May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

History [M.A.]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid

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

Students pursuing an M.A. in History may enroll in either the Standard or the Thesis Program. Program faculty designed the Standard Program for teachers and those seeking government or private sector work and the Thesis Program for those aspiring to apply to a Ph.D. program.

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) 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. Conditional admission may be available to applicants not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school 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.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application. 

Domestic Applicants Domestic applicants are required to submit only the transcript from the institution granting their bachelor’s degree if either of the following criteria is met: 1) Lists 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR 2) Lists 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99. Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at as they may differ from general program requirements.

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

Department Information

History & Philosophy 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018

Peter Higgins, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

John McCurdy, PhD, Graduate Coordinator, 701H Pray-Harrold, 734.487.0906

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 graduate-level course work. All students must complete six hours of Required Courses.

Required Courses: 6 hours

Standard or Thesis Program: 24 hours

In addition to the Required Courses, students will complete coursework in either the Standard Program or Thesis Program.

All students start in the Standard Program. To enter the Thesis Program, a student must complete 15 hours in graduate coursework in History, have a 3.5 GPA, and submit a Thesis Prospectus.

Standard Program: 24 hours

Students will complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate coursework, including a minimum of three courses in two of the following three areas (see graduate advisor for a list of appropriate courses).

Area A - United States and Canada
Area B - Europe
Area C - Africa, Asia, Latin America

A student may select any additional “HIST” graduate courses to satisfy the remaining credit hours.

With advisor approval, a student may apply a maximum of 6 credit hours of cognate coursework toward this requirement.

Thesis Program: 24 hours

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate coursework, as follows.

  • Thesis Coursework: 6 hours

    Select six hours from the following.

  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Restricted Elective Courses: 18 hours

    Students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of history (HIST) coursework, including a minimum of three courses in two of the following three areas (see graduate advisor for a list of appropriate courses)

    Area A - United States and Canada
    Area B - Europe
    Area C - Africa, Asia, Latin America

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.