About the Master of Arts

The program offers courses in all areas of historical study. Emphasis is placed on the history of the United States, particularly the South; Britain. Europe, Russia, Latin America, Asia, and Africa; and on the history of classical and medieval civilizations, science and technology, documentary editing, and archival management.

The M.A. in history has two objectives that aim to prepare students for history-related careers in teaching, public or government service, law, historical editing, archival management, and business: 1) to increase the student’s knowledge of the areas of history in which he/she wishes to specialize; and 2) to provide the student with skills for performing historical research, analyzing the sources and information gathered, and writing results in an acceptable scholarly essay or thesis.

The student entering the graduate program must be advised on his/her coursework by the graduate program coordinator. New students should contact the graduate coordinator by phone or email to discuss this soon after they have been admitted. Consultation with the graduate coordinator should continue for the duration of the program.

Registration for courses must be done according to regulations and procedures set by the office of the Registrar. For information, see the Registrar’s website.


Graduate Handbook

Download the Graduate Handbook here.

Courses Numbered 6000 to 7990
Courses numbered 6000–6990 are courses in U.S., African, Latin American, ancient, British, early and modern European, diplomatic, social, comparative, and legal history. The 6000-level courses also include studies in the history of ideas and of science and technology. The enrollment of each 6000-level course will not exceed more than five students. Courses numbered 7000-7990 are designed for candidates for the Master of Education degree.

Courses Numbered 8000 and Above
These courses include seminars that are designed to provide training in historical research and writing. They may be repeated for credit with the approval of the graduate program coordinator. Other courses at the 8000 level include archival management and historical editing. HIST 8850  (“Independent Study”) allows a student to undertake critical study of a historical topic, selected according to the needs of the student and with the approval of the graduate program coordinator.  HIST 8850 cannot be repeated more than twice for credit towards graduation. It counts as a 6000-level course and cannot substitute for 8000-level courses.

Variable Content Courses for Spring 2011:
History 4710/6710 History of the Holocaust
Before the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Jewish population of Europe was the largest in the world with over nine million Jews. In the span of a mere few years, it became one of the smallest because of a massive genocide carried out by the Nazi state and its accomplices across the European continent. This course deals with questions that, some sixty years after what is now known as the Holocaust, still continue to perplex: Why did the genocide happen in Europe and between the years 1941-1945? Why did Germany turn into a catastrophic dictatorship of racism, war, and mass murder? Why did the Nazis see Jews as the supreme racial enemy, while also brutally targeting Poles, Ukrainians, Soviets, homosexuals, the Roma, and the disabled? What were the various responses of Jews and other victims to their fate? How were some possibly able to survive?

History 4930/6930 Gender and Society in the Modern Middle East
The seminar examines aspects of politics, social life and culture in the modern Middle East, since the early 20th century to the present. Looking particularly closely at developments in Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, topics of discussion include changes in gender relations, ideological currents, ethno-religious tensions and coexistence, and the influence of oil wealth in the modern Middle East.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in history requires 30 credits in courses numbered 6000 or above that must be divided as follows:

  1. Three credits in historiography (HIST 8810).
  2. Three credits in the Research Workshop (HIST 8900).
  3. Three credits in either historical methods course (HIST 8200 or HIST 8720).
  4. A minimum of nine additional credits in courses numbered between 8000 and 8940 (excluding 8900 and 8910).
  5. A minimum of six elective credits in graduate courses selected with the approval of the coordinator of the graduate program.
  6. A minimum of six credits in graduate thesis research (HIST 8910).

Additionally, the student must write a thesis acceptable to the department and must demonstrate reading knowledge of a foreign language (see VII) below. A final examination, which may be written or oral or a combination of the two forms, is required of all candidates.

Full-time graduate students must carry 12 hours each semester. Those holding assistantships must carry 9 hours each semester. The student must maintain a cumulative “B” average in all graduate-level courses (6000 level or above). Students who fail to meet these requirements become ineligible for graduation and are placed on academic probation by the Graduate School. The probationary status remains in effect until 9 additional semester hours of graduate credit have been attempted and the “B” average restored. A student’s receiving a grade of incomplete (“I”) in any course is discouraged, especially for someone holding a graduate assistantship (see section “X” below). With the approval of the graduate program coordinator, a student may take graduate-level courses outside the history curriculum, but normally no more than two such courses.