Return to: Colleges and Departments
View information for the Department of History .
Master’s Degree programs
There are three degree programs within the Master of Arts, History:
- Master of Arts — for persons interested in pursuing the study of history for college teaching or for other purposes. Students who plan to study for the Ph.D. are required to learn to read one foreign language and advised to complete a master’s thesis.
- Secondary School Teachers Concentration M.A. — for persons with valid secondary teaching credentials. Considered a terminal degree.
- International Relations Concentration M.A. — of particular interest to those wishing to supplement their professional training in certain civil service careers, and those desiring an interdisciplinary background for teaching. It requires reading competency in one foreign language.
Prerequisites for Admission
(M.A. History, International Relations, Secondary School Teachers)
The department considers two overall areas in deciding on qualifications for admission: overall GPA (including GPA in history courses) and recency of coursework. Specifically, the requirements for admission are:
- An overall grade point average of 3.0.
- At least 21 units of upper-division history, including a senior thesis, with a GPA of 3.0 or better in these courses. Units taken 15 or more years prior to application will be considered outdated; if 9 or more upper-division units are outdated, a student will be admitted into provisional status with conversion to conditional classified status (the normal status for new students in the program) contingent upon the completion of additional coursework according to the following formula:
- Applicants with 9 to 11 outdated units must complete Senior Seminar (including the writing of a senior thesis) with a grade of B or better.
- Applicants with 12 to 21 outdated units and a GPA of 3.5 or better must complete Senior Seminar (including the writing of a senior thesis) plus two regular upper-division courses. Except for Senior Seminar, these units may be taken for graduate credit and may be counted toward the M.A. if they are at the 4000 level.
- Applicants with 12 to 21 outdated units and a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49 must complete Senior Seminar (including the writing of a senior thesis) plus three regular upper-division courses with a GPA of 3.0 or better in these courses. Except for Senior Seminar, these units may be taken for graduate credit and may be counted toward the M.A. if they are at the 4000 level.
- Satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination, General Test, unless the student has completed 15 or more units of upper-division history at CSU Stanislaus.
- Students may be admitted on a provisional basis if they have both an overall GPA and a history GPA between 2.9 and 3.0. These students may take up to 9 units of 4000-level coursework (not including Senior Seminar), with extra graduate-level work, which may count for graduate credit if they are subsequently admitted to Conditional Classified Status.
- Provisional status students must, within two academic years of admission to provisional status, meet the minimum requirements for admission to conditional classified status or be discontinued from the program. Coursework taken under provisional status which is counted toward the MA will fall under the seven-year maximum for completion of the degree.
Note: Secondary School Teachers Concentration M.A. additionally requires a valid California secondary teaching credential. This concentration does not require a foreign language competency for the M.A.
- Upon admittance, students will be assigned an adviser, usually the Chair of the Graduate Committee.
- Students generally begin with “Conditionally Classified” status.
- All students, except those in the Secondary School Teachers Concentration who are not writing a thesis, must pass a written competency test in one foreign language or take equivalent classes which do not count toward the M.A.
- After completing 10 units of history or other preapproved courses with a B average, assuming all other prerequisites have been met, the student will be evaluated for “Classified” status.
- Students are evaluated periodically to ensure they are making satisfactory progress. Failure to adhere to program requirements or to the departmental statement of Professional Ethics is grounds for suspension from the program, either temporary or permanent, depending upon the severity of the offense.
- Pending completion of all classes counting toward the M.A., minus the thesis (if the student chooses to write one), each student must write a letter to the Chair of the Graduate Committee announcing his/her readiness to take comprehensive exams.
- Students must take their comprehensive exams within one calendar year of completing their coursework, minus the thesis, during the times specified by the department.
- Upon completing all requirements for the M.A., the student achieves “Candidacy” status and is ready for graduation.
- Thirty units are required, of which 24 units are to be taken in courses offered by CSU Stanislaus.
- Fifteen of the 24 units must be at the 5000-level.
- No coursework below B- nor CR-graded courses may fulfill any M.A. requirement.
- When enrolled in a 4000-level (senior) course, the graduate student must do additional work as specified by the instructor to earn graduate credit. Students may not take HIST 4000, 4960, 4980 or 4990 for graduate credit.
- Reading knowledge of one foreign language is required (as proven by a translation test) except for Secondary School Teachers concentration. Students may take equivalent classes (not counting toward the M.A.) or may pass the third semester of a foreign language at any accredited college or university in lieu of the test.
- A student not doing a thesis must submit at least two substantial papers, written during graduate classes, for the files.
- A comprehensive written examination is required of all candidates and will cover all work taken in the program. In addition, an oral defense of a thesis is required.
- In the papers and examination, the student is expected to demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter, its historiography, and competence in the following three skills: ability to perform research operations, analytical skills, and ability to communicate clearly.
1. All graduate students with conditionally classified status must take the following course in their first fall semester.
2. All students must take courses to gain a minimum of eleven additional units at the 5000 level.
The applicable courses are:
3. All students must complete additional coursework at the 4000 level.
With extra work as specified by the instructor, to complete the 30-unit master’s degree requirement. The only 4000-level classes not appropriate for graduate students are HIST 4000, 4960, and 4980.
4. For the International Relations concentration only:
Any of the following courses are pre-approved by the Graduate Committee:
- ECON 4050* - Comparative Economic Systems, 3 units
- ECON 4415* - International Economics, 3 units
- GEOG 3550* - Geography of Europe, 3 units
- GEOG 3570* - Geography of Russia and East Europe, 3 units
- GEOG 4210* - Geographic Problems in the Developing World, 3 units
- HIST 4041* - Colonialism and the Modern State in Africa and Asia, 3 units
- HIST 4340* - Modern Germany, 3 units
- HIST 4430* - Twentieth-Century Russia, 3 units
- HIST 4510* - The United States and Latin America, 3 units
- HIST 4600* - United States Diplomatic History, 3 units
- HIST 4800* - Modern China, 3 units
- HIST 4840* - Modern Japan, 3 units
- HIST 4950* - Selected Topics in History (when an international relations topic is taught), 1-5 units
*Please consult the Undergraduate catalog for undergraduate-level course descriptions.
5. Other courses may be considered for all concentrations in consultation with the Graduate Committee.
Prior approval required.
Return to: Colleges and Departments