VCU Bulletins

History, Master of Arts (M.A.)

Graduate program director
Sarah Meacham, Ph.D.
Associate professor and director of graduate studies
shmeacham@vcu.edu
(804) 828-9758

Program website: history.vcu.edu

Refer to the program search function of the online VCU Bulletins for a complete listing of all programs, concentrations and related curricular options.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

History, Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree:

M.A.
Semester(s)
of entry:

Fall

Spring
Deadline
dates:

Jul 1

Dec 1
Test
requirements:

GRE

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Normally, 30 credit hours of undergraduate history courses, of which 18 credit hours should be at the upper-division level
  2. A GPA indicative of the ability to successfully pursue a graduate degree
  3. Three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to provide information concerning the applicant’s probable success in graduate school
  4. Satisfactory completion of the Graduate Record Examination
  5. Submission of a written statement of intent, indicating why the applicant wishes to pursue a graduate degree in history

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university.  These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

General academic regulations for
all graduate students in all graduate programs at VCU

Program goals

The master’s program in history draws on faculty expertise and the wealth of historical resources available in the Richmond area to support the extended exploration of the human past and the craft of history. It prepares students for the successful practice of historical scholarship in a variety of fields including archives, libraries, historical sites, museums, government agencies, businesses, publishing and secondary education, as well as for advanced study in doctoral programs.

Student learning outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  1. Develop the ability to understand the processes and methodologies historians use to study the past
  2. Develop the ability to understand and think critically about scholarly works of history
  3. Develop the ability to do historical research and present interpretations in writing
  4. Develop the ability to understand the myriad of forces that shape human experiences and critically weigh change and continuity over time

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses and to conduct significant research.

  1. The Master of Arts in History may be achieved through one of two options:
  2. The thesis option requires 30 graduate credit hours with six credit hours of HIST 698.
  3. The non-thesis option requires 36 graduate credit hours with a minimum of six credits in research-level courses and an oral comprehensive exam.
  4. At least half of the credit hours presented for graduation must be at the 600 level or higher.
  5. Students may take up to six credits of non-history electives from an approved list of elective courses. In addition, students who wish to pursue specific areas of study may, with the approval of the graduate director, substitute other courses when appropriate, but in no case shall be able to count more than six credit hours of non-history courses.

Curriculum requirements

Thesis option  
   
Courses Credit hours
   
Required courses 9
HIST 601 Historiography and Methodology 3
HIST 698 M.A. Thesis 6
   
Electives 21
Choose from the following courses. A student may take up to six graduate credit hours from outside of the history department.  
   
HIST 511 Studies in American History 3
HIST 515 Studies in European History 3
HIST 519 Studies in Ethnic and Social History 3
HIST 523 Studies in Virginia and Southern History 3
HIST 527 Studies in African-American History 3
HIST 591 Special Topics in History 1-3
HIST 611 Readings in American History 3
HIST 615 Readings in European History 3
HIST 618 Readings in Transatlantic History 3
HIST 619 Readings in Ethnic and Social History 3
HIST 623 Readings in Virginia and Southern History 3
HIST 627 Readings in African-American History 3
HIST 631 Research in American History 3
HIST 635 Research in European History 3
HIST 638 Research in Transatlantic History 3
HIST 639 Research in Ethnic and Social History 3
HIST 643 Research in Virginia and Southern History 3
HIST 647 Research in African-American History 3
HIST 691 Special Topics in History 1-3
HIST 692 Independent Study or HIST 693 Internship in History 6 (maximum)
TEDU 627 Exploring Historical Consciousness 3
   
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30
Non-thesis option  
   
Required course 3
HIST 601 Historiography and Methodology 3
   
Electives 33
   
Choose two research courses from: 6
   
  HIST 631 Research in American History 3
  HIST 635 Research in European History 3
  HIST 638 Research in Transatlantic History 3
  HIST 639 Research in Ethnic and Social History 3
  HIST 643 Research in Virginia and Southern History 3
  HIST 647 Research in African-American History 3
   
Choose additional electives the following courses. A student may take up to six graduate credit hours from outside of the history department. 27
   
  HIST 511 Studies in American History 3
  HIST 515 Studies in European History 3
  HIST 519 Studies in? Ethnic and Social History 3
  HIST 523 Studies in Virginia and Southern History 3
  HIST 527 Studies in African-American History 3
  HIST 591 Special Topics in History 1-3
  HIST 611 Readings in American History 3
  HIST 615 Readings in European History 3
  HIST 618 Readings in Transatlantic History 3
  HIST 619 Readings in Ethnic and Social History 3
  HIST 623 Readings in Virginia and Southern History 3
  HIST 627 Readings in African-American History 3
  HIST 631 Research in American History 3
  HIST 635 Research in European History 3
  HIST 638 Research in Transatlantic History 3
  HIST 639 Research in Ethnic and Social History 3
  HIST 643 Research in Virginia and Southern History 3
  HIST 647 Research in African-American History 3
  HIST 691 Special Topics in History 1-3
  HIST 692 Independent Study or HIST 693 Internship in History 6 (maximum)
  TEDU 627 Exploring Historical Consciousness 3
   
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 36

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Degree candidacy requirements

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Graduation requirements

 

 

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Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
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Last update: 12/10/2014

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