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Overview of History Graduate Program

The Department of History offers degree programs leading to the Master of Arts in History in two concentrations (History and Museum Studies) and the Ph.D. in History. Classes in each of our programs are generally small and, through an intensive mentoring program, faculty-student interaction has become a hallmark of graduate study in the department.

The Master of Arts in history offers excellent preparation for those planning to teach the subject at community colleges and secondary schools. The degree also provides a solid foundation for those who go on to Ph.D. programs or who find employment in government and business. The M.A. in history improves analytic, research, and writing skills. The public history concentration in museum studies provides graduate-level preparation in the core history program as well as hands-on training in museum work. Through mentoring and an internship program, students are prepared to enter the job market in the museum fields.

Applicants to the M.A. concentrations must present an approved undergraduate background (though not necessarily a major) in history. At least nine credit hours of advanced undergraduate history is required.

The Ph.D. program prepares students to teach and conduct research in American history and to understand it within an expanded global perspective. Students are required to integrate their major field of study, American history, with World history. This broader intercontinental perspective--including the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa--enables students to explore themes such as the interaction of political, economic and cultural systems, questions of race and ethnicity, gender, and the transnational dimensions of national experience. This global perspective is encouraged by providing a selection of courses that are cross-national, comparative, and integrative in content and format.

The Ph.D. program admits only a few highly qualified students each year. In a setting of relatively small classes, individualized research projects, and frequent contact with faculty, students are trained in the arts of scholarly research and writing. No less is the emphasis placed on the fostering of teaching skills. Through a required teaching seminar, hands-on teaching experience, and careful mentoring, students are prepared for teaching in a college or university environment.

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