History M.A.


The Department of History offers an M.A. degree in history for those individuals who are interested in postgraduate work, but who are not planning to complete a Ph.D. It is a degree program that can fulfill in-service education requirements for current teachers as well as for future teachers earning a single-subject credential in social studies. Part-time enrollment is allowed.

Each student will be required to choose one of three areas of specialization (U.S., Europe, East Asia). To complete the degree, each student must pass a total of 12 courses of 5 credits each and two courses of 2 credits each. Students are required to produce a substantial research essay (average word count of 8000-1000) grounded in original research in primary historical documents. There is no language requirement.

Detailed information for prospective graduate students, including procedures for applications and admission to graduate studies, examinations and requirements is available from the Division of Graduate Studies.


The deadline for applications to the History Program is December 10 of each year. Admission information and application material are available online.


The M.A. degree is awarded after two years in residence, provided that the following requirements have been met:

  • Completion of 12 five-unit courses and two 2-credit Proseminars
  • Removal of all Incomplete notations on record
  • Approval of an M.A. essay

Course Requirements

HIS200Methods and Theories of History


HIS201Directed Research Colloquium


HIS202Practicing World History


HIS 200: year 1, fall quarter

HIS 201: year 2, winter quarter

HIS 202: year 1, spring quarter

One research seminar during the first four quarters:

HIS204AHistory of Gender Research Seminar


HIS204CColonialism, Nationalism and Race Research Seminar


HIS204ETransnationalism, Borderlands, and History


Three Promseminars of 2 credits each including:

HIS280AHistory Graduate Proseminar: Teaching Pedagogy


HIS280BHistory Graduate Proseminar: Research Presentations and Grant Writing


HIS280CHistory Graduate Proseminar: Job Market


HIS 280A: year 1

HIS 280B: year 1

HIS 280C: year 2

Six area of concentration electives of 5 credits each, two of which may be taken outside the History Department.

Courses taken must be graduate seminars, upper-division undergraduate courses, and independent study courses (maximum of two).

Reading seminars in the area of specialization:

HIS210AReadings in U.S. History


HIS210BReadings in U.S. History


HIS251AReadings in Modern European History: Environment and Technology


HIS251BReadings in Modern European History: Empire


East Asia:
HIS230AReadings in Late Imperial China


HIS230BEngendering China


HIS230CReadings in 20th-Century China


HIS242Readings in Modern Japan


HIS243Transnational Japan


HIS244Gender and Japanese History


Further details about the graduate program are available from the Department of History website.

Applying for Graduation

The final essay (hard copy and pdf copy) must be submitted to the graduate program coordinator by the spring quarter deadline. A completed Application for the Master's Degree must be filed with the graduate coordinator with the submission of your final essay.

Essay Review and Evaluation 

The Graduate Committee evaluates the master’s essays and makes recommendations to the graduate director on the awarding of the M.A. degree. Applicants are notified of the committee's decision in June.