Master of Arts in History


About Our Program   

Students applying for admission to the Master of Arts in History should have some background in history, though not necessarily a BA in the subject. 

Our program prepares students for a wide variety of professions, including teaching, government service, museum management, and historic preservation, as well as further degree work in history, law, librarianship and business. The department encourages applications from individuals of any age interested in resuming their education.


History students will

  • Identify people, events, and processes significant to their courses of study
  • examine similarities and differences across chronologies, geographies, and themes
  •  explain how past peoples understood their worlds and how those understandings shaped the ways they acted
  •  analyze the range of social, cultural, political, and economic possibilities available to people in particular contexts
  •  analyze why change occurs

2.1 Inquiry and Analysis – History students will

  • develop a creative, focused, and manageable question for historical research
  • synthesize evidence representing a variety of perspectives
  • explain the challenges of constructing historical narratives using incomplete and contradictory evidence  
  • formulate a thesis and conclusion substantiated by primary and secondary source analysis
  • critique alternative conclusions

2.2 Critical Thinking – History students will

  • identify and analyze the central issues, arguments, and points of view in primary and secondary sources
  • evaluate authors’ arguments and assess their evidence and conclusions
  • critique their own and others’ assumptions and the contexts in which they develop those assumptions
  • use the concept of historiography, in order to compare and contrast a variety of scholarly texts
  • analyze the ways the histories historians write are products of particular historical contexts

2.3 Written Communication – History students will  

  • establish the context, audience, and purpose of their written assignments
  • master the conventions of historical writing, including: clear paper organization (thesis, evidence, conclusion); logical paragraph organization; clear, direct, and engaging language; proper citation methods, using Chicago style
  • compose papers employing narrative, descriptive, and analytical writing to convey their historical knowledge and analytical skills  

2.4 Information literacy – History students will

  • determine the types of sources that are relevant to a research question
  • locate and evaluate appropriate materials for historical research, using book catalogs (Skyline, Prospector, WorldCat), article databases (particularly America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts, and JSTOR), and interlibrary loan
  • demonstrate understanding of the ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of published and unpublished materials, including what constitutes plagiarism and how to cite sources

3.1 Intercultural knowledge and competence – History students will  

  • evaluate how their cultural biases inform their understandings of history  
  • evaluate the ways that historians of different cultural perspectives produce different histories
  • interpret historical evidence with consideration to historical actors’ various cultural perspectives

3.2 Ethical reasoning and action – History students will  

  • analyze the ethical issues embedded in historical events and processes
  • evaluate different ethical choices present in historical decision-making
  • evaluate the ethical assumptions of the texts they read

History students will

  • demonstrate connections between different courses and readings
  • synthesize academic experiences with their experiences outside the classroom
  • seek out applications of their historical knowledge and skills beyond the classroom

Plans of Study

Guidelines for all graduate programs can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook

The Master of Arts in History requires 36 semester hours (12 courses + Comprehensive Exam).

Thesis  No Thesis 

Public History with a Thesis  Public History with a Project

Curriculum Development

Concentrations and Research Focuses

Select your major and minor fields from two of the following three groups. You may choose a major field in any of the following three groups.  Then, your minor field must concentrate on one of the other two groups.  Example: Major in Latin American History, with a minor in Cultural History.

  • East Asia
  • Latin America
    • Mexico
    • South America
  • Middle East
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • Britain
  • The Mediterranean
  • United States
    • Colonial
    • Early Republic
    • Nineteenth Century U.S.
    • The West
    • Twentieth Century US Foreign Policy
    • Colorado
  • Global (See also thematic fields)
    • Atlantic World
  • Pacific World
  • ​Colonialism and Imperialism 
  • Cultural History
  • Social History
  • Foreign Policy
  • Economic and Business History
  • Environmental History
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Citizenship and National Identity
  • War, Revolution, and Genocide
  • Globalization
  • Urban History
  • Frontiers and Borderlands
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Science, Medicine, and Society
  • Intellectual History
  • Material Culture
  • Migration and Immigration
  • Policing and Legal History
  • Indigenous Histories
  • Note: Majors in Public History must follow the Plan of Study for Public History.

    • Memory and Community
    • Museum Studies
    • Historic Preservation

    Application Deadlines and Requirements

    Quick Links for MA Students