M.A. Program

We offer an M.A. in History in several Faculty Expertise Areas. M.A. students can gain specialized skills in Digital History, the Teaching and Learning of History, or Law; we also offer a joint J.D.-M.A. degree with the Nebraska College of Law. You can supplement your historical study with interdisciplinary training in Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Great Plains Studies, 19th-Century Studies, or International Human Rights and Diversity. The M.A. is also appropriate for those who wish to gain more preparation before applying for a History Ph.D.

Applications are due by December 1 for admission for the following August.     Apply


The following M.A. requirements were adopted on September 29, 2014 and apply to students entering the program in Fall 2015-Spring 2018; revised requirements and an updated graduate student handbook for Fall 2018 are in production.  The complete 2015 Graduate Student Handbook is available online.  Students who entered the program before 2015 may elect to follow this program or that listed in the 2009-2014 Graduate Handbook.

36 credits of History or approved credit outside the History Department:

  • 3 credits HIST 900  Professional Study of History
  • 3 credits HIST 950 Research and Writing History Seminar
  • 6 credits/1 core sequence in Primary Field (931/933 Europe; 941/943 American; 961/963 World)
  • 6 additional credits in Primary Field
  • 3 credits in Secondary Field from core sequence (931/933 Europe; 941/943 American; 961/963 World)
  • 3 credits 900-level thematic class: 951 or 953
  • 12 credits in electives (can be taken from Optional Tracks)
  • Reading proficiency in one foreign language

    The M.A. also requires two years of college-level coursework in a single foreign language, with a grade of B or better, or the equivalent.

    Key Steps in the M.A. Program

    • Upon admission to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, each student is assigned an adviser. The student may elect to change advisers within the first year.  
    • Students must meet with their advisors and submit a Memorandum of Courses by the end of the second semester.
    • Students admitted to the M.A. program with deficiencies in language and coursework must remove them within two calendar years after beginning the program.
    • By at least the third semester in the program, students will form a Supervisory Committee of at least three graduate faculty members, including the Adviser.  At least two members should be in the History Department.
    • Students will compile a portfolio of work to be examined by the Supervisory Committee.  This will include the student’s final paper from HIST 950 Research and Writing Seminar, a historiography paper from the student’s Primary Field, and an additional piece of scholarship of the student’s choosing.  The student should choose a project from one of his or her elective classes if pursuing one of the optional tracks (for example, Digital History, Teaching and Learning of History, or the Joint J.D. degree).   Students must turn this portfolio in to the Department office at least three weeks before the final oral examination. 
    • The Supervisory Committee will review the portfolio.  If approved, the Committee will hold a final oral examination with the student by the deadline required by Graduate Studies. 
    • Students must complete the Application for a Degree and submit it to the Office of Graduate Studies by the deadline set at the beginning of the semester in which they expect to graduate. Consult the academic calendar for the deadline each semester.
    • The time limit on granting the master’s degree is ten years from the time of filing the student’s Memorandum of Courses in the Office of Graduate Studies.