The Master of Arts in History, Plan A, Liberal Arts Specialization offers students the opportunity to write an original thesis. Working closely with a faculty mentor in one of our department’s areas of expertise (for example, U.S. history, environmental history, public history), students on Plan A conduct archival research to author an original piece of scholarship. Coursework on Plan A, and in all of our programs of study, is based in small seminars and stresses historiography, research methods, and hands-on experience.

The Plan A program of study requires proficiency in a language other than English. This requirement can be met through an exam or through coursework.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the program will:

1) Develop historical research questions and conduct historical synthesis, analysis, and interpretation using primary and secondary source research.

2) Develop the critical reading, speaking, and writing skills essential to professional historical practice.

3) Define historical narratives and develop both breadth and depth of knowledge in the historiography of chosen fields of study.

4) Conduct archival research to author an original piece of scholarship.

5) Practice historical methods in various settings, which may include academic, applied, and/or public.

Effective Fall 2023

Required Courses in Historical Methods and Practice:
HIST 501Historical Method: Historiography3
HIST 579Professional Development Seminar1
Reading Seminars (select four courses from the following): 112
Reading Seminar: U.S. to 1877
Reading Seminar: U.S. Since 1877
Reading Seminar--Public History
Reading Seminar-Europe to 1815
Reading Seminar-Europe Since 1815
Reading Seminar: Latin America
Reading Seminar: Middle East
Reading Seminar: East Asia
Reading Seminar: South Asia
Reading Seminar--World Environmental History
Research Seminar (select one course from the following): 23
Research Seminar: United States
Research Seminar--International
Research Seminar--Public History
500- or 600-level HIST course3
Electives 36
Foreign Language: Requirement may be fulfilled by exam or through coursework.
HIST 699Thesis3-6
Program Total Credits:34

A minimum of 34 credits are required to complete this program. 


At least one course should be U.S., and one course should be non-U.S. Select the remaining in consultation with advisor.


Research seminar must be in the student's thesis field.


HIST and non-HIST subject code courses numbered 300-699.  At least 3 credits must be non-HIST.