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Graduate Studies

The Graduate Program in History serves both traditional and non-traditional students, those planning to pursue doctoral work at other universities; teachers seeking to enhance their knowledge of historical methodology, theory, and content; those looking for advanced study in a specialized field within history; and others merely fulfilling a life-long goal to explore an enduring interest in history.

The History Department’s Graduate Program is committed to imparting historical knowledge and cultivating intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and oral and written communication competency. The department is not only dedicated to pursuing understanding of the past for its own sake but also to preparing students to live in the twenty-first century world as global citizens. For that reason, the History department recognizes the need to expose students to knowledge of diverse peoples, cultures, and history; the need to explore different historical perspectives; and the need to communicate that knowledge clearly and effectively. Furthermore, the History Department believes that teaching and research are inseparable; this conviction is exemplified by its teacher-scholar faculty.

The CSULB History Department also offers an M.A. in History with an Emphasis in History Teaching. The M.A. with a History Teaching Emphasis has many advantages for K-12 teachers of history. The culminating project for history teaching candidates is a complete unit of instruction with an accompanying action research plan, and historiography of the topic of student investigation. The CSULB Social Science Credential Program is housed in the History Department, and the history faculty are very experienced working with pre- and in-service teachers.  Moreover, all of the graduate courses in history are offered in the evening, and the research seminars and culminating project are directly applicable to the teaching and learning of history.

Our Graduate Program offers some limited support to graduate students in the form of writing tutor positions. M.A. students are eligible for a number of annual merit-based monetary awards. For the last three years, in fact, they have been the recipients of the College of Liberal Arts Best Thesis Award, a high honor indeed.

We are very proud of the accomplishments and successes of our M.A. students who may be found in all walks of life: education, government, intelligence, business, and so many more.

The application deadline for Fall 2018 admission is February 15, 2018.


Applying to the Grad Program:

Applications to the M.A. program will only be accepted for Fall Admission and must be postmarked no later than February 15th.

Master of Arts in History


1. A bachelor’s degree with an overall 3.0 GPA in history, or with an overall 3.0 GPA, or higher

2. A bachelor’s degree with 24 units of upper-division courses in history. These courses must be comparable to those required of a major in history at this University. Deficiencies will be determined by the graduate advisor after consultation with the student and after study of transcript records.

Advancement to Candidacy is a statement of how the student plans to complete all courses and requirements for the degree, including setting a date and a committee for the thesis or comprehensive examination. It is best done as early as possible and it must take place before the end of the semester preceding the examination. Students writing a thesis are advanced to candidacy at the time that they begin their thesis work.


1. A minimum of 30 units of upper division and graduate courses including at least 18 units from 500 and 600-level courses. Six units may come from other departments if they suit the student’s program and are approved by the graduate advisor. All students must take HIST 501, HIST 502 and HIST 590. Twelve of the remaining units must come from among the following area offerings: 510A-F, 611, 631, 663, 673, 682.

2. The student must select two fields of specialization.

Students must complete 9 units of graduate-level coursework (500/600 numbered courses) in each field. The fields are 1) Africa and the Middle East, 2) Ancient/Medieval Europe, 3) Asia, 4) Latin America, 5) Modern Europe, 6) United States, and 7) World.  A student may propose a field other than those cited above with the consent of the Graduate Advisor and her/his graduate committee.

The 18 units (total) for both fields must include:

  • Two 510s, one in each field of concentration.
  • Research Seminar; for example, 611 (Ancient/Medieval), 631 (European), 663 (Latin American), 673 (U.S.), and 682 (East Asian). It is recommended that you take a research seminar in each of your fields if that is possible. Each research seminar may be repeated to a maximum of six (6) units.

The courses for Directed Study (695), Directed Research (697), and Thesis (698) may be applied to the 18-unit total only with the permission of the graduate advisor. A student may propose a field other than those cited above with the consent of the Graduate advisor and her/his graduate committee.

  • A reading knowledge of a foreign language may be required, depending upon the candidate’s program of study as recommended by her/his graduate committee.
  • Culminating Project: (a) Comprehensive written examinations in two fields, (b) a thesis in one or incorporating two fields, or (c) a two-week Teaching Unit.

What To Do With Your History Degree?

“Another View of the Master’s Degree: Switching Institutions on the Way to a PhD.”