History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

MA in History

The History MA is at the forefront of both traditional historical study and innovative digital approaches to the past. Students select from a variety of course topics while also selecting an area of historical specialization that accommodates their interests and furthers their career objectives. Students come to the program with diverse career objectives, and the program is designed with that diversity in mind. Students take classes in which they discuss history alongside future academics, public historians, teachers, military officers, non-profit professionals, government officials, and entrepreneurs. 

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30 or 36

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must complete the requirements for one of the concentrations below. The concentrations in higher education and teaching require 36 credits, all others require 30 credits.

Concentrations
  • Concentration in Predoctoral History (AH1, EH1, WH1)
  • Concentration in Applied History (AH2, EH2, WH2)
  • Concentration in Applied History with New Media and Information Technology Emphasis (AH4, EH4, WH4)
  • Concentration in Enrichment (AH3, EH3, WH3)
  • Concentration in Higher Education (HEDU)
  • Concentration in Teaching (HS4)

Concentration in Predoctoral History (AH1, EH1, WH1)

This concentration is for students planning to pursue doctoral studies. Students choose one of three geographic specializations and a chronological or thematic minor field within that specialization. Students complete coursework and a research seminar in their geographic specialization and an additional independent project or thesis in their minor field.

Required Course

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 1 3
Total Credits 3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits

Specialization

Students complete one of the following geographic specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History 
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group 

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group. 

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions. 

Research Seminar in a Geographic Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following: 3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits 3

Minor Field Concentration

In consultation with the graduate director and other faculty, students identify a chronological or topical subspecialty and select two courses that relate directly to that subspecialty. 6
Total Credits 6

Language Proficiency

Language proficiency sufficient to conduct primary source research in the student's intended area of concentration, as demonstrated by thesis or independent research project.

Project or Thesis

Select 6 credits of Project or Thesis 6
Project and additional Elective
Directed Research and Writing in History 1
Additional 3 credits from Specialization
Thesis
Thesis
Total Credits 6
1

 requires the completion of a major paper that is a substantial and original contribution to historical knowledge on the model of an article in a scholarly journal. If students choose to take , they complete an additional 3 credits in their specialization. 

Concentration in Applied History (AH2, EH2, WH2)

This concentration is for students seeking expertise in applied history fields, such as archival management, museum studies, historic preservation, and historical editing. It is also suitable for professionally employed historians who desire to further their careers.

Required Course

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 1 3
Total Credits 3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits

Specialization

Students complete one of the following geographic specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History 
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions.

Research Seminar in a Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following: 3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits 3

Applied History

These include courses in historic preservation, museum studies, archives, historical editing, or new media and information technology.

Select two to three courses from the following: 6-9
Introduction to Digital Humanities
Topics in Applied History
Topics in History and New Media
Teaching and Learning History in the Digital Age
The Administration of Archives and Manuscripts
Museum Studies
Historical Editing
Historic Preservation
Digital Public History
History Symposium
Clio Wired: An Introduction to History and New Media
Creating History in New Media
Programming in History and New Media
Other appropriate course with department approval
Total Credits 6-9

Internship

If students chose to do a 3-credit internship, they will take an additional 3 credits in applied history course work from the list of courses above (HIST 680 - HIST 698).

HIST 794 Internship in Applied History 3-6
Total Credits 3-6

Proficiency in a Relevant Research Tool

Demonstrated by course work or exam in computers, statistics, or a modern foreign language

Concentration in Applied History with New Media and Information Technology Emphasis (AH4, EH4, WH4)

Students pursuing this concentration take:

Required Course

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 1 3
Total Credits 3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits

Specialization

Students complete one of the following geographic specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History 
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions.

Research Seminar in a Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following: 3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits 3

New Media and Information Technology

Select two courses in new media and information technology 1 6
Total Credits 6
1

Students should consult the department for relevant courses.  

Internship in Information Technology

If students chose to do a 3-credit internship, they will take an additional 3 credits in applied history course work from courses numbered HIST 680 - HIST 698.

HIST 794 Internship in Applied History 3-6
Total Credits 3-6

Proficiency in a Relevant Research Tool

Demonstrated by course work or exam in computer science, statistics, information technology, or a modern foreign language

Concentration in Enrichment (AH3, EH3, WH3)

This concentration is for students who want to study history for intellectual self-fulfillment or vocational reasons. It allows more flexibility in the selection of courses and does not have a foreign language requirement.

Required Course

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 1 3
Total Credits 3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits.

Specialization

Students complete one of the following specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 1 12
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions.

Research Seminar in a Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following: 3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits 3

Course in a Field Outside of Geographic Specialization

Select one course from U.S., European, or world history (listed above) that is not in their chosen specialization. 3
Total Credits 3

Elective Courses

Students can choose to pursue a Thesis in lieu of two electives 9
Select three elective courses
Thesis
Thesis
Select one elective course
Total Credits 9

Concentration in Higher Education (HEDU)

The concentration in higher education is intended for  students who want to teach history at community college. It includes coursework in both history and education, including a course on college teaching. Students are required to take at least one history course in each of three areas (U.S., European, and world history), and they are encouraged to take two courses in each area to prepare them to teach the U.S., western civilization, and world history survey courses most commonly offered at the community college level.

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 1 3
Total Credits 3
1

 Must be taken with the first 9 credits.

Additional Courses in History

Select six courses in history 1 18
Total Credits 18
1

Must include at least one course each from U.S. European, and world history.

Research Seminar

Select one course from the following: 3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits 3

Graduate Education

Select four courses from the following: 12
College Teaching
Practicum
Six credits of HE electives
Total Credits 12

Concentration in Teaching (HS4)

This concentration offers students interested in a career in secondary education the option to devote part of their History MA to graduate cousrework that can be applied toward the requirements for licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students who have an interest in obtaining licensure to teach should meet with a pre-Education advisor in the College Of Education and Human Development at the beginning of their program to create a plan for completion of the required content-coursework prerequisites (Endorsements). You can view information here: https://cehd.gmu.edu/endorse/ or contact the Pre-Education Advising Coordinator at endorse@gmu.edu. Students seeking licensure must also enroll in the Secondary Education Licensure Graduate Certificate program (E1-CERG-SELC), a state-approved educator preparation program. Upon completion of the discipline-specific content competencies coursework; the MA in History, concentration in teaching; and the Secondary Education Licensure Graduate Certificate, students will be eligible for recommendation for an initial teaching license in Secondary Education History and Social Science.

Required Course

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 1 3
Total Credits 3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits. 

History

Select six courses in history, at least one course each from U.S., European, and world history 18
Total Credits 18

Research Seminar

Select one research seminar from the following: 3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits 3

College of Education and Human Development Graduate Courses

EDCI 567 Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary School 3
EDUC 522 Foundations of Secondary Education 3
EDRD 619 Literacy in Content Areas 3
EDUC 672 Human Development and Learning: Secondary Education 3
Total Credits 12
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