Graduate Programs

Degree Programs


To be admitted to the Master of Arts degree program, students must have:
  • a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (B) and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) in the student’s undergraduate major (an undergraduate major in history is not required, but applicants without such a background may be required to take additional course work in history at the undergraduate level as a condition for acceptance into the program);
  • an appropriate level of achievement on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test; and three letters of recommendation.
No grade below B– (2.7) in history courses will be counted toward this degree.
Course Requirements
Students pursuing any one of the three concentration areas must take H500 or H501. Those selecting United States history must take at least one graduate colloquium and one graduate seminar in United States history and at least one course in non–United States history. Students selecting European history must take a graduate colloquium and seminar in that area and at least one course outside their concentration. With the consent of their faculty advisor, students may take as many as 6 credits outside the Department of History. Six credits will be granted upon successful completion of the required master’s thesis. A total of 30 credit hours is required for students concentrating in United States or European history.

Students choosing public history as their area of concentration must take H500 or H501, H542, a colloquium and seminar generally in United States history, and do an internship. Four credits will be granted upon satisfactory completion of the internship project. Public history students must also take at least one course outside United States history. With the consent of their faculty advisor, they may take as many as 6 credits outside the Department of History. A minimum of 36 credit hours is required for students concentrating in public history.
Foreign Language Requirement
There is no foreign language requirement for the degree per se. However, those students who will incorporate foreign language documents and scholarship in their graduate work (especially those concentrating in European history) will be expected to translate non-English sources. They must thus demonstrate an appropriate level of competence in the relevant language before they begin work on their thesis. The director of graduate studies and the student’s advisor may require the student to take additional coursework.

All students concentrating in European history should expect to demonstrate competence in a foreign language, ideally upon application to the program. (Competence is defined as two years of undergraduate course work with a grade of B or better in the final semester, or demonstration of an equivalent reading proficiency in an approved foreign language exam.) Students considering the possibility of going on for a Ph.D. should recognize that competence in at least one and sometimes two foreign languages is often a requirement in history doctoral programs.
Combined Master of Library Science and Master of Arts in History
Study for these two degrees can be combined for a total of 53 credit hours rather than the 66 credit hours required for the two degrees taken separately. Students take 23 credit hours in history, which must include History H547 (Archives), one graduate seminar, and one graduate colloquium. No thesis is required for students earning an M.A. in history who are also earning a master’s degree in library science under this dual degree program. No area of concentration is required, but students wishing to focus on public history for the M.A. in history must also include H542 among the required 23 credit hours of history course work. Such students may, if they wish, do a public history internship and count a maximum of 2 credit hours of H543 toward the degree. (Students may enroll in H543 only after having taken or while taking H542).

The remaining 30 credit hours are library science courses as detailed in the Bulletin of the School of Library and Information Science. Admission to each of the two master’s programs is approved separately on the same basis as for other applicants not in the combined program.
Combined Master of Arts in History and Philanthropic Studies
The dual M.A. in history and philanthropic studies creates a unique opportunity to pursue critical inquiry into the historical, cultural, philosophical, and economic implications of voluntary action for the public good. Historians routinely study the role of nonprofit organizations, self-help groups, and philanthropic institutions. This dual-degree program offers an interdisciplinary focus on the past, present, and future. This degree will be attractive to students wishing to pursue (1) careers that demand the skills and talents developed by cross-training in history and philanthropy, or (2) doctoral programs that encourage new and creative approaches to the historical study of philanthropy, broadly defined.

Admission requirements for the dual-degree program are identical to those for each program separately. A separate application must be made to each of the programs. Prospective students are expected to take responsibility for learning about and meeting the different admission requirements and deadlines of each department. Students must make plans early with advisors in both programs to identify common courses and a thesis topic.

Study for these two degrees can be combined for a total of 51 credit hours (U.S. or European history concentrations) or 54 credit hours (public history) rather than the 66 or 72 credit hours that would be required if the two degrees were taken separately. For all concentrations, the required 700-level seminar for the M.A. in history may be selected as an elective to meet the philanthropic studies requirement for one of two theoretical electives. The required philanthropic studies course H509 History of Philanthropy in the West or H516 History of Philanthropy in the United States may be taken to meet a history elective. Required course PHIL P542 Ethics and Values of Philanthropy or PHST P512 Human and Financial Resources for Philanthropy may be taken to meet 3 of the 6 credits of outside electives that may be taken in the history program. For public history students, HIST H543 Practicum meets the requirement for PHST P590 Internship for the philanthropic studies program. A common thesis meets the requirements of both departments. See the departmental director of graduate studies for more information about this dual degree.