Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

History, Master of Arts (078)

Department website:

Program Coordinator

Alexander I. Olson,, (270) 745-4201

This program is designed to prepare students for the teaching of history on the junior or senior college level and to provide the initial graduate work for those who intend to pursue a doctoral degree.

Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP)

This degree offers a Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP) which provides academically outstanding students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in approximately five years.  Contact the graduate program coordinator for additional information.

Program Admission

All applicants must sit for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit scores to the university as part of their application.  There are no exceptions to this requirement even for candidates with graduate degrees. The advanced test in History is not required.

Applicants must meet the following admission standards set forth by the History Department:

  • Completion of at least 18 undergraduate credit-hours in history with a grade point average of at least 3.0 in history courses (on a 4.0 scale)
  • An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • A GRE Verbal Reasoning section score of at least 500 (if taken before Aug. 2011) or 153 (if taken Aug. 2011 or later)
  • Applicants must submit application and all supporting materials by June 1 (fall semester start) or November 15 (spring semester start)

Applicants must also submit:

  • A brief (approximately 750 words) personal statement that discusses why they wish to pursue the Master of Arts degree in History;
  • A sample research paper (at least five pages long).

The History Department will admit students twice a year on a competitive, academic merit-based basis. The History Department may limit the number of students admitted to maintain the quality and size of the MA program's student body.

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30-36 hours)

A student who has an undergraduate major in history may be permitted to take six to nine hours of graduate work in a related field in courses approved by the Graduate Advisor. A student who presents an undergraduate minor in history must complete the entire program in the field of history.

Plan A - Thesis (30 hours)

Required Courses
HIST 535Historiography3
HIST 599Thesis Research/Writing6
Modern foreign language reading proficiency
Select 21 hours of electives21
Total Hours30

Plan B - Non-Thesis (36 hours)

Required Course
HIST 535Historiography 13
Select 33 hours of electives33
Total Hours36

Comprehensive Exam

Students should contact the History Graduate Advisor early in their programs for help in compiling a list of books and articles to study in preparation for the comprehensive exam. Students must pass the comprehensive exam (written and oral) over course work, bibliography, and (if Plan A) thesis.