History, MA

At a Glance: program details

Pursue topics which spark your passion, and study the geographic locations and time periods that interest you. The intensive coursework allows you to acquire skills for whatever career you decide to pursue.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA History

ASU's MA program in history combines classes taught by ASU's distinguished faculty in an online or in-person environment with an emphasis on the development of analytical and communication skills. It offers dynamic content that deepens students' knowledge of history while developing their core competencies, which are applicable in a variety of settings. Students graduate from the program with an enhanced ability in finding and analyzing information, planning and organizing projects, and writing and speaking effectively.

The Master of Arts program in history offers studies in North American, European, public and global comparative history, and it provides students with opportunities for professional development through colloquia, internship experiences and conference attendance.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 30 credit hours including the required applied project course (HST 593)
  • 30 credit hours including the required capstone course (HST 597)
  • 30 credit hours and a thesis

Required Core (6 credit hours)
HST 640 Historical Methods (3)

Pick one from the following:
HST 502 Public History Methodology (3)
HST 641 North American History (3)
HST 643 Global History (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)

Other Requirements (6 or 9 credit hours)
HST 500 Research Methods (3) and
HST 598 Special Topics (3) or
HST 500 Research Methods (3) and
HST 591 Seminar (3) and
HST 598 Special Topics (3)

Culminating Experience (3 or 6 credit hours)
HST 593 Applied Project (3) or
HST 597 Capstone (3) or
HST 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
There are two options for the master's degree program in history: the thesis option (for in-person students only) and the nonthesis option. The thesis option requires 30 total credit hours of coursework, including six credit hours of HST 599 Thesis, three credit hours of HST 500 Research Methods, three credit hours of HST 598 Special Topics and 18 credit hours of coursework. The nonthesis option requires 30 total credit hours, including three credit hours of HST 593 Applied Project or HST 597 Capstone, three credit hours of HST 500 Research Methods, three credit hours of HST 591 Seminar, three credit hours of HST 598 Special Topics and an additional 18 credit hours of coursework.

For elective coursework, students should refer to the unit for a list of approved courses.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program. The most competitive applicants have a GPA of 3.30 or higher.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. writing sample
  6. two letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency. The history program requires a TOEFL iBT score of at least 90.

All applications are reviewed by multiple ASU faculty members and assessed holistically to determine if they demonstrate the capacity to succeed in a rigorous and writing-intensive graduate program. This decision is made on the basis of prior coursework in history and other social sciences, the quality of the writing sample, the statement of purpose and the letters of recommendation. Prior coursework in history is not a requirement, but in such cases, applicants should have a strong writing sample that demonstrates their ability to engage in historical analysis. In cases where applicants do not have a suitable writing sample or demonstration of past success in historical coursework, they are encouraged to take one or two classes as a nondegree-seeking student and then apply.

Applicants are required to provide a minimum of two professional letters of recommendation, but a maximum of three letters of recommendation may be included. Recommenders should be faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic abilities but may also be work supervisors who are able to speak to the applicant's ability to succeed in a graduate program.

The statement of purpose, about 500 words in length, should be addressed to the history admission committee and should explain the applicant's scholarly background and training, career goals, the primary field the applicant wishes to pursue, and why the applicant wants to pursue graduate study at ASU. It is not necessary to specify a research topic, but if an applicant has one in mind, they should include it in the statement of purpose.

The writing sample may be an article (published or unpublished), a research paper or any other extended sample of expository writing no longer than 35 pages in length. Longer writing samples should not be submitted without first consulting the graduate director. Documents and files should not be password protected. Acceptable file types are .rtf, .pdf and .doc.

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BA - History

Learn about the past while preparing for your future. In one of the largest undergraduate history programs in the country, you can explore a variety of time periods and regions, like ancient Greece and modern Mexico, and topics such as sports, engineering, health, genocide, witchcraft and many more.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
April 15th
Session A/C
In Person
February 1st
Session A/C
July 21st
Session B
September 14th



Session A/C
December 10th
Session B
February 13th



Session A/C
April 18th
Session B
June 1st

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate successful attainment of program goals in research and historiography.
  • Students will gain proficiency in historical methods and demonstrate nuanced understanding of different historical lenses and interpretive frameworks.
  • Students will be able to conduct and defend original historical research.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will have acquired advanced historical thinking skills as well as other skills employers consistently identify as highly valuable, including effective oral and written communication, critical thinking and problem-solving.

Graduates possess the fundamental training needed for careers in research, teaching, public history, government service and a host of other positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. They serve as first-rate historians, highly qualified teachers at the elementary and secondary levels and community colleges, researchers and consultants, archivists, foreign service officers, management professionals, community organizers and public servants.

Other career examples include:

  • business executive
  • college instructor
  • diplomat
  • editorial and publishing professional
  • museum director and staff
  • nonprofit director
  • research professional
  • teacher

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.