Master of Arts in History

Michael Nolan, Graduate Coordinator, WA 223  Phone: (203) 837-8483
Patricia Lerner, Department Secretary, WA 224  Phone: (203) 837-8484
Fax: (203) 837-8905


Faculty:   K. Allocco; J. Duffy; W. Gadkar-Wilcox; K. Gutzman; L. Lindenauer; M. May; M. Nolan; J. Rosenthal


Program Learning Goal

The goal of the Master of Arts (M.A.) in History degree program is for students to develop their skills in analyzing and interpreting historical events and interrelational developments in diverse areas of the world.

Program Learning Objective

Our objective is to provide an exciting and relevant curriculum specifically designed for students who are secondary school teachers, college graduates preparing for careers in college teaching, or professionals from outside the academic world who value the intellectual challenge afforded by the serious study history.

Program Learning Outcome

Through our required comprehensive examination and our MA thesis option, students will demonstrate a mastery of a body of advanced secondary literature, a mastery over key events and figures, and an ability to answer key questions in innovative ways appropriate to their specific track and chosen field of study within history.

Admission Requirements

August 1 is the fall deadline to apply to the M.A. in History program. Application deadline for the spring semester is January 1. Late applications may be considered. All admissions are made at the discretion of the History Graduate Admissions Committee.

Requirements include an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7. The GPA in history courses should be at least 3.0. An applicant with an undergraduate degree and a GPA below 3.0 may submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores and an explanation of relevant circumstances to support his or her application.

The following materials must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Old Main, rm. 101:

    • A completed graduate admission application form and fee.
    • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees.
    • A statement of purpose, two to four pages, typed and double-spaced. The statement should describe the applicant’s relevant past experience, academic and career goals, and interest in the M.A. in History program.
    • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can effectively assess the applicant’s general academic potential.
    • Acceptance by the History Graduate Admissions Committee.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 semester-hour credits is required for the M.A. in History. 

Student must:

a. Complete at least 12 semester hours (four courses) in one of three major fields below:

  • American History (AH)
  • European History (EH)
  • World History (WH)

b. Complete at least 6 credit hours (two courses) of electives.

c. Pass a written comprehensive examination in the major field. The comprehensive examination will consist of four questions from at least two different faculty members. At least two of the questions have to be in the major field. To be eligible to take the comprehensive examination, the student must complete all course work prior to or within the semester in which the comprehensive exam is taken. The student must have at that time an average of “B” or better in his or her coursework. Students should contact the graduate coordinator to schedule the comprehensive examination.

Acceptable Variations:

1. Students choosing to do a master’s thesis must complete the six (6) semester-hour thesis course (HIS 592) instead of two elective courses.

2. With the graduate coordinator’s approval, students may take a maximum of six (6) semester hours in 500-level courses in allied fields (such as English) or in 400-level History courses.


Courses offered/rotation include, but are not limited to, the following:

HIS 505   New York City: Its History and Culture    3 SH      AH
HIS 506   Readings in American History to 1877     3 SH   AH
HIS 507   Readings in American History Since 1877     3 SH   AH
HIS 508   Readings in European History to 1500    3 SH   EH
HIS 509   Readings in European History since 1500     3 SH   EH
HIS 510   Fascism: Revolution or Counterrevolution   3 SH   EH 
HIS 515   The French Revolution   3 SH   EH
HIS 516   The American Revolution   3 SH   AH 
HIS 520   Origins of World War I   3 SH    EH, WH 
HIS 521   Origins of World War II   3 SH   EH, WH 
HIS 535   African-American History and Culture    3 SH    AH
HIS 536   The Civil War Era    3 SH    AH
HIS 537   America in the Sixties    3 SH    AH
HIS 539   America in the 1950s    3 SH    AH
HIS 542   Approaches to World History    3 SH    WH
HIS 544   U.S. Immigration History    3 SH     AH
HIS 545   U.S. Urban History    3 SH    AH 
HIS 556   Colonial North America     3 SH    AH
HIS 557   The Early American Republic     3 SH    AH
HIS 558   History of the American South    3 SH    AH
HIS 570   Chinese Thought and Religion     3 SH   WH
HIS 571   China in the Twentieth Century    3 SH    WH 

Consult the graduate program coordinator for appropriate course selections.