History (M.A.)

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Earning a graduate degree is an undertaking which requires a considerable commitment of time and financial resources. The Department of History expects applicants to its graduate program to arrive well-prepared to undertake this rigorous course of study. Accordingly, the following application deadlines posted by the University are strictly adhered to.

Admission to the Fall Term February 1 (early admission), May 15
Admission to the Winter Term November 1
Admission to the Spring/Summer Term February 1

The Department normally considers only applicants whose undergraduate grade point is at least 3.00 overall and at least 3.25 in a minimum of eighteen semester credits in history and related subjects at the advanced undergraduate level. Applicants should have or be in the process of acquiring relevant foreign language preparation to enter the area in which they wish to study. The Department requires that all applicants submit a letter of intent, a research paper as evidence of writing skills, a copy of scores from the Graduate Record Exam general test, at least two letters of recommendation from former instructors, and provide copies of transcripts from each college or university previously attended.


Candidates for the master’s degree in history must complete a total of thirty-five credits under Plans A or B as outlined below. All students must take HIS 7830 (Methods and Research in History) during the first year in the program and, regardless of which Plan they pursue, all students must complete at least two 8000-level seminars.

Plan A: Twenty-seven credits in graduate course work, of which at least twenty-two must be taken in history, plus an eight credit thesis.

Plan B: Thirty-two credits in graduate course work, including at least twenty-seven credits in history, plus a three credit essay.

Under Plans A and B, the student must:

  1. complete course work in two fields of history;
  2. complete a minimum of five courses numbered 7000 or above, exclusive of the thesis (HIS 8999) or essay (HIS 7999) (HIS 7990, Directed Study, will count toward the four-course requirement only if taken for more than two credits);
  3. complete two graduate seminars numbered 8000 or above; and
  4. pass a final oral examination on the thesis or essay and graduate course work.

Candidacy must be established by filing an official Plan of Work with the Department when twelve credits have been earned.

Academic Scholarship: All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.