History, MA

The flexibility of choosing to study the geographic locations and time periods you are interested in allows you to acquire skills for whatever career you decide to pursue. The history MA program combines dynamic classes taught by ASU's distinguished faculty in an online or on-ground environment with an emphasis on the development of analytical and communication skills.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA History

The MA program in history provides students 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. Program graduates serve as first-rate historians, highly qualified teachers at the elementary and secondary levels, researchers and consultants, archivists, foreign service officers, management professionals, community organizers and public servants.

The master's degree program 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. Courses emphasize the development of skills in research, writing, critical thinking and communication.

Online MA Handbook On-Campus MA Handbook

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus, or online
  • Additional Program Fee: Yes
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Degree Requirements

Required Core (9 credit hours)
HST 640 Historical Methods (3)

Pick two from the following:
HST 502 Public History Methodology (3)
HST 641 North American History (3)
HST 643 Global History (3)
HST 644 Area Studies in History (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)

Other Requirements (3 or 6 credit hours)
HST 591 Seminar (3) or (6)

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 591 Seminar and 21 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, six credit hours of HST 591 Seminar and an additional 21 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 applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00= "A") in an applicable master's degree program. The most competitive applicants will 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. three 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 current residency. The history program requires a TOEFL score of at least 600 (PBT) or 90 (iBT).

Students are required to submit a minimum of three email addresses from faculty or others qualified to speak to the student's suitability for graduate study in history.

The statement of purpose 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 (about 500 words in length). 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 (it may be 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.

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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 contact you directly.