► Graduate School Rules apply to this program
The master of arts in history requires 37 semester hours (12 courses plus enrollment for one-credit hour in preparation for the Comprehensive Examination). Students who entered the program before fall 2015 have a 36-semester hour requirement and need only enroll for the additional one-credit hour Comprehensive Examination if they are not enrolled in anything else when they take that examination. Students applying for admission to the program should have some background in history, though not necessarily a BA in the subject. The department encourages applications from individuals of any age interested in resuming their education. Graduate students in history develop skills in critical thinking, writing and independent research. Our program prepares students for a wide variety of professions, including teaching, government service, museum and archive management and historic preservation, as well as further degree work in history, law, librarianship and business. The department expects that students graduating with an MA in history will master the following general skills for their degrees:
- The ability to pursue independent historical research projects
- The ability to analyze historiographical arguments
- The ability to analyze primary documents and develop arguments from them
- The ability to create bibliographies using archival, library, and Internet resources
- The ability to write in a variety of formats, including historiographical essays, book reviews, and research papers
Students will also master knowledge of the basic historical content of both their major and minor fields, and an understanding of the historiographies and historical methods in their major and minor fields.
- In addition to the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, the Department of History requires an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25.
- All applicants to the history program must take the GRE. GRE scores form a part of the department’s consideration of students’ qualifications.
- Applicants are required to submit a sample of written work, usually a term paper or project of similar length.
- All applications must include three letters of recommendation, preferably from college or university faculty.
- Applicants should address any gaps, weaknesses, or special circumstances in their academic records in the statement of purpose portion of the application. In special circumstances, the department may modify its admission standards.
April 1 Fall admission
October 1 Spring admission
Admission decisions are made by a graduate committee composed of the graduate advisor and faculty representing fields in U.S., European, global, and public history.
Graduate School Policies
All history MA students are subject to Graduate School policies related to graduate study, as well as to all relevant university policies. These policies cover such topics as time limits on degree completion, changing degree programs, incomplete grades, and more. Further information on these policies can be found in the Graduate School section of this online catalog.
With approval from the graduate advisor and the appropriate faculty, students may transfer up to nine graduate-level credits accrued before enrollment in the CU Denver MA history degree program, provided that they earned a grade of B+ or better in these courses. Students must submit a syllabus for each course they wish to transfer, and faculty may require students to complete additional assignments to meet the expectations of the department. The department will not accept transfer of courses comparable to HIST 6013, Introduction to the Professional Study of History.
The history department requires that graduate students maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and will not accept grades lower than B- (2.7) toward the completion of course work for the master’s degree. Students who earn less than a B- in HIST 6013 must retake the class.
The history department requires a residency of at least one academic year for the degree.
Upon admission, students will sign a check list indicating their understanding and acceptance of the department’s expectations. Early in their first semester, students should contact the history department graduate advisor to discuss their path through the program and to receive advice regarding the selection of major and minor fields.
Degree Tracking Responsibility
Although faculty will provide reasonable guidance, it is up to students to monitor their own progress through the program in consultation with the graduate advisor and their major advisor; this includes knowledge and understanding of application and graduate deadlines, degree requirements, comprehensive exam expectations and processes, thesis guidelines, etc.
Choosing Advisors and Fields of Study
All history MA candidates choose a major field and a minor field. Students will take courses in these fields (see Degree Requirements below) and will be tested in these fields (see Comprehensive Examinations). After consulting with the graduate advisor, students are responsible for securing two field advisors, one to oversee their progress in the major field, the other to oversee their minor field. All students should have chosen their fields and advisors by the end of the semester in which they have complete 12 credit hours. Students will also need a third advisor for the comprehensive examinations. This third advisor is typically in their major field and should always be consulted during preparation for the examinations.
Major Fields, Minor Fields, and Concentrations
The MA in history seeks to provide students with a balance of breadth and depth in the study of history. Major fields are broad areas of study within which students gain a general picture of historical processes. Concentrations provide focus for developing expertise within the major, either regionally or thematically. Minor fields provide a complementary or comparative area and must sit outside the major field. [Please note that only the primary major field will be noted on the student’s transcript; it will not include additional concentrations or minors.]
Advisors and students together will work out Plans of Study, which indicate the courses students intend to take to meet their requirements, based on their selection of major and minor fields. Students should make every effort to enroll in courses that best fit their major field, major concentration and minor field.
Students can choose to major in one of the following four fields:
- European History
- Global History
- Public History
- U.S. History
The department has core readings for the Public History and US History fields. Students will draw on these readings for their comprehensive exams. Students working in all fields will coordinate their readings with their major and minor advisors.
Major Field Concentrations
Students work with advisors to select one of the major field concentrations listed below. Concentrations provide thematic or regional focus to a broad geographical or methodological major (e.g. for the global history major, students could concentrate on trade, borders, imperialism, etc.. or any of the areas of regional expertise of our faculty). Readings for the major field concentration are in addition to the core reading list. Note that students may select their concentrations and the options for minors from the same lists, below.
Students can define their minor field as a specialization within one of the four major fields or as topics from the list of concentrations. Note that students may select their concentrations and the options for minors from the same lists, below.
- American West
- East Asia
- Islamic World
- Latin America
- Western Europe
United States History Chronological Concentrations/Minors
- Colonial and Federal
- Nineteenth Century
- Twentieth Century
Public History Concentrations
- Historic Preservation
- Museum Studies
- State and Local History
Topical Concentrations/Minors-these can be regional or global and must be negotiated with your field advisors.
- Colonialism and Imperialism
- Cultural and Social History
- Diplomatic History and Foreign Policy
- Economic and Business History
- Environmental History
- Gender, Women and Sexuality
- Intellectual History
Nation and State
- Race and Ethnicity
- Science, Medicine and Technology
- Urban History
- War and Revolution