Oct 03, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

History [M.A.]

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Students in the Master of Arts in History program learn to explore, analyze, and assess the past. The program emphasizes historical research and writing, enabling students to engage with archival and digital sources to create their own scholarly works. It also teaches historical methodology and historiography, allowing students to participate in the scholarly community. The program offers global coverage, inviting students to understand diverse cultures and peoples, and it offers a broad range of topical focuses from war and society to race and gender. Successful graduates of the program are prepared for entrance to doctoral programs, or employment at public history institutions, community colleges, and in a variety of other fields.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Complete at least 20 hours of undergraduate coursework in History.
  • Complete a personal statement of no more than 500 words describing your interest in studying History at EMU, and how the MA in History will enable you to attain your career and/or educational goals.

Department Information

History & Philosophy | ​Peter Higgins, Ph.D., Department Head | 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018, phiggin1@emich.edu

Advisor Information

Ronald Delph, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator, 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018, rdelph@emich.edu

New students should arrange an early conference with the graduate advisor to plan their programs in detail.

Degree Requirements: 30 hours

The Master of Arts in History program requires successful completion of at least 30 hours of course work. Courses in history are divided into the following areas:

Area 1: United States
Area 2: Europe
Area 3: Other World Areas

Students pursuing the M.A. in History may enroll in one of the two following programs: the Standard Program or the Thesis Program. All students will initially apply to the Standard Program; those wishing to apply to the Thesis Program may do so after having completed 15-18 hours of graduate course work in history.

Standard Program

This program is appealing to teachers at the secondary level and to those who wish to pursue careers teaching at a community college. Graduates of this program can also find jobs in state and federal government or in publishing, or they may combine this degree with graduate work in library and information science, public history or historic preservation. This program calls for 30 hours of course work and a comprehensive examination in each of two areas of concentration. The scope, nature and method of examination are determined by each examiner in consultation with the student. Course requirements for the standard program are as follows:

  • Required Courses: 5 hours

  • 3 hrs
  • 2 hrs

    Restricted Elective Courses: 12-18 hours

    Three courses in each of two of the following three areas:

    Area 1: United States
    Area 2: Europe
    Area 3: Other World Areas


    Elective Courses in History: 1-13 hours

    One to 13 hours selected in consultation with the graduate advisor.


    Cognate Courses: 0-6 hours

    Zero to six hours selected in consultation with the graduate advisor.

Thesis Program

Designed for those intending to pursue doctoral studies in history, this program provides students with the opportunity to do extended scholarly research and writing on an historical problem in their chosen field. Students will apply for admission into the thesis track after having completed 15-20 hours of coursework in the standard M.A. program in History. To be admitted into this program, students need a GPA of 3.5 in their graduate coursework in History. Students will also submit a detailed prospectus describing the historical problem they intend to research, along with a review of the current state of scholarship in the field. The narrative will provide the thesis committee with an outline of the thesis, along with a projected timeline for the completion of the work. Neither the GRE nor a foreign language is required for admission into the thesis track of the M.A. in History program. However, students should consult with their thesis director on the advisability of gaining competency in a foreign language in preparation for engaging in advanced research on the doctoral level. Course requirements for the thesis program are as follows:

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