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History M.A.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree


The Department of History offers a comprehensive program of courses in the history of the Americas, Europe, and Asia/Africa/Middle East/Global. Students may pursue the M.A. on either a part-time or full-time basis.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Arts

Applicants should have an undergraduate major in history or in a related field of the humanities or social sciences with the equivalent of a minor in history. They must take the Graduate Record Examination and submit, with the application, letters of recommendation and a sample of writing, such as a research paper done in an undergraduate history course.

To be considered for admission, a candidate must have a grade point average of 3.00 (B) in his or her last two years of undergraduate study, with evidence of better work 3.30 (B+) in history. Students will normally score above the 65th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination Verbal section.

Applicants seeking fellowships or assistantships for the upcoming fall semester must have their completed application submitted by February 15th. No applications for fall admission will be accepted after May 1st. In those rare instances when a student seeks admission for the spring semester, applications must be submitted by November 1st (please refer to the Programs & Degrees portion of the Graduate College website to confirm that these deadlines are current).

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

Option A (Thesis):
Requires twenty-four credits of 200- and 300-level course work, six credits of HST 391, and satisfactory performance on a comprehensive examination in two areas of historical knowledge. The thesis must be successfully defended in an oral examination
Option B (Portfolio):
Requires thirty credits of 200- and 300-level course work and the successful completion of a comprehensive examination in two areas of historical knowledge
Both Options:
During their first year of study, all students enrolled in the M.A. program are required to take HST 301. While at least fifteen credits of course work must be earned in seminars, students may complete independent study courses that involve the creation of individualized reading lists and regular meetings with instructors appointed to the graduate faculty. With the consent of the student’s advisor, six credits of the required course work for the M.A. may be taken in related fields outside of the history department. Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.30 (B+) each semester. Students failing to maintain this average will be dismissed from the program

Description and Timing of Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive Examinations are typically taken in September or January of the second year of the program. They involve two separate fields in which the candidate is asked to reflect (either in written or oral form) on the state of scholarship in a given topic/area (such as the Progressive Era, environmental history of the British empire, the Holocaust, etc.).

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts

Completion of the above requirements.