Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

HIST 8714Historical Methods3
Seven 8000-level seminars 121
Two 9000-level research seminars 26
Total Credit Hours30

Course selection is determined by the student's specific interests and goals. It is recommended that one skills-based course, such as HIST 5152 Digital History or HIST 8152 Managing History, be taken. Those with a concentration in Public History are required to take both HIST 8101 Introduction to American History I (to 1865) and HIST 8152 Managing History.


Students may take only one writing seminar in an academic term. The second seminar should be taken in the student's last term of study. Students choose whether to combine the two 9000-level courses to produce a master's thesis.

Internship: An internship is required only of students pursuing Public History as a primary or secondary field. 

Culminating Events: Both thesis and non-thesis options are offered as a culminating event. The default position of the department is that students opt for the non-thesis option.

Non-Thesis Option:
All MA students are required to take two writing seminars along with the PhD students. The writing seminars are open writing workshops, eschewing a particular time period or geographic focus on which students must concentrate, and instead allowing students to pursue whatever interest they wish. Students work with the course instructor who sets deadlines; provides feedback on argument, structure and writing; and, with input from the faculty mentor, assigns a grade for the course. Students also, where appropriate, work with another faculty mentor whose area of expertise aligns with the student’s research topic.

Thesis Option:
Before beginning the second writing seminar, students choosing the thesis option must formally declare that they will continue and build on the research paper written for the first writing seminar. Essentially, the first research paper is treated as one chapter in an MA thesis and the second chapter is written during the second writing seminar. Permission from both the faculty mentor who will oversee the project and the MA Coordinator is required. The instructor of the second writing seminar must also be advised of a student's choice to work on a thesis.

The MA thesis in its entirety must be signed by a first reader, i.e., the faculty mentor, and a second reader, who may or may not be one of the faculty members who taught the two research classes. The thesis advisor/first reader gathers the necessary signatures.

Students who pursue an MA thesis but do not complete it must have produced work comparable to two distinct seminar papers to complete the degree program.