The Master of Arts in History degree prepares students for work in the field of history. This degree program is geared largely toward those seeking careers within academic settings at all levels. The History Masters programs are based upon a solid, committed faculty and multiple resources. With fourteen permanent and many adjunct faculty, the department of history offers courses in a wide variety of topics in the fields of non-western, United States, and European history. Graduate faculty are deeply involved in research and writing in their respective major fields (for more information on the faculty, see the faculty page). The department of history encourages a collegial atmosphere in which students and faculty work closely together. Its main goal is to prepare students for further study or for a successful career in history. Besides a faculty rich in its diversity and talents, the location of the university in the capital city of Idaho gives students access to the State Archives, Idaho State Historical Museum, the state’s Law Library, the Survey Research Center, the Frank Church Archive, and other research facilities. The BSU library has a collection of almost 550,000 bound volumes and periodicals and subscribes to more than 4,900 serials. It is also a selective US Government and Canadian document depository, as well as an Idaho State depository. The inter-library loan system makes the holdings of other excellent collections accessible to BSU students. Several large corporations with home offices in Boise have opened their archives to students and faculty doing research on department-supported topics.
The coordinator of graduate studies in history will assign an “initial advisor” to all newly admitted students. The student will establish a full supervisory committee as soon as possible, normally during the first semester enrolled. The committee chair will act as advisor and thesis or project director. Other members of the committee will be chosen by the student and his or her advisor. The entire program leading to the degree will be planned by the student in conjunction with his or her supervisory committee.
The history department accepts new candidates for the fall or spring semesters. To be admitted for the fall semester, and be considered for departmental funding, applications must be completed prior to January 15. To be admitted for fall without departmental funding, the application deadline is April 1st. Those seeking to start in the spring semester must submit applications by September 15th. Only applications entering in the fall and meeting the January 15th deadline will be eligible for departmental funding during their first semester. By these deadlines the student will need to have deposited the following with the graduate college: the application fee, an application form, and transcripts from all schools of higher education previously attended.
Applicants must also send directly to the coordinator of graduate studies in history a letter of application explaining why the student wishes to be admitted, a sample of the applicant’s writing skills (e.g., seminar paper, senior thesis, or published article), and at least two letters of recommendation from persons competent to judge the applicant’s potential for graduate study in history. Students also must provide their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. One year of a foreign language is required to graduate; the language credits will not count towards the degree. Until a student completes the language requirement, s/he will retain provisional status. The History Department can take no action on the application until all of the above materials have been received.
Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree in history, or its equivalent, from an accredited institution or a strong history background (more than 20 semester hours) within their undergraduate program.
Minimum standards for admission with regular status to the history graduate program include a minimum GPA of 3.00 with 3.20 in history and 3.20 for the last two years of undergraduate study. Students not meeting these minimum requirements for admission with regular status may be granted provisional status.
The Master of Arts in History prepares students for work in academic institutions or to continue in history doctoral programs. The degree culminates with the completion of a thesis, which is a written examination of a historical topic, based on primary source research, and defending a hypothesis that is original and compelling. The topic and scope of the thesis will be determined by the student in consultation with the advisory committee.
|Master of Arts in History
|Course Number & Title||Credits|
|HIST 500 The Nature of History||3|
|HIST 501 The Study of History||3|
|Approved History Electives
ORApproved History ElectivesApproved Electives Outside of History
|History 593 Thesis||6|
For University-wide graduate courses, please choose a graduate catalog.
HIST 500 The Nature of History (3-0-3) (F).
Analysis of what historians do and how the discipline has developed over time. Examines the major controversies over method and interpretation. Oral and written participation and a major paper are required. PREREQ: Admission to History graduate program of PERM/INST or PER/GRAD COORD.
HIST 501 The Study of History (3-0-3) (S).
Critical analyses of historical scholarship and source materials on a selected broad topic in global history. Emphasis placed upon honing professional skills, class discussion, historiography, and the nature of historical research. PREREQ: Admission to History graduate program or PERM/INST or PERM/GRAD COORD.
HIST 502 Applied Historical Research (3-0-3) (S).
A seminar on the use and abuse of history in nonacademic settings. Potential topics include the application of historical thinking and methods in foreign policy, business history, city planning, historic preservation, environmental assessment, library and archives, historic sites, and museums. PREREQ: Admission to the graduate program or PERM/CHAIR.
HIST 580 Selected Topics: Graduate Seminar in European History (3-0-3) (F/S/SU).
Critical analyses of source materials and historical scholarship on topics of restricted scope in European history. Emphases placed upon student reports, class discussions, individual research on relevant topics and the writing of historical papers. PREREQ: Admission to graduate program or PERM/CHAIR.
HIST 581 Selected Topics: Graduate Seminar in U.S. History (3-0-3) (F/S/SU).
Critical analyses of source materials and historical scholarship on topics of restricted scope in U.S. History. Emphases placed upon student reports, class discussions, individual research on relevant topics and the writing of historical papers. PREREQ: Admission to graduate program or PERM/CHAIR.
HIST 582 Selected Topics: Graduate Seminar in Regional History (3-0-3) (F/S/SU).
Critical analyses of source materials and historical scholarship on topics of restricted scope in Regional history. Emphases placed upon student reports, class discussions, individual research on relevant topics and the writing of historical papers. PREREQ: Admission to the graduate program or PERM/CHAIR.
HIST 585 Selected Topics: Themes in History (3-0-3) (F/S/SU).
Critical analyses of historical scholarship and source materials on a selected topic in history. Emphases placed upon analyzing scholarship, class discussion, and the nature of historical research. Intensive reading and writing. May be repeated for credit. PRE/COREQ: HIST 500 or Admission to History graduate program or PERM/INST.