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Program Options

Students enrolled in the Department of History's M.A. Program may choose from four different options in fulfilling their degree plan. 


The Department's Thesis Option entails thirty (30) hours of coursework including a minimum of six hours (6) devoted to the composition of an original work of historical research and writing under the guidance of a History faculty member. This option is well suited for students interested in the historian's craft and may benefit those considering future studies at the doctoral level.


Most of the Department's M.A. students choose to pursue one of the following three non-thesis options:  


This degree plan eliminates the M.A. thesis and expands the number of electives for a total of thirty-six (36) hours of courses. Students selecting the General Non-Thesis Option are required, by the end of their final semester, to complete and defend a portfolio project based on their program of study. This option is particularly well suited to K-12 educators and other professionals who wish to enhance their careers by demonstrating advanced mastery of historical content and methodologies.  

Public History

The Department's Public History M.A. is intended for students interested in applying their historical knowledge and skills to "real-world issues" by working as consultants, museum curators, cultural resource managers, policy advisers,  community activists, and other engaged professionals. The thirty-six (36) hour program includes specialized courses on public history, archival administration, and museum curation as well as six (6) hours of internship. Similar to the General Non-Thesis Option, the Public History program is capped by the compilation and defense of a professional portfolio.


Designed specifically for students interested in pursuing careers as archivists, this thirty-six (36) hour option includes a six-hour internship in Archival Administration, expanded elective classes, and a final portfolio project. 

NOTE: All of the M.A. degree plans offered by the Department of History require  students to demonstrate competency in a foreign language prior to completing their program of study. Please click the following link for detailed information on the M.A. Language Requirement.

Not certain which degree plan is best for you?

No worries. The Department's M.A. advisor, Dr. Stephanie Cole, is happy to discuss your particular situation and to help you determine which option best fits your interests and needs. 

All students enter the program under the General Non-Thesis Option. You may wait to finalize your degree plan until after you have completed approximately eighteen (18) hours of coursework.

In the meantime, please view or download this .pdf file containing the course requirements for each of the Department's four options