College of Arts and Letters2012-2013

Department of History

History - Research, Master of Arts

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2013

This advanced program of study offers students a thesis-based 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 - Research?

The unique strength of the Graduate Program in History at Northern Arizona University lies in its emphasis on exploring the interaction of global forces and local processes. Our regional location gives us our core strength in the study of Native American and Latino history, with a focus on the American West, the Southwest, and US-Mexico Borderlands.

At the same time, the strong theoretical orientation of our program requires our students to be much more than only area specialists, and provides them with a sound introduction to cutting-edge theoretical and historiographical approaches to the study of the subject. With faculty strength in a range of geographical areas including historians of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, as well as other areas of the United States, our graduate program requires students to combine their area interests with the study of one or more thematic fields which necessarily pushes them to think of their local studies in a broader, often global, context.

Based on the current strengths of the graduate faculty, these fields include (though are not limited to) Environment and Economy; Gender, Race, and Class; Colonialism and Nationalism; and Power, Culture, and Ideology. Currently we offer both MA (with thesis and non-thesis options) and Ph.D. degree programs in all of the above areas.

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 is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Foreign Language A foreign language may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research is required.


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.
  • 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.

  • 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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