College of Arts and Letters2014-2015

Department of History

History, Master of Arts

This advanced program of study offers students an extended coursework approach to the Master’s degree. Students are encouraged to build local, regional, and global perspectives into their thematic and geographical explorations. This means they become familiar with lenses that allow them to zoom out from a micro-focus to see the ripples and implications in the greater scope—yet also search from the macro perspective to the more localized to understand root causes and consequences.

Careers

What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in History?

Undergraduates learn history is more than names and dates. In our graduate program, we will deepen your understanding even further. If you’ve ever wondered about the fate of the Anasazi or the history of Mexican-American relations, our History MA might just satisfy your curiosity. We will help you clarify your understanding of human behavior—past, present, and future. You will also explore the interaction of global forces and local processes.

Learn to think critically, develop research skills, and communicate more effectively. Our regional location will give you opportunities to learn about the area in-depth: Native American and Latino history with a focus on the American West, the Southwest, and US-Mexico Borderlands are our specialties. At the same time, you will become much more than only area specialist; our program’s broad theoretical orientation will provide you with a sound introduction to cutting-edge theoretical and historiographical approaches to the study of the subject.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Museum curator
  • Foundation historian
  • Information specialist
  • Community college instructor


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Foreign Language A foreign language may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Student Learning Outcomes

Purpose of the History M.A.
 
The M.A. in History offers a close professor-student relationship and is designed to prepare students to pursue a variety of academic, career, and personal interests. These may include preparation for doctoral or other post-graduate degrees, teaching, public history, and public service. While maintaining a strength in the American West and the U.S.-Mexico Border, the M.A. in History encourages students to approach the study of history from a global and comparative context. There are four options: research thesis; research project with public history; extended coursework; and extended coursework with public history. 
 
Each student will select a primary and a secondary field for in-depth examination and analysis from the following concentrations: Colonialism & Nationalism; Environment & Health; Gender & Sexuality; Global & Comparative History; Race, Class & Ethnicity; Indigenous Peoples & Native Americans; Asia; Europe; Latin America; United States; North American Borderlands & the West. 
 
In addition, students may select Public History as their secondary field, which refers to the application of history to real-world issues, typically making a historical topic accessible to a non-academic public.  This track prepares students for professional positions in archives, museums, humanities councils, and governmental agencies, etc.
 
History M.A.
All students graduating with the M.A. will: 

  • Elucidate key principles, theories, techniques, sources, and methods of the historical discipline and in the student’s primary and secondary fields.
  •  Explain the key principles, theories and methods of World and/or comparative history, and analyze historical processes and events and their interrelation, including debates and historiographies.
  • Develop their historical research and writing skills through analysis and interpretation of primary and secondary source materials.
    • Retrieve and analyze archival materials, historical documents and historiographical contributions and debates from various periods, interpreting and contextualizing them within their cultural, social, political, environmental, etc. contexts.
    • Demonstrate a superior quality of writing both in terms of mechanics and in developing an argument effectively. 
  • Synthesize and evaluate the pertinent arguments and debates among historians in their chosen primary and secondary fields.
Students pursuing the Research Option or Research with Public History Option will also:
  • Create an original, sustained, coherent argument based on primary and secondary sources in the form of a thesis or project that demonstrates mastery of their fields and research.
  • Articulate the key principles, theories, methodologies and issues of their topic through an oral defense of their thesis or project. 
Students pursuing the Extended Coursework Option or Extended Course work with Public History Option) will also:
  • Demonstrate a deeper mastery of the pertinent historical and historiographical arguments and debates in their chosen primary and secondary fields through written and oral exams.  
Students pursuing Public History as their secondary field will also:
  • Understand and evaluate the methods of gathering, preserving, and disseminating historical knowledge in public settings and then demonstrate their mastery of these approaches through individual and/or collaborative projects.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the historiography of public history, the methods of reflective practice in public history, and the ethics and enduring issues associated with the practice of public history Master current methods and skills in historical documentation and interpretation to make history accessible and useful to the public
    • Produce, to professional standards, a portfolio highlighting the student’s work in their public history coursework and internship.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application required (www.nau.edu/graduateapply) for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit http://nau.edu/GradCol/Admissions/Graduate-Admissions-Policy/ .
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements: http://nau.edu/GradCol/Admissions/International/.


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Writing sample
    • Personal statement or essay
Master's Requirements
  • This degree consists of 18-21 units of core and 9-12 units of track requirements.

  • Take the following 18 - 21 units of core requirements:
     

    • HIS 550 or HIS 560 (3 units)
    • HIS 600, preferably in the first semester (3 units)
    • HIS 602, with a grade of 'B" or better (3 units)
    • Primary field coursework, select one from the following (9-12* units):
      • Colonialism and Nationalism
      • Environment and Health
      • Gender and Sexuality
      • Race, Class, and Ethnicity
      • Indigenous Peoples/Native Americans
      • Asia
      • Europe
      • Latin America
      • United States
      • North American Borderlands/West
      *You must complete 12 units of primary field coursework if completing either the Extended Coursework or Public History emphasis. 

  • Select one of the following options (9-12 units):

    • Research, Public History Research, Extended Coursework, or Public History (Select One):

    • Research Track (12 units)
      • HIS 699, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis (6 units)
      • You must complete HIS 602, with a grade of "B" or better, before enrolling in HIS 699. Be aware that you may end up taking more than the 6 units you can count toward your degree because you must enroll each semester while you work on your thesis.
      • Secondary field coursework (6 units)
        • In consultation with your advisor, choose a field from the list above, different from the one used to satisfy your primary field coursework requirement.
    • Depending on your research interest, your committee may require you to demonstrate competence in a foreign language before you register for thesis units. 
       

    • Public History Research Track (12 units)

      • HIS 502 (3 units)
      • HIS 608 (3 units)
      • Public History secondary field elective chosen in consultation with your advisor (3 units)
      • HIS 699, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis containing a public history component (3 units)

      You must complete HIS 602 with a grade of "B" or better, before enrolling in HIS 699. Be aware that you may end up taking more than the 3 units you can count toward your degree because you must enroll each semester while you work on your thesis.
       

    • Extended Coursework Track (9 units)

      • Secondary field coursework
        • In consultation with your advisor, choose a field from the list above, different from the one used to satisfy your primary field coursework requirement.
    • You must take a comprehensive final examination covering the courses taken. The comprehensive exam will have written and oral components, and will be structured by the program committee.
       

    • Public History Track (9 units)

      • HIS 502 (3 units)
      • HIS 608 (3 units)
      • Public History secondary field elective chosen in consultation with your advisor (3 units)
      You must take a comprehensive final examination covering the courses taken. The comprehensive exam will have written and oral components, and will be structured by the program committee.

      You must complete a portfolio on the public history secondary field courses taken.

      Electives, as needed, should be chosen in consultation with your advisor, and may include up to 6 units of non-History graduate coursework, and up to 3 units of independent study.

       

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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