Apr 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2015-2016 
Graduate Catalog | 2015-2016 Previous Edition

History, M.A.

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. degree in History or Public History 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
  • Acceptable performance on the verbal and math portions of the GRE
  • 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

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in History requires completion, with a GPA of 3.0 or above, 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, and no more than 6 credit hours in individually designed readings or research courses.  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.

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

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

Core Courses

For the M.A. in History

Required courses for the M.A. in History are as follows:

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

Candidates pursuing the Concentration in Public History must complete only 2 different HIST colloquia.  In addition, however, they also must complete the following core courses:


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

Elective Courses

Students may 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.

Admission to Candidacy Requirements

An Admission to Candidacy form must be submitted during the semester preceding the one in which the student plans to complete the degree requirements, either by defending a thesis or taking a comprehensive examination.


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 local historical museums and sites.


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 admission to candidacy form and application for degree.

Transfer Credit

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

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.