Masters Program

The M.A. program is designed to introduce students to the basic skills of historical research as well as to the debates about, and the approaches to, historical scholarship in the a specific field. The program can be completed in one year, and includes 9 four-unit courses in a major field. Financial aid is not available for Masters' students, but they may be employed as Readers for departmental courses.

The Department offers M.A.s in European history, US history and History of Science and administers an interdisciplinary M.A. programs in Judaic Studies. The department also provides the opportunity for students to design special M.A. programs in areas such as African History, Medieval European History and Pre-Modern Chinese History. In consultation with an appropriate faculty member students may petition the department for approval for a special M.A. Students interested in pursuing an M.A. degree in Latin American Studies are encouraged to apply for admission to the UCSD Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS) M.A. degree program. Required courses vary for each major field (see below), but all courses must be taken for a letter grade.

At the end of the final quarter of enrollment, Masters' students must pass a comprehensive one-hour oral exam in their field with three faculty examiners who have worked with them. The main examiner (usually the Research Seminar instructor) will approve the student's orals list, consisting of 40 to 70 books and articles that have been read over the course of the year. The student may also identify general themes as a way to organize the questioning during the exam. The student should provide all members of the examining committee with a copy of the list, at least one week before the exam.

Please note:  The Department of History is not accepting M.A. applications in U.S. History for the Academic Year 2017-18.

Area of Study

European History

Candidates for the M.A. degree in European history pursue a program concentrating on the history of early modern and modern Europe. Some training in a discipline other than history is also recommended. The requirement of nine courses (thirty-six units) is normally distributed as follows:

  1. A two-quarter research seminar, either HIGR 230 or 231.
  2. Cross-Field Historiography Course: HIGR 200.
  3. European Historiography Courses: HIGR 220, 221 and/or 222. Each year 1-2 of these historiography courses are offered, and the student must take these.
  4. Two courses in pre-industrial Europe 1450-1750: HIGR 220 and 221, or HIGR 230 may be counted for this distribution requirement. Note: HIGR 221 may NOT be used for both (3) and (4).
  5. Two courses in industrial Europe since 1750: HHIGR 221, 222, or HIGR 231 may be counted for this requirement, as well as appropriate graduate level colloquia.
  6. One course in a discipline other than history, if relevant to the student's program.
  7. The remaining courses may be chosen, in consultation with the graduate adviser in the student's field, from among the available undergraduate/graduate colloquia (#260s-280s).

History of Science

The MA program in History of Science provides a broad background in, and preparation for, a variety of careers related to science and technology, business, journalism, education, government, or for more advanced degree work. The nine courses (thirty-six units) required are normally distributed as follows:

  1. Two courses in science in early modern Europe.
  2. Two courses in science since 1750.
  3. A two-quarter research seminar.
  4. The remaining courses are chosen in consultation with the faculty in history of science. For students whose previous training has been mainly scientific, these will include courses in historical fields other than the history of science. For students who already have historical training, they may include one or more courses related to the sciences.

United States History

This area of concentration offers the MA candidate a broad grounding in the literature of American history from the colonial period to the present. In addition to a shared core of courses, students specialize in a topical field of their own choosing. Training in a related discipline outside of history is encouraged. The requirement of nine courses (thirty-six units) is distributed as follows:

  1. HIGR 265A-B-C: The literature of American History. These colloquia are required of all entering graduate students in United States history.
  2. A two-quarter research seminar.
  3. Two courses in a single topical field chosen from African-American history, Asian-American history, history of the borderlands and Southwest, Chicano history, economic history, legal and constitutional history, political history, social and cultural history, history of the South, history of the West, or history of women, gender and sexuality.
  4. Two additional courses (eight units) chosen in consultation with the student's adviser. These courses may be in a related field outside the department.
  5. At least six of the nine courses must be colloquia or graduate-level courses. Students may take conjoined courses, directed readings, research seminars, or the 265 series to meet this requirement

Judaic Studies

Judaic Studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows students interested in many areas to build a coordinated graduate program leading to an M.A. Courses which count toward the degree may be in a wide array of university programs and Departments, including history, literature, anthropology, political science, sociology, and philosophy.

Degree Requirements

  • The M.A. degree will be granted for 36 credits, ordinarily completed in one or two years.
  • Students may enroll in no more than two undergraduate courses
  • All courses should be approved by the faculty mentor of the student.