Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

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 in secondary schools, community colleges, or universities. It also provides 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 an accelerated timeframe. Contact the graduate program coordinator for additional information.

Program Admission

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

  • Completion of at least 15 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)
  • 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) statement of purpose that discusses why they wish to pursue the Master of Arts degree in History;
  • A sample research paper (at least five pages long) that is relevant to the field of History;
  • One letter of recommendation from an instructor or supervisor who can assess the applicant's ability to succeed in a professional environment. This letter must be sent directly by the writer to the Graduate School ( and should not be uploaded by the applicant.

The History Department will admit students on a rolling 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 (30-34 hours)

Students may be permitted to take up to six hours of graduate work in a related field in courses approved by the History Graduate Advisor. 

Plan A - Thesis (30 hours)

Required Courses
HIST 535Historiography3
HIST 536Sources and Methods3
HIST 599Thesis Research/Writing6
Select 18 hours of HIST electives18
Total Hours30

Plan B - Non-Thesis (34 hours)

Required Course
HIST 535Historiography3
HIST 536Sources and Methods3
HIST 598Comprehensive Exam Preparation1
Select 27 hours of HIST electives27
Total Hours34

Comprehensive Exam

Students should contact the History Graduate Advisor early in their programs for help in selecting fields and compiling a list of books and articles for the comprehensive exam. All students must pass the comprehensive exam (written and oral), which assesses their command of the methods and scholarly literature in their fields of specialization. Students in Plan B are required to enroll in HIST 598 in their final semester. Students in Plan A are not required to enroll in HIST 598 but still must pass the exam.