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Master's Degree


George Santayana wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." History provides knowledge for unlocking all other realms of human development. The study of history provides a solid foundation not only for history and social studies education majors, but for careers in law, business, government, international relations, journalism, library services and museums, to name but a few.

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    Graduate History Program

    Link to University Graduate Studies page

    Application Procedures

    Master of Arts

    Notice:  The M.A. program is currently being revised to be more flexible and useful to our students.  The description below is of the new, revived program, which is pending.

    The M.A. program in History is designed to prepare students for pursuits requiring advanced historical training. Students who are interested in teaching careers, working in museums and archives or other public history careers, positions in government, in preparation for doctoral programs, and in participation in professional internships such as library, museum, or archival work, can design a program to suit their needs. Our M.A. program is flexible, friendly to working professionals with most courses in the evening, and offers support in the form of teaching assistantships for many second-year students.

    Applicants for the M.A. program in History should submit an application to EWU Graduate Studies (see Application Procedures link above) and:

    (1) An official transcript from an accredited college or university which has awarded the student a baccalaureate degree. At least a 3.00 (B) average is normally expected, although most applicants have a higher GPA. Applicants are expected to have a background in history or a related field;

    (2) A substantial writing sample reflecting serious academic effort. The topic need not be historical, but should show strong writing ability. A good essay from the student's undergraduate work is quite acceptable;

    (3) A one-page personal statement on career plans and interest in pursuing graduate studies in history;

    (4) Letters of recommendation from two individuals familiar with the applicant's academic work or other experience relevant to historical training. GRE test scores are not required from an applicant, but the graduate director may request them under certain conditions.

    Deadlines for admission to the M.A. program in History:

    Fall Quarter (April 1); Winter Quarter (November 15) and Spring Quarter (February 15). No summer admissions are possible, but late-applying students may do coursework as a post-bac student, earning credits that can be applied to the M.A upon admission to the program.

    Program Requirements: After Admission to the graduate program, candidates will complete at least forty-five (45) credits of course work. The MA program includes three tracks:

    1) the General MA track requires 45 credits of coursework and comprehensive examinations in two historical fields. Example of historical fields include but are not limited to the Ancient World, Modern America, Latin America, and Asia; 

    2) the Public History MA track requires 45 credits including an internship, and a portfolio of professional work that includes at least one significant public history project. Examples of Public History projects include but are not limited to an archival processing project, development of a historical walking tour, writing a historic preservation plan, or creating a digital history project such as a smartphone app or website;

    3) the Research track requires 45 credits and a research project or thesis. A thesis is an extended paper, typically 80-120 pages in length, based on primary-source research and making a unique contribution to historical understanding.

    The student's program and choice of courses must be approved by the department program advisor. All candidates must take the master's oral examination, to be completed during the student's final quarter of graduate study. All courses included in the student's graduate program must be completed with a grade of 3.0 or higher.

    All graduate students shall acquire historiographic background by completing History 501, Introduction to Historical Studies and four (4) reading courses. Note: History 590, History 599, History 600, History 601 and History 694 are not readings courses. Students are also required to complete two (2) research seminars.

    History 550, Graduate Research Seminar and History 598, Graduate Writing Seminar. Note that History 550 is a prerequisite for History 598. History 550 and History 598 must be completed before a student can be advanced to candidacy. Only students who are passed to candidacy can take History 600 or History 601. Further specialization for the master's degree includes preparation of one of the following: 1) two fields (normally selected from two of the readings courses) plus an additional ten credits of History 599, Independent Study/Reading or other approved course work, or 2) a Thesis, or Research Report. Special professional internship programs in library, museum, and archival work are available. These must be arranged with the department and have graduate committee approval. Public History students are required to fulfill all of the requirements of the M.A. described above.

    A research report may be substituted for the thesis requirement. Students interested in the public history field should contact the graduate program advisor as early as possible. Finally, all students who receive a grade below 3.0 more than once will be dropped from the History M.A. program.

    What will I study?

    Degree Requirements

    Common Requirements and Credit Hours

    Required Core

    HIST 501 Introduction to Historical Studies (5)
    Four (4) Graduate Readings Courses (20)
    Two (2) Research Seminars (10)

    Further Specialization
    Preparation of two fields or HIST 600 Thesis or HIST 601 Research Project electives

    Total required core credits 35 credits
    Minimum total required further specialization credits 5 - 15 credits
    Minimum Total elective credits 5 - 20 credits
    Minimum total credits for above Master's Degree 45 credits

    Graduate History Courses

    Public History Concentration

    Contact Information

    Joseph Lenti, Graduate Director
    Patterson Hall 111-G
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.7951

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