Jul 22, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 Previous Edition

History, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in History program at UNC Charlotte is designed to give motivated students an opportunity to pursue advanced studies in close collaboration with accomplished scholars. The program emphasizes the development of methodological, literary, and conceptual skills that graduates can employ as students in a doctoral program, as professionally oriented history teachers in secondary schools, as staff at museums or historic sites, or as citizens more acutely aware of the historical evolution of their society. Offering both day and evening courses, the Department of History attracts a diverse group of traditional and non-traditional students. Candidates may pursue the M.A. in History degree on either a full-time or part-time basis.

The Department offers courses in United States, European, and Latin American history, with particular expertise in the following areas:

  • African-American and Black Women’s History
  • American South, Old and New
  • Colonial and Modern Latin America
  • Comparative Slavery, Race and Race Relations, and the African Diaspora
  • Early Modern and Modern Europe
  • Environment, Labor and Business, Science, Medicine, and Technology
  • Military, War, and International Relations
  • Nationalism and Colonialism in World History
  • Urban History, Immigration, and Ethnicity
  • Women’s History, Gender, and the Body

The Department also offers a concentration in the field of Public History. The program emphasizes museum studies, historic preservation, and the creation of new media projects such as websites, digital collections, and documentaries.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the following are ordinarily required for admission to the M.A. in History program:

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in History or a related discipline
  • A personal statement outlining the candidate’s background, interest, and goals in History
  • Three letters of recommendation from former instructors and/or employers
  • A writing sample of at least 6-8 pages

Note: GRE scores are not required.

Early Entry Program

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may apply for the Early Entry Program and begin work toward the graduate degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for details and requirements.  Also see the Degree Requirements and Academic Policies  section of the Graduate Catalog for more information about Early Entry Programs.

Accelerated Master’s Program

Academically talented high school seniors and UNC Charlotte undergraduate freshmen are encouraged to apply for the Accelerated Master’s Program to begin work toward both undergraduate and graduate degrees in their Freshman year.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for details and requirements.  Also see the Degree Requirements and Academic Policies  section of the Graduate Catalog for more information about Accelerated Master’s Programs.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in History requires completion of at least 30 credit hours in approved graduate courses.  These courses must include at least 24 credit hours in History, of which at least 15 credit hours are in seminars or colloquia open only to graduate students.

For M.A. thesis students, no more than 6 credit hours of elective courses can be at the 5000-level, in HIST 6894 , HIST 6901 , or outside the Department of History (in any combination).  For M.A. comprehensive exam students, no more than 9 credit hours of elective courses can be at the 5000-level, in HIST 6894 , HIST 6901 , or outside the Department of History (in any combination).

Students taking the comprehensive examination may take 3 credit hours of exam preparation and students completing a thesis may take 6 credit hours of thesis preparation toward their 30 credit hours.

Students who pursue the Concentration in Public History must complete 30 credit hours of required and elective coursework, 3 credit hours for an internship in some area of Public History, and 3 credit hours of thesis work, for a total of 36 credit hours.

No more than six transferred credit hours may be approved for application to the requirements for the degree.

Students must complete all degree requirements, including the comprehensive examination or thesis defense, within seven calendar years of first enrollment in the program.

Core Courses

For the M.A. in History

Other Required Courses (6 credit hours)

Comprehensive Exam or Thesis (3-6 credit hours)

Select one of the following:

For the M.A. in History with Concentration in Public History


Consult the department website at history.uncc.edu for a more detailed description of program requirements and suggested courses of study.

Elective Courses

In addition to the below listed courses, all other History courses at the 6000 level may count as an elective, including the colloquia, if students take additional credit hours beyond the already completed requirements.  For example, if a student takes four colloquia, the fourth counts as an elective.

Students may also elect to take up to 6 or 9 credit hours of graduate-level coursework in disciplines other than History, depending on whether they pursue the thesis or comprehensive exam, respectively.  Candidates seeking graduate-level teacher certification may use the elective option to take courses in professional education selected in consultation with the College of Education.  If a student needs more than that number of elective hours to satisfy certification requirements, those hours will be added to the total required for the M.A. in History.

Degree Total = 30 Credit Hours

Grade Requirements

All students in the program are expected to maintain an overall B average (3.0 GPA).  Students who do not meet this expectation will be subject to suspension on recommendation of the Graduate Committee of the Department of History.


Students may not register for graduate-level courses without the permission of the Department of History.  Consequently, students must be advised by the Graduate Program Director, either in person or by phone or email, prior to registering for courses each semester, as well as prior to filing their application for degree.

Language Requirement

Although students are not required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, they are expected to be able to use whatever languages they need to pursue their research interests.

Thesis/Comprehensive Examination

After completing the required courses, students must either prepare a Master’s thesis based on original primary research or take three comprehensive written examinations based on reading lists compiled in consultation with faculty members. Students intending to write theses must first write and then defend a thesis proposal. M.A. candidates completing either the thesis or exam must then pass an oral defense of their written work.

An Examining Committee, consisting of two graduate faculty members from the Department of History and a third member selected from History or another department, oversees the student’s thesis work or conducts the comprehensive written and oral examinations.


The Department of History currently supports eight students with teaching assistantships, two students with editorial assistantships, and occasionally provides support for other students via administrative assistantships. Assistantships are currently funded at $9,000 per academic year. From time to time, the department also provides students with other employment opportunities.

See the section Financial Assistance below for additional information on resources available to graduate students in the Department of History.


Internships are available to all students and required for those in the Public History program. Some are available within the department; others with a variety of historical museums and sites.

Financial Aid/Financial Assistance

Students may obtain limited financial support from paid internships, summer or adjunct teaching in the department, archival work in the library’s Special Collections, and teaching opportunities at local community colleges. Students doing thesis research or presenting papers at professional conferences may receive modest travel grants from the department or from the Graduate and Professional Student Government.

Information on non-departmental forms of financial assistance is available from the Office of Student Financial Aid.

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