Jun 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

History, M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: History 


  • History of the Americas
  • World History to 1500
  • World History since 1500
  • Digital Humanities/Public History


The Department of History at the University of South Florida offers MA applicants an enriching program of study, coursework, and directed research.  A master’s degree in History can prepare students for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors where research, critical thinking, and writing skills are especially important.

Major Research Areas:  American History; Ancient History; Digital Humanities; Europe and the World; Gender and Sexuality; Latin American History; Public History; World History.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Two (2) letters of recommendation on behalf of the applicant are required; these letters should come from academic sources familiar with the quality of the applicant’s academic work and indicate his/her graduate program potential.
  • Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose should delineate the applicant’s historical and intellectual areas of interest, proposed fields of study, educational and professional goals, the faculty with whom the applicant is potentially interested in working, and why the applicant sees him/herself as a good fit with the program.
  • Writing Sample: A scholarly writing sample of no more than fifteen (15) double-spaced pages (excluding bibliography and notes) should demonstrate the applicant’s ability to write effectively, to conduct historical research and analysis.  Appropriate examples include a term paper, research paper, or thesis chapter.
  • GRE not required

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 33

  • Core Requirements - 6 Credit Hours
  • Major Field Concentrations – 9 Credit Hours
  • Minor Field Electives - 6 Credit Hours
  • Electives - 6 Credit Hours
  • Thesis/non-thesis – 6 hours

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Major Field Concentrations (9 Credit Hours)

Students choose one of the following Concentrations in their Major Field of Study. Other graduate courses may be substituted if approved by the Graduate Director.

History of the Americas Concentration

World History to 1500 Concentration

World History Since 1500 Concentration

Digital Humanities/Public History Concentration

Minor Field of Study (6 Credit Hours)

Students select six (6) hours in a minor field of study that complements the Concentration. Students may minor in any of the defined Concentrations or a thematic field such as Gender and Sexuality, Race and Ethnicity, Imperialism, or Material Culture. Students may define their own minor field with written permission from their advisor, the Graduate Director, and the Department Chair.

Electives (6 Credit Hours)

Students must complete six (6) additional hours of graduate coursework in History or in another department at USF.

Other Requirements

Students may take a maximum of three hours in HIS 6914  Directed Research and/or HIS 6908  Independent Study. Exceptions can be made with the approval of the major professor and Graduate Director

M.A. students are assigned an advisor in their anticipated Concentration uipon admittance into the Major. Students will arrange their program of study and schedules of appropriate courses in consultation with their advisor.  

Students need to demonstrate satisfactory progress or they will be removed from the Major, consistent with department procedure.

Language Requirement

Students may need to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English, consistent with the requirements of their field.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options (6 Credit Hours)

Students may select either a thesis or non-thesis option.


  • Credit Hours: 2-19 (3 Credit hours)
  • In lieu of two other courses, students may write a Master’s Thesis, enrolling in HIS 6971.


Students who choose not to write a thesis should take an additional six (6) credit hours of graduate coursework in History, or another department at USF.

Comprehensive Examinations:

In lieu of a Comprehensive Exam, students are required to complete a portfolio that includes a capstone research project and demonstrates a range of competencies in historical analysis and writing; it will be reviewed and evaluated by a two- or three-person faculty committee.