History - M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of History
305 Bowman Hall
Kent Campus


The Master of Arts degree in History offers students the opportunity for advanced study in a variety of areas. Coursework emphasizes interpretation, methodology and original research. Students who anticipate continuing their graduate study beyond the M.A. should pursue one of the thesis tracks; non-thesis options are available for those who do not expect to go on to doctoral work.

The History major comprises the following concentrations:

  • The History concentration history allows students the opportunity to conduct historical inquiry, research, and analysis at the highest level. While students will be able to develop a core competence in their chosen field of the study, our program requires that M.A. students also enroll in courses that detail the histories of regions and times far removed from one's central interests. Students may also pursue interdisciplinary work in cognate fields composed of courses in outside disciplines. Those who choose the thesis option, which is required of students on graduate assistantships, will produce an approximately 100 page M.A. thesis based on original primary source research that engages a research question with historiographical significance. Our Kent program aims to product educated scholar-citizens committed to historical empathy and in possession of critical thinking and communication skills honed by rigorous training--talents that help make our graduates successful whether they pursue a career in academia or the private and public sectors.
  • The History for Teachers concentration is for teachers interested in the advanced study of history. Coursework is focused on current scholarship and approaches to history. While the concentration's focus is not in history pedagogy, it is designed to encourage the application of current historical scholarship to the work responsibilities of the practicing teacher. The program provides school professionals with a structured but flexible approach to analyzing and teaching history while permitting interdisciplinary work in related fields or areas particularly relevant to students' professional objectives.
  • The Public History concentration prepares students for work in museums, historical societies, business and wherever the expertise of a professional historian is needed. The interdisciplinary program includes at least one internship.


  • Kent Campus

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s)
  • GRE scores
  • Statement of purpose describing professional objectives and proposed field of study
  • Significant piece of written work
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably academic)

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning a minimum 550 TOEFL score (79 on the Internet-based version), minimum 77 MELAB score, minimum 6.5 IELTS score or minimum 58 PTE Academic score. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission websiteEffective spring 2018.

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Analyze primary sources (texts, artifacts, images); locate, assess and analyze primary sources and incorporate those sources into original historical research projects with a high level of proficiency.
  2. Conceptualize, research and write book reviews, annotated bibliographical essays, historiographical essays and research papers.
  3. Dissect secondary sources in a variety of areas of historical specialization, and participate actively and positively in class discussions of those sources. They will be able to
  4. Understand that interpretation is one of the foundations of graduate-level study in the discipline, and offer their own interpretations of work both orally and in writing.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
History (HIST) Graduate-Level Electives 112
Choose from the following:15
Minimum Total Credit Hours:30

Electives must include three seminars/colloquia and coursework in each of the following areas: European history, American history and global history (non-Western).

Graduation Requirements

Course grades help to measure student performance. Only work of B grade or better is considered "passing" at the graduate level. Any students whose grades are deficient are dismissed. The culmination of the program's writing component for those students intending to go on to doctoral work is the completion of a substantial thesis based on original primary-source research and the oral defense of that thesis.

Additional Requirements for Students Not Declaring a Concentration


Additional Requirements
or Non-Thesis Option 2
Electives 39
Minimum Total Credit Hours:15

Students selecting the thesis option must demonstrate a reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages if their advisers determine that it is necessary for research.


Non-thesis options includes individual investigation, research courses and/or additional history courses and courses from other disciplines, as approved by faculty advisor. 


Electives are to be approved by faculty advisor, and may include courses from other disciplines, if appropriate.

History for Teachers Concentration Requirements


Electives 19
Minimum Total Credit Hours:15

Electives are to be approved by faculty advisor and may include courses from other disciplines, if appropriate. Maximum 3 credit hours of pre-approved workshops for teachers.

Public History Concentration Requirements


Concentration Requirements
Minimum Total Credit Hours:15

Students selecting the thesis option must demonstrate a reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages if their advisers determine that it is necessary for research.