 upper-division semester credit hours in history or courses with demonstrably significant historical content

  2. A grade point average of 3.2 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education or a 3.2 in graduate work; and a grade point average of 3.2 or better in all History courses taken.

In addition to submitting all University required application materials (e.g., application form, official transcripts), applicants must submit: 1) a 500-word statement describing how a M.A. in History will advance personal and professional goals; 2) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from a GRE-administered examination—these scores will be considered as only one element in the evaluation of applicants; and 3) two letters of recommendation. It is strongly recommended that at least one of the letters be from a professor who can discuss and evaluate specifically your academic qualifications and potential for graduate study.

Submission of research-based writing samples are optional.

Applicants for admission as non-degree-seeking students (special graduate students or non-degree-seeking graduate students) should have completed at least 12 semester credit hours in history. Non-degree-seeking students may be limited in the courses they are permitted to take. Admission as a non-degree-seeking student does not ensure subsequent admission as a degree-seeking student. Consult the catalog on regulations regarding “special graduate student” and “non-degree-seeking status.”

Degree Requirements. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree is 30. This is exclusive of coursework or other study required for admission.

Degree candidates must complete the following requirements:

  1. 3 semester credit hours:

    HIS 5003   Introduction to History: Theories and Methods

    Students must enroll in this course in the first semester of their program.

  2. 3 semester credit hours in Comparative History (HIS 6483 Topics in Comparative History or other courses identified as meeting the requirement).

  3. 6 semester credit hours consisting of one of the following two sequences:

    HIS 6813   Proseminar in History
    HIS 6903   Research Seminar in History

    This sequence will vary in subject. A student must take HIS 6813 Proseminar in History and then HIS 6903 Research Seminar in History in consecutive long semesters. Note: HIS 5003 Introduction to History: Theories and Methods is a prerequisite for enrollment in HIS 6813.


    HIS 6983   Master’s Thesis (repeated for a total of 6 hours)

    A total of 6 semester credit hours of HIS 6983 can be applied towards the total 30 semester credit hours required for this degree. Students writing a thesis will complete HIS 6983 Master’s Thesis (6 hours) in accordance with University-wide requirements as stated in this catalog. Students must be enrolled in HIS 6983 during the semester in which they graduate.

  4. 18 semester credit hours of elective courses, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor:

    • At least 6 hours must be outside the student’s focus area; focus areas are United States History and World History.

    • Up to 6 hours of graduate-level courses outside the program may be taken with prior approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record.

    • Up to 6 hours of Independent Study hours may be taken with approval of instructor.
  5. Students must pass the written comprehensive examination.

Note: Students are encouraged to pursue languages or other formal competencies as appropriate to their needs.

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