M.A. History

Master of Arts Degree in History Overview

The Master of Arts (MA) in History is designed to expand a student's knowledge of history and historical method, and to develop a student's research, writing, and analytical abilities in U.S., European, and world history. The degree prepares students for careers in public history, further study towards a doctoral degree, and teaching at the secondary and postsecondary levels.

Provisional Program Admissions

After a student has met the requirements for university admission and has submitted documentation demonstrating either an undergraduate degree in history with a GPA of 3.0 or the equivalent of an undergraduate major in history (minimum 24 credit hours) with a GPA of 3.0, they may register for graduate history coursework within the MA in History program. Students should provide official transcripts documenting all prior coursework in history. If a student has not satisfied this requirement, they may be required to take up to 24 credits of undergraduate leveling in history, for which they must earn a GPA of 3.0 or above. Once they complete any required leveling in history, students are permitted to register for graduate history coursework.

Full Program Admissions

Once a student has completed 12 credits in graduate history coursework, the graduate coordinator considers them for full admission to the MA in History program. The graduate coordinator reviews all records submitted at the time of the university admissions decision and when the student is permitted to register for graduate history coursework. If not already submitted, the student is required to submit the university admissions essay and a GRE score taken in the previous six years. The graduate coordinator makes the program admissions decision in consultation with the full-time faculty in the program.

The graduate coordinator is responsible for communicating the program admissions decision and serves as the point of contact for inquiries concerning the MA in History program. The graduate coordinator is responsible for all advising, including assistance with the student’s selection of either the thesis or non-thesis track. Students must have the approval of the graduate coordinator to change tracks once they have completed 24 hours of coursework.

If a student’s GPA in the MA in History program falls below 3.0 at any point, the student is subject to disciplinary action, including suspension and/or removal from the program. If a student receives a failing grade in a course, he or she must retake that course. If the failing grade causes a student to be put on suspension, he or she could remain on suspension until the course is retaken with a satisfactory grade.

Master of Arts Degree in History Core Requirements

The MA in History requires 36 hours of approved coursework, including HIST 5300 (Elements of Historical Inquiry), 5380 (Historiography and Historical Method), and one research course (HIST 5320, 5322, or 5342). In consultation with the graduate coordinator, a student may take 12 hours in an appropriate supporting field. A student must take coursework in United States and non-United States history.

Each student must demonstrate reading proficiency in at least one foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Proficiency will be measured by the successful completion (with a C or better) of 14 hours in a single foreign language (either in the undergraduate or graduate level, at the equivalent of the intermediate level).

Common Courses (30 Credits)

Courses that are common to all emphases may be applied to all. At least 36 hours are required for the degree.

Required Courses
HIST 5300Elements of Historical Inquiry3
HIST 5380Historiography and Historical Method3
Select one of the following:
HIST 5320Select Topics in State and Local History3
or HIST 5322 Select Topics in American History
or HIST 5342 Topics in European History
Other Degree Requirements
Approved graduate-level History electives 121
Emphasis Requirements (See Below)6
Total Semester Credit Hours36

12 Credit hours can be used in a support field.  For further information consult with your graduate coordinator.

Without Thesis

HIST 5090History Comprehensive Examination0
Other Degree Requirements
Approved graduate-level History electives 16
Total Semester Credit Hours6

12 Credit hours can be used in a support field.  For further information consult with your graduate coordinator.

Additional Requirements

Each student must take a written comprehensive examination based on coursework submitted for the MA degree. An examination committee, composed of three faculty members, administers the examination. If the examination result is unsatisfactory, the committee allows the student to retake the comprehensive examination one additional time. Additional coursework in areas of weakness may be required.

With Thesis

Required Courses
HIST 5198History Thesis (1)3
HIST 5198History Thesis (2)3
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Additional Requirements

Each student completes a thesis under the direction of a thesis advisor, who chairs the student's thesis committee. The student does not begin work on the thesis prior to completion of 24 hours of coursework and will enroll in Thesis (HIST 5198) only with the prior approval of the graduate coordinator. Six hours of Thesis (HIST 5198) may count toward graduation. Students should prepare their thesis in accordance with the procedures specified by the Office of Graduate Studies. Upon completion of the thesis, the student sits for an oral defense before the student's thesis committee.

Course Information and Schedule

The Course Information page includes a complete list of courses and course descriptions. 

See the courses offered this semester using the Online Course Schedule.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes 

  1. Synthesize and analyze the literature and methods of the discipline of history and demonstrate understanding of the historiography and major questions of the topics of their study.

  2. Demonstrate the knowledge and use of appropriate historical methods to produce original historical analysis. In doing so, students demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to use historical methods and to make and defend judgments based on historical evidence.

  3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills, employ clear and effective communication skills, and exhibit the ability to use historical methods to evaluate and synthesize historical evidence.