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The Department of History
Master of Arts Degree Program

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The Master of Arts degree in History is designed for the attainment of a liberal-arts education appropriate to careers in such professions as law, journalism, business, government service, and librarianship, as well as preparation for teaching and further graduate study.

The program requires intensive study involving courses, seminars, and directed reading in preparation for comprehensive examinations and an optional thesis.  Students should obtain reading lists well before the examination from the examining faculty member in each field.

For students currently enrolled in the M.A. program, information on scheduling and preparing for an advisement session can be downloaded here.


Applying to the Program

Application must be made both to the Department of History and the University. Click here for the History Department's Application Form.

Departmental Application Deadlines:

Students are also required to submit a separate application to the University through CSU Mentor at the following link:

www.csumentor.edu

Please note that acceptance into the University does not guarantee admittance to the department. However, students must be admitted by the University in order to be eligible to be admiited by the Department.

NOTE: CSU Mentor application deadlines are subject to variation; please make sure to confirm CSU Mentor deadlines at www.csumentor.edu or at the Cal State L.A. Admissions Office website.


Departmental Admission Requirements

All applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must come from a professor or an individual capable of evaluating the applicant's qualifications for graduate study.

All applicants must also submit a statement of purpose essay, 500-750 words in length, stating the applicant's purpose in applying for graduate study, any special areas of interest, plans for future occupation or profession and any additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating the applicant's preparation and aptitude for graduate study at CSULA.

Admission to the department will be based on evaluation of the letters of recommendation and statement of purpose, as well as the following requirements:

I. Additional admission requirements for applicants with history major baccalaureates.

A. In addition to university requirements for admission to graduate study, to be considered for departmental admission, applicants must have a grade point average in the last 90 quarter (60 semester) units of 3.00 or better. Applicants with GPAs between 2.75 and 3.00 may be admitted at tide discretion of the department's graduate admissions committee after completing prerequisite or qualifying courses, if necessary, with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

B. Applicants who have not passed HIST 388 and HIST 390 or their equivalent in another accredited college or university will be required to complete those classes with a minimum grade of b (3.0) prior to admittance.

II. Additional admission requirements for applicants with a baccalaureate in a major other than history.

A. In addition to university requirements for admission to graduate study, to be considered for departmental admission applicants must have a grade point average in the last 90 quarter (60 semester) units of 3.0 or better in the coursework of their major field. Applicants with GPAs between 2.75 and 3.00 may be admitted at the discretion of the department's graduate admissions committee after completing prerequisite or qualifying courses, if necessary, with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

B. Applicants with a baccalaureate in a major other than history must also complete 20-28 units of approved upper division history courses with a minimum b (3.0) average, including HIST 388 and HIST 390, before admission into the program.


Foreign Languages

Students writing a thesis, particularly in a non-U.S. field, may be required to have competency in one or more foreign languages to complete the thesis. The history department strongly recommends that all its M.A. students learn a foreign language, especially those planning to pursue a PhD. Such students should speak with their field advisors as early as possible about foreign language competency requirements for PhD. Programs.

 

Requirements for Degree Completion (48-52 units)

A minimum of 48 or 52 units are required, depending on whether the program is completed by comprehensive examinations or a Thesis. At least 28 units must be in 500-level courses.

Required Courses (28 units)

Select seven 500-level history courses, with adviser approval, for a total of 28 units. HIST 501 and HIST 595 are required of all students, and are included in the seven required 500-level history courses.

Electives (20 units)

Select 400 or 500-level courses in history with adviser approval.  Courses outside history may be substituted to maximum of 8 units, with adviser approval.

Completion of Program

Students may complete the program either by passing comprehensive examinations or by writing a thesis with the approval of the department Graduate Studies Committee.

1. Comprehensive Examinations (0 units)

Comprehensive examinations must be passed in three fields chosen from two or more areas listed below. Flexibility for options can be arranged. Students may register for HIST 596 and take the comprehensive examinations only after they complete all course work in their program.

Fields of Concentration:

  • Area One:
    • United States to 1876
    • United States since 1876
  • Area Two:
    • Antiquity
    • Medieval and Early Modern Europe
    • Modern Europe
  • Area Three:
    • Africa
    • Asia
    • Middle East
    • Early Latin America
    • National Latin America

2. Thesis (8 units)

Students must complete 28 units before formally beginning the Thesis Option. Students must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in these 28 units, 16 of which must be 500-level seminars.

The thesis (HIST 599) will substitute for 4 units of the 20 unit elective requirement. Thesis students will register for 8 units of HIST 599, for a program total of 52 units.


Click here for more information on the History Department's policies for completion of the M.A. degree by comprehensive examination or thesis.