History, Master of Arts

Offered by Department of History

History Program Information and Admission Requirements

Master of Arts Degree

  • Option A: Thesis Option
  • Option B: Non-Thesis Option

Master of Arts in History Admission Criteria

Admission to the History MA program is based on undergraduate GPA, letter of intent, references, and a writing sample. An applicant interested in pursuing a MA in History should1:

  1. Meet the requirements for admission set forth by the Office of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach by submitting a graduate online application,
  2. Have completed an undergraduate program containing at least 18 semester credit hours of history or related disciplines or have completed an undergraduate program with comparable experience in the field of history,
  3. Have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
  4. Submit a letter of intent that describes the applicant's interests and goals in obtaining a graduate degree,
  5. Submit evidence of the writing and analytical skills necessary for graduate level course work,
  6. List at least two references.

Program Requirements

  • At least half of the course work in each program (excluding thesis credit hours) must be completed in non-P courses.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all graduate credit hours to graduate.

Academic Portfolio for Non-Thesis Students

Students pursuing the non-thesis option must do the following:

  1. Complete all coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  2. Students will compile a comprehensive academic portfolio that includes work completed in the program and comprehensive essays in the major and minor fields. Students must submit their portfolio to the History Department during the last semester of course work. A supervisory committee consisting of the graduate program chair and one faculty member each from the major and minor fields will evaluate the portfolio. If the portfolio is not approved, students may revise and resubmit it the following semester. 

Thesis and Thesis Committee for Thesis Students

Students interested in pursuing the thesis option must do the following:

  1. Complete at least 12 credit hours of course work with a 3.5 GPA including HIST 801 and HIST 803.
  2. Complete HIST 894 with a grade of B or better, and maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or better.
  3. Obtain a Letter of Agreement from a history faculty member who agrees to serve as thesis advisor.
  4. Submit to the graduate chair and receive approval of a Thesis Prospectus that outlines the proposed thesis topic.
  5. Submit "Proposed Supervisory Committee for Thesis" form.
  6. Successfully defend their completed thesis in an oral defense to be conducted by the student's thesis committee.

A completed thesis must be submitted for the approval of the thesis committee within two years from the completion of the course work. This time requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Department's Graduate Committee.

The thesis committee shall consist of a minimum of three members:

  1. The candidate's thesis advisor who will serve as chair;
  2. a member representing the candidate's major discipline (generally from the degree granting institution); and
  3. a third member representing a related field selected at large from the University of Nebraska Graduate Faculty.

Students in the thesis-option are encouraged to present their research at an academic research conference approved by their thesis advisor.

Accelerated Master of Arts in History Admission Criteria

UNK undergraduate students may apply to the Accelerated MA in History Program or Accelerated MA in Public History Program by submitting an application to the UNK Office of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach. Applicants must have junior standing and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate coursework. In their application, they should include a letter of intent that describes their interests and goals in applying to the Accelerated Master's Program, submit a writing sample demonstrating the writing and analytical skills necessary for graduate level course work, and list at least two references. Applicants will be admitted on a conditional basis to the MA in History Program or MA in Public History Program. Full admission requires completion of the undergraduate degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in both undergraduate and graduate coursework. The Accelerated Master's Program is open only to UNK students enrolled in one of the UNK History Department's undergraduate degree programs.


In the absence of any of the 6 criteria, admission may be granted on a conditional basis. 

This program is offered on campus and online.

Option A: Thesis

HIST 801America Interpreted3
HIST 803Historical Methods3
HIST 894Introduction to Thesis3
Select 3 credit hours of Public or Digital History3
Select 6 credit hours of U.S. History courses6
Select 6 credit hours of Non-U.S. History courses6
Select 6 credit hours of Electives6
HIST 896Thesis6
Total Credit Hours36

Option B: Non-Thesis

HIST 801America Interpreted3
HIST 803Historical Methods3
Select 3 credit hours in Public or Digital History3
Major Field12
Minor Field9
At least 6 hours must be in US History and 6 hours in Non-US History
Total Credit Hours36