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.
Admission to the Program
Application must be made both to the Department of History and the University. See www.csumentor.edu for admission materials and submission of application. See department office or website (http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/history) for department application material. Please note that acceptance into the university does not guarantee admittance to the department.
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.
Applications will be considered for fall or spring admissions only. Students seeking admission to the program effective fall quarter must apply to the department by the preceding May 15. Those seeking application for the spring quarter must apply by the preceding November 15. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Applicants with a baccalaureate in a major other than history must also complete 20-28 units of approved upperdivision history courses with a minimum b (3.0) average, including HIST 388 and HIST 390, before admission into the program.
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 the Degree (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 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.
United States to 1876
United States since 1850
Medieval and early modern Europe
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.