We offer an M.A. in History in three primary fields: North American History; European History; and World History.

We also offer a joint J.D.-M.A. degree with the Nebraska College of Law.

You will supplement your historical study with you secondary field in Ethnic Studies, Great Plains Studies, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Nineteenth Century Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Digital Humanities and Public History, Education, Global Studies, and Law and Policy.

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.

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The following M.A. requirements apply to students entering the program in Fall 2023 and beyond; the most recent Graduate Student Handbook is available here. Students who entered the program between 2018 and 2022 may use the 2023 handbook or 2018 Graduate Student Handbook; students who entered the program prior to 2018 may elect to follow the 2018 program, the 2015 Handbook, or the 2009-2014 Handbook.

32 credit hours of History or approved credit outside the History Department:

  • 3 credit hours in HIST 900
  • 3 credit hours in HIST 901
  • 3 credit hours in HIST 950
  • 6 credit hours/1 core sequence in Primary Field + 3 additional credit hours in one of the other fields
    (European = HIST 931 & 933 + World/American;
    American = HIST 941 & 943 + World/European;
    World = HIST 961 & 963 + European/American)
  • 12 credit hours in Certificate or Specialization: ETHN; GPSP; HRHA; MRST; NCST; WMNS; DH & Public History; Education; Global Studies; Law & Policy*
    *J.D./M.A. & Dual M.A. w/ Ed. share 9 credits w/ joint degree
  • 2 credit hours in Professional Development: HIST 801A & HIST 801B*
    *not required for J.D./M.A., Dual M.A. w/ Ed., or accelerated M.A. program
  • If language requirement was not satisfied prior to enrollment: 4 semesters with an average grade of B or better, or equivalent comprehension demonstrated by a placement exam, in a single foreign language

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 advisers 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 the second 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, a historiography paper or project 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 their secondary field classes (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.
  • Refer to https://graduate.unl.edu/academics/program-steps/masters-degree-steps-to-completion for all forms and deadlines.

Secondary Fields