Department of History

Terminal Master's Tracks

Each of the six tracks described below culminates in a terminal MA degree. Terminal MA students who wish to pursue doctoral degrees must apply to the Ph.D. program upon completion.

The department offers several terminal MA tracks:

  • Masters in Ancient History and Language Acquisition enables students to continue their historical studies while taking introductory and intermediate courses in ancient and medieval languages.

  • Masters in Russian or East European History provides students with the language training and substantive breadth to competitively pursue a Ph.D. degree in the history of Russia or Eastern Europe or related disciplines.

  • Masters in United States History provides students with necessary background and training to apply to Ph.D. programs in U.S. history.

  • Master of Arts for Teachers prepares students to teach social studies in secondary schools.

  • Dual master’s degree in history and library science leads to careers in libraries, archives, museums, and historic preservation.

  • Dual master’s degree in history and Jewish studies prepares students who plan to go on to a Ph.D. program in History, but also, for example, who plan to work in Jewish education, etc.

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

(applies to all terminal MA tracks and to Ph.D. students admitted without previous MA degrees)

Courses

  1. A total of 30 credit hours; at least 20 of these credit hours must be in the Department of History.
  2. Complete H601 and at least one seminar and two colloquia; the remaining credit hours in history must be completed in graduate colloquia, seminars, or readings courses. Graduate students will be allowed to receive credit for undergraduate courses only in special cases (such as in the study of fields not commonly available at the undergraduate level, or in small fields).

Foreign Language

Reading proficiency in one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, ancient Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, or another language appropriate to the student's program of study, if approved by the University Graduate School. The student should consult with his/her adviser of field about appropriate languages. Entering students should obtain certification of reading knowledge or begin appropriate language study in the first term of enrollment. Some fields require entering students to possess substantial language preparation; potential applicants are advised to consult with faculty members in their fields of interest.

Field Review

All candidates must undergo a review when the work for the M.A. degree is completed. SStudents in the Ph.D. program who do not hold previous MA degrees and Masters in US History generally complete degree requirements by the end of the third semester. Students pursuing the Masters in Ancient History and Language Acquisition, the MA in Russian or East European History, the M.A.T., the joint MA degree with Library Science, and the joint MA degree with Jewish Studies generally complete degree requirements by the end of the fourth semester. The review consists of a conference at which the student and field committee members discuss the student's performance and future plans. The review confirms the awarding of the M.A. degree. For students enrolled in the M.A./Ph.D. program the review serves the additional purpose of determining whether or not a student wishing to continue his or her studies is to be accepted into the Ph.D. program. M.A. candidates wishing to enter the Ph.D. program and those terminating their program with the master's degree must be recommended for the M.A. degree by the appropriate field committee.

Please see the Graduate Guide to History and the Graduate School Bulletin for more detailed information on this degree requirements.

Terminal Masters Tracks

Masters in Ancient History and Language Acquisition

The Masters degree in Ancient History and Language Acquisition enables students to continue their historical studies while taking introductory and intermediate courses in ancient and medieval languages. The Course Requirements and Field Review procedure are the same as for the traditional MA in History, though students should note that the intermediate level language courses listed in Appendix C of the Graduate Guide can count toward the required 20 credits of History courses. Students are also required to earn a passing grade on an examination in the ancient language of the student’s choice upon completion of course work. The MA will be awarded based upon successful completion of both language and history courses with an overall GPA above 3.0 and a satisfactory mark on the examination. To pursue this degree, students must apply to Department of History and specify their interest in this track. This is a terminal degree and those wishing to pursue a PhD in Ancient History will need to apply to the PhD program upon completion. Please visit the MA in Ancient History and Language Acquisition site for more information.

MA in Russian or East European History

The Masters in Russian or East European History program combines language study in any relevant language offered at IU through the summer program and the academic year.  This enables students to take up to 4 levels of language in two academic years in combination with History coursework and a selection of courses in other related disciplines that focus upon Russia and Eastern Europe. Students who complete the program will emerge with both a strong grounding in the relevant research language(s) and an enhanced understanding of the history, politics, and culture of Russia and Eastern Europe. Among the features that distinguish this program are the following:

  • Students take a full offering of history courses in addition to their language work.  IUB has eleven faculty members who focus on the history of this area.
  • The range of East European languages that IU offers exceeds all other institutions in the U.S.
  • Over 70 faculty from disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools, enhance the multidisciplinary offerings in Russian and East European studies. 

Please visit the MA in Russian or East European History site for more information.

Masters in United States History

The Masters in United States History is designed for students with a keen interest in United States history but who do not yet possess the background or training to competitively pursue a doctoral degree. These include students with undergraduate degrees in majors other than History, students whose undergraduate training did not include working closely with faculty mentors or writing substantial research papers, and students whose undergraduate academic records do not fully reflect their abilities and potential. The MA in United States History is also a useful option for students who are considering graduate study, but are not yet certain they wish to pursue a Ph.D.

The goal of the MA in US History track is to prepare qualified applicants to doctoral programs (at IU and elsewhere) by providing thorough grounding in relevant historical scholarship, training in research methods, and close attention to the craft of historical research and writing. In addition, faculty will assist students in identifying and applying to appropriate Ph.D. programs. The MA in US History degree also enhances applications to professional programs in Law, Business, Foreign Relations, Public, Archival, and Museum Administration as well as to Ph.D. programs in related disciplines.

Students accepted to the MA in US History will have the opportunity to study with outstanding faculty, several of whom are the authors of prize-winning books. They will gain substantial breadth as well as concentrate on particular areas of interest. The Indiana University History department currently includes more than twenty faculty members who specialize in various aspects of United States history, including social, cultural, political, and gender history as well as the histories of race and ethnicity and the history of memory.

Students enrolled in the MA in US History complete a total of 30 credits. These must include History H601, at least two colloquia, and at least one research seminar.  In addition students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language either through completion of relevant coursework or by passing an examination offered by the relevant language department.

Master of Arts for Teachers Requirements

Students pursuing the History M.A.T. degree must also be admitted to one of two graduate programs in the School of Education, Transition to Teaching or Community of Teachers. Admission to each of the two areas of study is approved separately.  Applicants should contact Alfreda Clegg, Academic Advisor for graduate teacher certification, in the School of Education.

Courses

Students must complete a total of 30 credits; at least 20 must be in History. Students are required to complete History H601 and at least one seminar and two colloquia; the remaining credit hours in history must be completed in graduate colloquia, seminars, or readings courses. Graduate students will be allowed to receive credit for undergraduate courses only in special cases (such as in the study of fields not commonly available at the undergraduate level, or in small fields). M.A.T. students are strongly encouraged to complete one of the pedagogy courses offered by the History Department: H580, H591, or H593. Students must complete at least 10 credits in Education courses required by the Transition to Teaching or Community of Teachers program. For specific requirements, see the entry for the School of Education in the Indiana University Graduate Bulletin.

Please see the Graduate Guide to History and the Graduate School Bulletin for more detailed information on degree requirements.

Dual Masters: History and Jewish Studies

A dual M.A. in History and Jewish Studies is available to students who are interested in a solid disciplinary training in History as well as a broad, interdisciplinary training in Jewish Studies and the corresponding languages.  This program will appeal in particular to students who plan to pursue a professional career in the field of Jewish Studies or who plan to go on to a Ph.D. program in History.

The combined program will have a total of 52 credit hours, instead of the 62 hours required to attain the two degrees separately. Students will take 5 courses counting towards History and 5 courses counting towards Jewish Studies, as well as 12 credits of electives. In the dual History and Jewish Studies M.A. option, graduate-level language courses in a language relevant for the student’s research interest, normally Modern Hebrew, Yiddish, or Biblical Hebrew, can be counted to fulfill the elective credit requirement.

For the History M.A., students will take HIST-H 601 and an additional 16 credits of course work in History which should include a minimum of one seminar and two colloquia. These courses can include courses on Jewish history, but cannot be identical with the courses counted towards fulfillment of the Jewish Studies requirements. To fulfill the requirements for Jewish Studies, students will take JSTU-H 520 (4 cr.) and four courses taught by Jewish Studies faculty (16 cr.). Proficiency in one language relevant to the student’s research interest, normally Modern Hebrew, Yiddish, or Biblical Hebrew, is required for completion of the degree; the 12 credits of electives can be used for language courses.

Students will undergo a field review in the History department for which they will submit two papers written for History courses, at least one of which in a seminar.  Students will choose either the comprehensive exam or final thesis option to complete their requirements for the Jewish Studies M.A.

Students interested in the dual M.A. should apply separately to both the Jewish Studies Program and the Department of History indicating their interest in the dual degree program on the “Departmental Questions” section of the online application.

Dual Masters: History and Library Science

A dual program for the M.A. in History and the Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) is available to students interested in careers in libraries, archives, historical societies, museum collections, and other related fields. The combined program allows an overlap of elective credit for the two degrees. A student takes only the required 30 hours in Library Science and the required 20 hours in History—a total of 50 credit hours, rather than the 66 hours normally required to attain the two degrees separately. Credits earned in Library Science fulfill the ten elective hours for the History degree, while credits taken in History meet the Library Science elective requirement. M.A./M.L.S students are required to demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language.

To pursue this degree, students must apply and be admitted to both the History Department for the M.A. and the School of Library and Information Science for the M.L.S. Sometimes students who have already begun one of the two degree programs wish to move into the dual degree program. To do this, application to the second unit must be made and admission must be granted before the completion of the first program.

Please see the Graduate Guide to History and the Graduate School Bulletin for more detailed information on this degree requirements.