MA Program Requirements

History MA Program

The Master of Arts in History is granted on completion of the following requirements:

Credit hours

  • Thirty-two graduate credit hours with a B average or better. All master's degree students are required to take HIST 592: - Historiography, and one 600-level research seminar. MA students who choose to write a master's thesis are not required to take the 600-level research seminar for the master's degree.

  • Twenty-four of the credits offered must be taken in residence.

  • All students completing the M.A. are required to pass a master's examination or successfully defend a research portfolio. The master's examination is a three-hour written examination in the student's field of specialization given by three faculty members, at least two of whom must be members of the History Department. An MA degree may be earned in one or two fields. These fields may be drawn from the list of major and minor fields in the Graduate Student Handbook. Examinations are offered once each semester, and should be taken during the semester in which the student completes all other degree requirements.

  • The research portfolio defense is an oral examination of a student's written work, including an article length paper (approx. 10,000-15,000 words inclusive of footnotes) based upon original research, and a historiographical paper (approx. 4,000-7000 words inclusive of footnotes), which should be substantially distinct from the research paper. The examination committee is made up of the student's guidance committee. Typically students will defend their research portfolio in either their third or fourth semester in the program, which can be scheduled after a student completes at least 20 credits in the program.

How to apply

Applicants should see admission requirements and the online application on the Graduate School website. Prospective students are encouraged to email or call The Graduate School at, 607-777-2151 with any questions they have during the application process. 

The application deadline for fall admission with funding is January 15 (April 15 without funding). For spring semester admission, the deadline is November 1.


Graduate Secretary:
Keith Limbach
Library Tower, 707