Master of Arts in History
Degree Awarded: MA
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/history/
The Master of Arts program in History provides advanced training in historical theory, investigation, and writing. Among other things, it prepares students for further graduate studies in history, employment in educational institutions or in public history, and careers in law and government.
The varied specialties of our faculty, combined with the structure of the program, allow our students to acquire a worldwide vision of history. All students must focus their studies on one major and one minor field listed below.
Normally, applicants to the MA program in History must have:
- a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale (a GPA based on a 3.0 scale will be converted to a 4.0 scale)
- 21 undergraduate credit hours in history, with a minimum GPA of 3.0
- a combined score of at least 300 on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE)
Students with an undergraduate GPA of between 2.5 and 2.99 may be accepted conditionally into the program at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, provided they meet all other requirements for admission. Conditional admittance requires that the student maintain a GPA of 3.0 in the first nine (9) credit hours of graduate coursework.
Students with a combined GRE (verbal and quantitative) score of less than 300 may be accepted conditionally into the program at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, provided they meet all other requirements for admission. Conditional admittance requires that the student maintain a GPA of 3.0 in the first nine (9) credit hours of graduate coursework.
Students with fewer than 21 undergraduate credit hours in history will be required to take additional, non-degree graduate history courses to bring their total hours in history up to the required number.
At the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, non-degree students may be admitted to pursue graduate coursework.
Program Admission Procedures
Applicants must submit the following materials to the University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies Office of Graduate Admissions:
- a completed graduate application; $60.00 fee (available online at http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply)
- official transcripts, verifying the receipt of a BA from an accredited institution
- scores from the Graduate Records Examination
- at least two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities and potential
- a writing sample of no more than 15 double-spaced pages
- a statement of purpose, not to exceed 500 words, in reasonably specific terms, your academic and career objectives and how they can be advanced through graduate work in our program. The statement should also indicate your intended area(s) of interest, your preparation for this field of study, and, if possible, the departmental faculty with whom you wish to study.
Applications for Fall semester: February 15 *
Applications for Spring semester: December 01
* February 15 is the deadline for all students who want to be considered for available fellowships, assistantships, and internships (see below under III.). Students who do not intend to apply for these funding sources may submit their applications until May 15.
For a list of the graduate assistantships, scholarships, fellowships and internships, see http://louisville.edu/history/graduate-studies/funding Applications for these awards are normally due on February 15.
All graduate students are required to take History 605: Research Methods and Materials,offered every Fall semester. Students are strongly encouraged to take History 605 in their first Fall semester of enrollment.
Students with a Major Field in Public History also have to take HIST 697: Introduction to Public History and HIST 608: Practicum
Graduate students in this Department normally take nine (9) credit hours of coursework per semester (three courses). With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, a student may take up to 12 credit hours (four courses) in a semester. During a student’s graduate program, a total of six (6) credit hours of coursework may be taken outside the Department of History, provided it is directly relevant to the student's academic program and has been approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Except with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, no more than six (6) credit hours of directed studies or independent studies (HIST 601, 602) may be applied to an MA in History. No pass-fail courses may be applied to an MA.
If a student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, he or she is subject to academic probation, and may be dismissed from the MA program. A non-degree student who fails to maintain an average of 2.0 will not be allowed to continue taking graduate courses.
For MA-level work in certain areas, knowledge of foreign languages or knowledge of other specialized research tools may be required.
Students will be allowed to transfer up to 6 credit hours of appropriate coursework from outside the University. Up to 9 credit hours of non-degree graduate coursework in History may be transferred into the MA program.
In consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, each candidate for the MA in History will select areas of major and secondary emphasis. The program of study must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, normally before the student enrolls for the second semester of work. The areas of emphasis are:
- United States
- Public History
- Comparative World (regional or comparative study of a region outside of the United States or Europe, to be designed in consultation with Graduate Director and student’s advisor.)
- Ancient and Medieval World
- Latin America
- Middle East
- Military History
- Public History
- Religion & Culture
- United States
- Women’s and Gender History
Students may choose to complete the MA by thesis or exam.
Completion of 27 credit hours of course work (including HIST 605 and, if applicable, HIST 697 and HIST 608) and 3 credit hours of thesis work (HIST 603). 15-18 hours of coursework must be in the major area of emphasis, and 6-9 hours in the secondary area; 6 hours may be electives. At least 12 hours of coursework must at the 600 level, with at least nine of these hours in the major area of emphasis. The thesis must be in the major area of emphasis. Following an oral defense, it must be approved by a thesis committee, which consists of the thesis director and at least two other faculty members, one of them from another department. The committee requires approval by the Department Chair and the Academic Unit.
Completion of 30 credit hours of course work (including HIST 605 and, if applicable, HIST 697 and HIST 608) and 3 credit hours of exam preparation (HIST 603). The exam consists of two written examinations and an oral examination. 18-21 hours of coursework must be in the major area of emphasis, and 9-12 in the secondary area; 6 hours may be electives. At least 18 hours of coursework must be at the 600 level, with at least 15 of these hours in the major area of emphasis. One examination will be in the major area of emphasis, and one in the minor area. A committee will evaluate the written and oral examinations on their content and the relevant areas of history. The committee will consist of three faculty members, normally the two faculty members who administer the examinations and a third faculty member who may be in the Department of History. The committee requires approval by the Department Chair and the Academic Unit.
This program allows a history major to use a maximum of six (6) credit hours of graduate course work towards both a BA and an MA. After completing the undergraduate program and receiving a BA, the student will enter the graduate program and complete the remaining requirements for an MA.
To be considered for admission to the accelerated program, students must:
- have a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.35 in history
- complete an application for admission to the graduate program (including Graduate Record Examination scores (GRE) and two recommendations) no later than the end of the junior year (application details are described below)
In addition, students must retain a GPA of 3.35 in history (have a B+ in graduate history courses) during their senior year to remain in the program.
In general, students will work with Associate or Full Professors as their academic advisors. To work with an Assistant Professor, students will have to receive approval from the faculty member and the Director of Graduate Studies.
Director of Graduate Studies