College of Arts and Letters2018-2019

Department of History

History, Master of Arts

The history graduate program provides students with cutting-edge training in historical and historiographical knowledge and professional debates. Our curriculum emphasizes the inevitable connections between the local and the global through small seminars and close faculty guidance of student scholarship. Our strengths in the U.S. West and Borderlands are complemented by expertise in theoretical and thematic fields such as gender, environment, and race.
 

Careers

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

The History Master of Arts prepares students for careers in academia as well as the public and private sectors. Many of our students have continued for the PhD and now serve on university faculties across the country. Others have pursued careers as foundation or government historians.  Still others have used their degree to excel as public historians, including museum curators and cultural interpretation specialists at historic sites and parks.


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 36
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

Purpose Statement

The M.A. in History offers a close professor-student relationship and is designed to prepare students to pursue careers in academia as well as the public and private sectors. These may include preparation for doctoral or other post-graduate degrees, teaching, public history, and public service. Our program strengths in the U.S. West and Borderlands are complemented by expertise in theoretical and thematic fields such as gender, environment, and race.

Each student will select a primary and a secondary field for in-depth examination and analysis from the following fields:  

  • Transregional and World
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
  • Public History and Interpretation
  • Politics, Economy, and Culture
  • Indigeneity and Colonialism
  • Environment and Health
  • Borderlands and U.S. West

Students may select Public History and Interpretation as either a primary or a secondary field. Public History emphasizes the application of historical knowledge 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, historic sites, and government agencies, etc.

Student Learning Outcomes

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 is required 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 the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    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 15-18 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
      • Global/Comparative
      *You may take up to 12 units of primary field coursework if completing either the Extended Coursework or the Extended Coursework with Public History tracks. 

      Students must have an approved thesis prospectus or public history project prospectus by the end of their third semester or will be diverted to the Extended Coursework Track or the Extended Coursework with Public History Track.  

  • Select one of the following options (15-18 units):

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

    • Research Track (18 units)
      • HIS 603 (3 units)
      • HIS 699, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis (9 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 9 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.

    • Research Project with Public History Track (18 units)

      • HIS 502 (3 units)
      • HIS 603 (3 units)
      • HIS 608 or HIS 686 (3 units)
      • Public History secondary field elective chosen in consultation with your advisor (6 units)
      • HIS 689 Project or 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 (15-18 units)

      • HIS 597 (3 units)
      • Secondary field coursework (6-9 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.
      • Third field coursework or cognate (3-6 units)
    • You must pass 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.

    • Extended Coursework with Public History Track (15-18 units)

      • HIS 502 (3 units)
      • HIS 597 (3 units)
      • HIS 608 or HIS 686 (3 units)
      • Public History secondary field elective chosen in consultation with your advisor (3 units)
      • Third field coursework (3-6 units)
      You must have an approved portfolio and you must pass 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.

      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.
     

Campus Availability



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