The Master of Arts in History degree takes you on an academic journey exploring the key historical events, people, and cultures that fundamentally shaped the world today. Through research, discussion, and analysis, you will obtain a knowledgeable perspective of how future societies progressed through time. Concentrations in this online graduate program offer you the flexibility of focusing on the most favored eras in history including American, Ancient and Classical, European, Global, and Public History. This master’s degree attracts professional educators, historians, and enthusiasts alike, and is also helpful in developing professional skills that include quality writing and communications, research and analysis, and the ability to present compelling arguments.

University faculty members teaching these courses are published historians who bring unique perspectives and relevant research into the classroom. You’ll also connect and interact online with other students who share your enthusiasm for history.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of historical individuals and events and the global complexity of human experiences over time and place.
  • Distinguish the historical schools of thought that have shaped scholarly understanding of the profession.
  • Apply persuasive arguments that are reasoned and based on suitable evidence.
  • Evaluate secondary resources, through historiographical analysis, for credibility, position, and perspective.
  • Assess a variety of primary sources, digital and archival, in the process of deeply researching the past.
  • Generate research that makes original contributions to knowledge, through the use of advanced historical methods.
  • Produce a high-quality research paper that meets professional standards typical for a conference presentation or academic publication.

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements6
Select one of the following concentrations:27-30
Final Program Requirements0-6
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (6 semester hours)

HIST500Historical Research Methods 13
Total Semester Hours6

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from a Concentration in American History, Concentration in Ancient and Classical History, Concentration in European History, or Concentration in Global History. The Concentration in Public History requires students to do the Practicum Version Option.

Thesis Option: Students who wish to pursue a PhD, or those who have professional goals that might require a thesis, can petition the History and Military History Department Chair to take the thesis option instead of the comprehensive exam. The thesis petition should be forwarded to the chair before the student has completed 24 credit hours. The petition requires students to have developed a solid topic and should include the signatures of two faculty members, one of whom has agreed to serve as the thesis advisor.

Concentration in American History (30 semester hours)

Covers the United States from the Colonial period through the 20th century. Topics cover foreign policy and military operations, the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Constitution, and pop culture, as well as the domestic political, economic, and social components of the U.S.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast historical context of 18th century British and colonial American political and constitutional philosophies, social norms and societal structure, economics, religious concepts, and foreign and diplomatic policy.
  • Discern and assess the political, economic, cultural, and social aspects of the Civil War including the causes and the conflict's aftermath.
  • Explain changes in American society such as industrialization, immigration, and urbanization; isolationism and collective security; World War I; changing values; stock market crash; the Great Depression, and the cultural, social, political, military, and economic growth to the present.
  • Critique the history of expressive and material culture; historical contexts of various artistic movements; cultural imperialism; cultural appropriation, creativity, and identity; and expressions of social difference and deviance in the United States.
  • Discern the origins, content, and judicial interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court’s evolving decisions on issues such as States’ rights, civil rights, the Commerce Clause, due process in criminal and other proceedings, and protected freedoms.

Concentration Requirements (30 semester hours)

HIST553History of Colonial America3
HIST520Graduate Seminar in U.S. History3
HIST551The American Revolution in Context3
HIST657Antebellum America: Prelude to the Civil War3
HIST552The Civil War: Seminal Event in American History3
HIST652African-American History3
HIST653History of American Women3
HIST555The United States in the 20th Century3
Select 2 courses from the following:6
History of the American West
History and Popular Culture
History of Science
World War II in Context
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours30

Concentration in Ancient and Classical History (30 semester hours)

Covers the broad sweep of European history and provides a foundation in historical theory, trends, and concepts for further study of topical history at the graduate level. Topics include Greek civilization through the 4th century B.C., the fall of the Roman empire, the development of the Ottoman culture, and the Crusades.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Explain and critique Ancient Greece’s political, economic, social, and intellectual movements.
  • Explain and critique Roman history from its beginnings until the Age of Constantine including the political and social developments in the Republic and the early empire.
  • Examine and appraise great Byzantium leaders, the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, the recapture of Constantinople from the crusaders, and the impact of Byzantium culture on Western intellect.
  • Explain and assess European social, political, economic, and religious institutions and cultural and intellectual phenomena in the light of the changing historical environment from the end of the Ancient World to the Renaissance.
  • Explain and assess the medieval church and rise of the Renaissance papacy; growth of humanism, including painters, architects, and sculptors; city-states and monarchies of the Holy Roman Empire; religious upheavals of Protestantism; Anabaptists; the Catholic Reformation.

Concentration Requirements (30 semester hours)

HIST531The Greek Civilization3
HIST597Graduate Seminar in European History3
HIST532The Roman Republic and Empire3
HIST533Late Antiquity and Byzantium3
HIST611Ancient Warfare3
HIST534Medieval Europe3
HIST535Renaissance and Reformation3
HIST643The Ottoman Empire3
Select 2 courses from the following:6
History of Science
History of Religion
History of Africa
History of the Middle East
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours30

Concentration in European History (30 semester hours)

Explores developments in Europe dating back to the death of Louis XIV. Looks at the political, philosophical, scientific, and social changes that laid the foundation for early Europe to key developments that led to the major European wars of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Distinguish the major social, political, and cultural changes of the Enlightenment in Europe from the death of Louis XIV to the fall of Napoleon.
  • Investigate the intellectual, social, and economic history including the industrial revolutions, the age of ideologies, the new imperialism, and the coming of the Great War.
  • Discern the origins of World War I in Europe and assess the combatants, strategy and tactics, technological innovation; war in France; war at sea; the peace settlement; and the occupation.
  • Compare and contrast the economies, industry, society, and culture of the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Germany during World War II.
  • Assess modern European history since the Congress of Vienna including social, economic, cultural and political experiences common to Europe and how developments differentiated from those in most other parts of the world.

Concentration Requirements (30 semester hours)

HIST536History of the Enlightenment3
HIST597Graduate Seminar in European History3
HIST54318th and 19th Century Europe3
HIST643The Ottoman Empire3
HIST560World War II in Context3
HIST570Modern European History3
HIST642Nazi Germany and the Holocaust3
HIST645Russia and the Soviet Union3
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Renaissance and Reformation
Medieval Europe
The Great War
World War II: Politics, Political Leadership and Diplomacy
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours30

Concentration in Global History (30 semester hours)

Examines major events, personalities, and accomplishments that occurred all over the world. Topics include the political, philosophical, scientific, and social changes that shaped the history of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Contrast and compare the history, scope, and consequences of the American, French, Mexican, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Vietnamese, and Iranian revolutions.
  • Analyze the relationships among technology, culture, and politics in a variety of social and historical settings ranging from 19th century factories to 21st century techno dance floors.
  • Explore the recent historiographical approaches within the history of science from the 17th through the 20th centuries from the physical sciences to natural history and medicine.
  • Examine the practice of piracy in ancient times in the 18th century and the rise of modern piracy with high-speed boats and automatic weapons in the 21st century.
  • Distinguish the historical development, central beliefs, and practices of each of the major world religions.

Concentration Requirements (30 semester hours)

HIST571History of Africa3
HIST510Graduate Seminar in World History3
HIST573History of the Middle East3
HIST581The Great Revolutions3
HIST586History of Science3
HIST670History and Culture of Latin America3
HIST588History of Religion3
HIST560World War II in Context3
Select 2 courses from the following:6
The Ottoman Empire
Ancient Warfare
The Great War
World War II in the Pacific
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours30

Concentration in Public History (27 semester hours)

Whether in archives, museums, cultural resources, historical editing, or heritage tourism, public history is the presentation and interpretation of the past to the public. Public historians should not merely learn the technical aspects of a given field; they should also be versed in the historiography and methodologies of contemporary scholarship so that they can apply skills and knowledge in the public realm. In that regard, even if they work in a variety of professional venues usually outside the academy, public historians share roles as researchers and interpreters of history with their academy colleagues. Public historians are found in archives, museums, historic preservation agencies, historic sites, cultural resource firms, national parks and forests, editorial positions, and historical agencies.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Categorize and assess important historical developments in public history and identify the intellectual, ethical, and professional issues that public historians confront.
  • Evaluate and verify current institutional collection policy and practices based on standard archival and records practice.
  • Establish and reconstruct the processing of a collection: arrangement and description, preservation and digitization, and develop the skills necessary to successfully undertake applied research.
  • Test and apply the use of oral history techniques and methodology to demonstrate how oral history supports a diverse resource base and audience across interdisciplinary fields.
  • Distinguish and prioritize issues such as the relationship of collections and landscapes to identify the intersection of commerce and culture; and the influence of museums and exhibitions in preserving a view of the past and developing an image of progress.
  • Prescribe and test the selection criteria for strategies for preservation, metadata to support digital preservation, maintaining the integrity and authenticity of digital materials, management of digitization and digital preservation programs, risk management, and disaster recovery.
  • Manage and improve field experience and practicum in applied public history.

Concentration Requirements (27 semester hours)

HIST521Seminar in Public History3
HIST520Graduate Seminar in U.S. History3
HIST522Archives and Manuscript Management3
HIST523Theory and Practice of Oral History3
HIST555The United States in the 20th Century3
HIST557History and Popular Culture3
HIST634History, Theories, and Contemporary Issues in Historic Preservation3
HIST635Museum and Exhibition Culture3
HIST636History and Digital Preservation3
Total Semester Hours27

Final Program Requirements (0-6 semester hours)

Practicum in Applied History (3 semester hours) 1
Comprehensive Exam in History (0 semester hours) 2
Thesis Option: (HIST691 and HIST699) 3