master of arts in history


The master's degree in history will equip students to pursue a doctorate in history; to teach at the public school or college level; or to engage in historic preservation, public history, records management, or other related careers. Students who successfully complete the master's degree in history will have acquired an advanced knowledge of historiography, substantial experience with interpreting primary documents, knowledge of the research and writing process as used by historians, and an ability to communicate historical information and ideas effectively.

Admission to the program requires six hours of undergraduate history in any area. Students who lack six undergraduate history hours will be required to take those hours before beginning graduate study.

The 37-hour degree provides maximum flexibility, with many choices of course topics to total 27 hours and two additional specifically mandated courses: historical methods (online only) and a one-hour comprehensive exam at the culmination of the program. Students may choose to complete a thesis or take two additional courses to total 37 hours for the degree.

Students may choose from a variety of topics courses in American, European, and world history, including regional, environmental, science and technology, warfare and culture, and gender and ethnic minority history. The program also offers participants choices from Baptist, church and biblical history courses through the School of Religion and Philosophy.

The flexibility of the MA in history extends to the format, with students choosing traditional, face-to-face classes on the Plainview campus, OR a completely online delivery format, OR a combination of the two. Both face-to-face and online courses will be offered in four 11-week terms each year, following the Virtual Campus calendar. The face-to-face classes will meet on Friday nights and all day Saturday on four weekends spread across the 11 weeks.

Admission Requirements (in addition to those listed for all graduate students): Students must have six hours of undergraduate history prior to beginning graduate study.

Course Requirements: 37 hours, including a three-hour core course in historical methods, 27 hours of graduate-level history courses, a one-hour comprehensive exam, and either a thesis or six additional hours of coursework.

See Course Descriptions


• Students who plan to pursue a doctorate should be aware that doctoral programs require competency in two foreign languages. Such students should take the thesis route in the Masters to prepare them for writing a doctoral dissertation.

• Students must take the comprehensive exam (HIST 5100) during the last semester of their program and score a minimum of 80 on it in order to earn the degree. This course may be taken along with one other course, as long as that course is not historical methods.

• Students may take any “studies in” course more than once for credit if the topic is different each time.

• Students should take HIST 5301 (historical methods) as early in their program as possible.