College of Arts and Letters2012-2013

Department of History

History, Master of Arts

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Extended Coursework - Emphasis (beginning Fall 2013) (ending Summer 2014)
  • Research - Emphasis (beginning Fall 2013) (ending Summer 2014)
  • Public History - Emphasis (beginning Fall 2013) (ending Summer 2014)

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.


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.



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.
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.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 30 units:
    • HIS 600, preferably in the first semester (3 units)
    • Primary field coursework (12 units):
      • In a major geographic field, such as: United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, or the Middle East; or
      • In a thematic exploration, such as: Colonialism and Nationalism; Culture, Power, and Ideology; Environment and Economy; Gender, Race, and Class.
    • Secondary field (9 units):
      • If the Primary field is geographic, then the Secondary field must be thematic, or vice versa. Up to 6 units of the secondary field may be from a cognate area.
  • The Master of Arts in History is available in two forms: Research or Extended Coursework (Select One):
    • Research
      • One research seminar, with an earned grade of "A" before enrolling in HIS 699 (3 units)
      • HIS 699, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis (9 units)
      • Electives should be chosen in consultation with your advisor.
      • Depending on your research interest, your committee may require you to demonstrate competence in a foreign language before you register for thesis units. 
    • Extended Coursework
      • Third field which may be geographic, thematic, or include courses from a cognate field. (6 units)
      • Electives as needed chosen in consultation with your program committee chair.
      • Under this plan, in lieu of a thesis, the student 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.

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

Campus Availability

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