MA in History


History student sits in a lecture hall.


The Master of Arts in History prepares students for a broad range of professions, from teaching high school students to pursuing doctoral study to conducting historical research in the private sector. M.A. students can combine core faculty courses, consortium classes and courses from other departments for a personalized program of study.

All MA students may choose to specialize in a particular area of history in consultation with the MA advisor and relevant faculty members. Surrounded by museums and archival institutions, students have access to the best historical research tools and conference opportunities in the world.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: April 1, (February 1 for fellowship applicants)

Spring Semester: November 1, 
Please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions for the most up to date information regarding our application process.



Course Requirements

Notes: M.A. students who are in their first semester at GW must take HIST 6005, a historical methods course. Students must also take HIST 6007, Writing History, in one of their final two semesters. 

All M.A. history students in history must take two research seminars. A research seminar is a graduate course that includes a research paper. If it is not clear from the course title, ask the instructor whether it is a research seminar.

Pending approval of the instructor, students may earn graduate credit for undergraduate courses at the 3000-level by completing additional work. Typically, this entails extra reading and more sophisticated paper assignments.

Students must choose between completing a thesis or completing two graduate seminars for which a research paper is required. The thesis option entails completing two semesters of HIST 6999, Thesis Research.