May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, M.A.


  1. A bachelor’s degree in history with an overall 3.0 GPA or higher or
  2. A bachelor’s degree with 24 units of upper-division courses in history. These courses must be comparable to those required of a major in history at this University. Deficiencies are determined by the graduate advisor after consultation with the student and after study of transcript records.


The Master of Arts in History is a program of 30 minimum units as defined below.

Fields of Study

The fields are: Ancient/Medieval Europe, Modern Europe, United States, World.

All students must pursue two fields of concentration.

Take 18 units of graduate-level coursework in field:

Take one 510 in each field of study to a maximum of 6 units in each field. Different instructors within a field required when repeated. Repeatable up to 12 units.

Take a Research Seminar in at least one field of concentration.

For example:

HIST 631  (Europe),
HIST 673  (US)

Electives applicable to all students:

Three units of electives of graduate (500/600) coursework in History or supporting disciplines relating to the student’s Fields of Concentration. Upon written approval of the Graduate Advisor, students may substitute three to six units of upper-division (300/400) coursework in History or supporting disciplines relating to the student’s Fields of Concentration. Graduate students who wish to enroll in double-numbered (400/500) courses must take the 500-level course.

All Students

The courses for Special Preparation (595), Directed Study (695), Directed Research (697), and Thesis (698) may be applied to the 18 unit total only with the permission of the graduate advisor. A student may propose a field other than those cited above with the consent of the Graduate advisor and her/his graduate committee. A reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages may be required, depending upon the candidate’s program of study as recommended by her/his graduate committee.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students should see Graduate Advisor to file Advancement to Candidacy after at least 6 units but no more than 15 units of graduate coursework are completed. Must have taken 501 or appropriate designated course. 

Advancement must take place at least two semesters prior to taking Comprehensive Exams, completing the Thesis, or completing the project/teaching emphasis. Comprehensive Examination Approval Form, Thesis  Committee Agreement Form, or Teaching Unit Approval Form must be filed with department at time of Advancement. At this point, a student must commit to taking exams, writing a thesis, completing a project/teaching emphasis.  Advancement to Candidacy is a formal contract listing courses student has taken, is taking, and will take. Changes to contract may be made in consultation with Graduate Advisor.

Culminating Project

Students must select one of the following three culminating projects at time of Advancement to Candidacy (Note: In order to satisfy the culminating activity requirement (thesis, project, or comprehensive examination dependent upon the program), students must earn at least three (3) units and no more than six (6) units related to the completion of the culminating activity.):

  1. Comprehensive Exams in two fields,
  2. Thesis in one field or incorporating two fields, or
  3. Project consisting of a two-week unit of instruction with all lesson plans, teaching materials, and assessments to be accompanied with a historiography  of the scholarship of the chosen topic of student investigation.

1. Comprehensive exams require filing a Comprehensive Examination Approval Form with the department.
2. A thesis requires filing a Thesis Committee Agreement Form and completing HIST 698  with the thesis advisor for four (4) units. All candidates for the M.A. degree in history who have selected to write a thesis must demonstrate competency in at least one foreign language. Exceptions are granted only with the approval of the chair of a graduate student’s committee and the Graduate Advisor. The language competency requirement may be met in two ways:

  1. Through an examination by a faculty member with expertise in the student’s language. The exam will be a translation of about a 500-word text to be  completed in two hours; a dictionary is allowed.
  2. By taking the equivalent of two full years of university level foreign language courses, with an average GPA of 3.0 in those courses. If the primary  concentration is in Ancient/Medieval, a student may also fulfill this requirement by taking one year of Greek and one year of Latin. All course work completed must be within five years of admission to the graduate program.

3. The project/teaching emphasis requires filing a Teaching Unit Approval Form with the department and successfully completing HIST 605 .