Course Requirements



The M.A. degree requires a total of 30 credit-hours, which takes about four semesters.  All M.A. students have the opportunity to explore a variety of topics, including global history, local history, and public history.

All students must take HIstory 512: Topics in World History; History 540: Historical Methods; and, for students focusing on U.S. History, History 505: U.S. History 1860 to the Present.  In addition to these required courses, students may also take up to nine credits of 400-level courses in history or in related disciplines. This could include, for instance, historical geography and internships at museums and historical societies.

Students have two options for the M.A. degree:  either a thesis (Plan A) or a professional paper (Plan B).  Students who follow the thesis option must complete a minimum of 10 credits of History 590: Thesis. Students who follow the professional paper option must complete a maximum of 6 credits of History 575: Professional Paper.

Mastery of Subject Matter

Mastery of the major field will be determined by:

  1. A thesis (Plan A) or professional research paper (Plan B) 
  2. A record of excellence in all courses taken as part of the graduate program
  3. Two written exams, generated by the student's committee (taken in the student's last semester)
  4. A two-hour final oral examination with the student’s committee (taken in the student's last semester)


For more information on the M.A. option, please see the History Graduate Handbook.