The History MA is at the forefront of both traditional historical study and innovative digital approaches to the past. Students select from a variety of course topics while also selecting an area of historical specialization that accommodates their interests and furthers their career objectives. Students come to the program with diverse career objectives, and the program is designed with that diversity in mind. Students take classes in which they discuss history alongside future academics, public historians, teachers, military officers, non-profit professionals, government officials, and entrepreneurs. 

Admissions

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For specific information, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental website.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see Graduate Policies.

Foundation Courses

Students may be required to take up to 12 additional credits of foundation courses, which cover broad thematic areas (HIST 601 Themes in U.S. History I, HIST 602 Themes in U.S. History II, HIST 605 Themes in European History I, HIST 606 Themes in European History II), to remedy gaps in their undergraduate preparation. If required as foundational, these credits cannot be applied toward the credits required for the degree.

If foundation courses are not required at admission, students in the concentrations in enrichment and teaching may apply up to one thematic course (3 credits) toward their degree. Students in the other concentrations may not apply these courses toward their degree.

Reduction of Credit

The program does not permit a reduction of credit based on a previously conferred graduate degree. Students may apply no more than 6 credits earned through study abroad courses toward their degree.

Banner Code: LA-MA-HIST

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30 or 36

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must complete the requirements for one of the concentrations below. The concentrations in higher education and teaching require 36 credits, all others require 30 credits.

Concentration in Predoctoral History (AH1, EH1, WH1)

This concentration is for students planning to pursue doctoral studies. Students choose one of three geographic specializations and a chronological or thematic minor field within that specialization. Students complete coursework and a research seminar in their geographic specialization and an additional independent project or thesis in their minor field.

Required Course

HIST 610The Study and Writing of History 13
Total Credits3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits

Specialization

Students complete one of the following geographic specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History 
Select four courses from the following: 112
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group 

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 112
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group. 

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 112
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions. 

Research Seminar in a Geographic Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following:3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits3

Minor Field Concentration

In consultation with the graduate director and other faculty, students identify a chronological or topical subspecialty and select two courses that relate directly to that subspecialty.6
Total Credits6

Language Proficiency

Language proficiency sufficient to conduct primary source research in the student's intended area of concentration, as demonstrated by thesis or independent research project.

Project or Thesis

Select 6 credits of Project or Thesis6
Project and additional Elective
Directed Research and Writing in History 1
Additional 3 credits from Specialization
Thesis
Thesis
Total Credits6
1

 requires the completion of a major paper that is a substantial and original contribution to historical knowledge on the model of an article in a scholarly journal. If students choose to take , they complete an additional 3 credits in their specialization. 

Concentration in Applied History (AH2, EH2, WH2)

This concentration is for students seeking expertise in applied history fields, such as archival management, museum studies, historic preservation, and historical editing. It is also suitable for professionally employed historians who desire to further their careers.

Required Course

HIST 610The Study and Writing of History 13
Total Credits3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits

Specialization

Students complete one of the following geographic specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History 
Select four courses from the following: 112
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 112
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 112
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions.

Research Seminar in a Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following:3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits3

Applied History

These include courses in historic preservation, museum studies, archives, historical editing, or new media and information technology.

Select two to three courses from the following:6-9
Introduction to Digital Humanities
Topics in Applied History
Topics in History and New Media
Teaching and Learning History in the Digital Age
The Administration of Archives and Manuscripts
Museum Studies
Historical Editing
Historic Preservation
Digital Public History
History Symposium
Clio Wired: An Introduction to History and New Media
Creating History in New Media
Programming in History and New Media
Other appropriate course with department approval
Total Credits6-9

Internship

If students chose to do a 3-credit internship, they will take an additional 3 credits in applied history course work from the list of courses above (HIST 680 - HIST 698).

HIST 794Internship in Applied History3-6
Total Credits3-6

Proficiency in a Relevant Research Tool

Demonstrated by course work or exam in computers, statistics, or a modern foreign language

Concentration in Applied History with New Media and Information Technology Emphasis (AH4, EH4, WH4)

Students pursuing this concentration take:

Required Course

HIST 610The Study and Writing of History 13
Total Credits3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits

Specialization

Students complete one of the following geographic specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History 
Select four courses from the following: 112
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 112
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 112
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions.

Research Seminar in a Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following:3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits3

New Media and Information Technology

Select two courses in new media and information technology 16
Total Credits6
1

Students should consult the department for relevant courses.  

Internship in Information Technology

If students chose to do a 3-credit internship, they will take an additional 3 credits in applied history course work from courses numbered HIST 680 - HIST 698.

HIST 794Internship in Applied History3-6
Total Credits3-6

Proficiency in a Relevant Research Tool

Demonstrated by course work or exam in computer science, statistics, information technology, or a modern foreign language

Concentration in Enrichment (AH3, EH3, WH3)

This concentration is for students who want to study history for intellectual self-fulfillment or vocational reasons. It allows more flexibility in the selection of courses and does not have a foreign language requirement.

Required Course

HIST 610The Study and Writing of History 13
Total Credits3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits.

Specialization

Students complete one of the following specializations. 

Specialization in U.S. History
Select four courses from the following: 112
Origins to 1861
The Colonial Origins of American Society
The Age of Jackson, 1815-1854
Development of the Early Republic, 1783-1815
Era of the American Revolution
Religion in North America to 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1861-1914
Topics in the American Civil War Era
U.S. South Since 1865
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Reconstruction
U.S. Religion since 1870
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 World War I to the Present
U.S. South Since 1865
Recent U.S. History, 1945 to Present
Interwar America: 1918-1939
U.S. Religion since 1870
The Vietnam War
Problems in American History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in European History
Select four courses from the following: 112
Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern to 1789
Humanism and the Renaissance
Religion and Society in the Reformation Era
Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1789-1914
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Society and Politics in Western Europe, 1750-1914
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Problems in European History (when topic applies and with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1914 to the Present
Great Britain: Empire to Commonwealth, 1870-1970
Metropolitan Cities of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Russian Revolution and the Origins of the Soviet State
Problems in European History (when topic applies with department approval)
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from each group.

Specialization in World History
Select four courses from the following: 112
World
Approaches to Modern World History
Africa
Problems in African History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Asia
Problems in Asian History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Middle East
Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History
Problems in Middle Eastern History
Other appropriate course with department approval
Latin America
Problems in Latin American History
Other appropriate course with department approval
1

Select at least 3 credits from two regions.

Research Seminar in a Specialization

Select one research seminar from the following:3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits3

Course in a Field Outside of Geographic Specialization

Select one course from U.S., European, or world history (listed above) that is not in their chosen specialization.3
Total Credits3

Elective Courses

Students can choose to pursue a Thesis in lieu of two electives9
Select three elective courses
Thesis
Thesis
Select one elective course
Total Credits9

Concentration in Higher Education (HEDU)

The concentration in higher education is intended for  students who want to teach history at community college. It includes coursework in both history and education, including a course on college teaching. Students are required to take at least one history course in each of three areas (U.S., European, and world history), and they are encouraged to take two courses in each area to prepare them to teach the U.S., western civilization, and world history survey courses most commonly offered at the community college level.

HIST 610The Study and Writing of History 13
Total Credits3
1

 Must be taken with the first 9 credits.

Additional Courses in History

Select six courses in history 118
Total Credits18
1

Must include at least one course each from U.S. European, and world history.

Research Seminar

Select one course from the following:3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits3

Graduate Education

Select four courses from the following:12
College Teaching
Practicum
Six credits of HE electives
Total Credits12

Concentration in Teaching (HS4)

This concentration offers students interested in a career in secondary education the option to devote part of their History MA to graduate cousrework that can be applied toward the requirements for licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students who have an interest in obtaining licensure to teach should meet with a pre-Education advisor in the College Of Education and Human Development at the beginning of their program to create a plan for completion of the required content-coursework prerequisites (Endorsements). You can view information here: https://cehd.gmu.edu/endorse/ or contact the Pre-Education Advising Coordinator at endorse@gmu.edu. Students seeking licensure must also enroll in the Secondary Education Licensure Graduate Certificate program (E1-CERG-SELC), a state-approved educator preparation program. Upon completion of the discipline-specific content competencies coursework; the MA in History, concentration in teaching; and the Secondary Education Licensure Graduate Certificate, students will be eligible for recommendation for an initial teaching license in Secondary Education History and Social Science.

Required Course

HIST 610The Study and Writing of History 13
Total Credits3
1

Must be taken within the first 9 credits. 

History

Select six courses in history, at least one course each from U.S., European, and world history18
Total Credits18

Research Seminar

Select one research seminar from the following:3
Research Seminar in U.S. History
Research Seminar in European History
Research Seminar in Comparative World History
Total Credits3

College of Education and Human Development Graduate Courses

EDCI 567Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary School3
EDUC 522Foundations of Secondary Education3
EDRD 619Literacy in Content Areas3
EDUC 672Human Development and Learning: Secondary Education3
Total Credits12

History, BA/History, Accelerated MA

Overview

Highly-qualified Mason undergraduates may apply to the accelerated master's degree program and obtain both a BA and a MA in history after satisfactory completion of 144 credits. The BA and MA earned separately require 120 and 30 credits respectively. If accepted into the program, they must have completed 90 credits including HIST 300 Introduction to Historical Method (Mason Core) with a minimum grade of B+ before they can enter the program. 

Interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Programs for details about the application process.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MA in history, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Applicants accepted to the accelerated MA program must have completed 90 credits including HIST 300 Introduction to Historical Method (Mason Core) with a minimum grade of B+ as a condition to entry into the program.

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete two graduate courses (HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History and one additional 3 credit HIST course at the 500-level or 600-level), as indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application, with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. These credits cannot replace HIST 499 RS: Senior Seminar in History (Mason Core). Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all coursework and earn a B or better (3.00 or higher) in coursework applied to their major. On completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional credits of HIST courses at the 500-level or 600-level as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.