The Master of Arts (M.A.) in History is designed for those who teach in local schools, those who wish to prepare for a Ph.D. program and those who seek the additional intellectual challenge of graduate work in History.


Note: This program is no longer accepting new applications.

The Master of Arts degree in history educates students in the essential skills of analysis, comprehension, critical thinking and public speaking. It develops the ability to analyze large quantities of data, to identify patterns and trends and to write a clear narrative that explains those results. Such skills apply to a wide range of careers, including teaching, gallery and museum work; archive management; government and public service; business and legal research; and consulting.

The M.A. in history is designed for those who: 

  1. hold a teaching license and are seeking professional licensure; 
  2. work or want to work in history organizations, museums and galleries; 
  3. are preparing for doctoral studies in history or 
  4. seek the additional intellectual challenge of graduate work in history. 

Students may attend part-or full-time, with classes offered in the late afternoon or early evening to accommodate those who are working during the day. 

  • The master’s degree program requires 30 credits of coursework. Graduate courses explore social and cultural history, global history, migration and immigration and archival science. There are three ways to fulfill the required credits:

    • Option 1: 10 three-credit graduate courses.
    • Option 2: nine three-credit graduate courses and a three-credit project or internship with an area historical society or organization.
    • Option 3: eight three-credit graduate courses and a six-credit thesis.

    For more information including course listings and degree pathways, visit the Graduate Catalog.

    Bachelor's-to-Master's Option

    UMass Lowell students who wish to be Bachelor's-to-Master's candidates may apply to the program and waive the GRE test so long as they have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.000 for all previous course work. Application is typically submitted during the student’s second semester of their junior year. B.A./M.A. admission is based on having an overall GPA of 3.000 or better; two letters of recommendation from UMass Lowell History Department faculty; and a personal statement that describes the student’s interest in a History Master’s degree.
    • Submitted Graduate Admissions Online Application
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
    • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.000 or better, which may be waived if students have substantive work experience in the field, including successful classroom teaching
    • Official score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - GREs are waived for UMass Lowell B.A. / M.A students in history, UMass Lowell alumni with a minimum 3.000 GPA who apply within five years of graduation and applicants with a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university
    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • A personal statement
    • A curriculum vitae summarizing education and work experience
    • $50 application fee
    • The department’s Graduate Admissions Committee may request an interview

    Learn more about the application process.

    International Applicants

    • Students for whom English is not a national language must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score.
    • English proficiency testing
      • TOEFL minimum 79
      • IELTS minimum 6.5

    See the Graduate Catalog for additional requirements of the program.

    Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information.

  • Current tuition information for on-campus and online students is available on the Graduate & Professional Studies website.

Why Choose the Master of Arts in History Program at UMass Lowell?

Prof. Robert Forrant with looks on as students discuss what makes up an ideal city Image by Katharine Webster


The department faculty include prize-winning professors who publish actively in their respective fields and who regularly receive external grants. Faculty work closely with the Tsongas Industrial History Center and Lowell National Historical Park to design and deliver workshops for teachers and exhibitions for the community. Graduate students can engage with these to apply their classroom skills to real-world projects.

Two female grad students work on their laptops

Flexible Curriculum

Students in the M.A. program choose to take one, two or three courses per semester, with individual instruction also available to graduate students through directed studies or a supervised internship at a partner organization. Graduate courses can be taken in related graduate programs such as public administration, peace and conflict studies, and global studies.

Park visitors wait as a yellow trolley tour arrives in Lowell Image by Lowell National Park


Lowell and the Merrimack Valley are the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and offer a unique opportunity to study the intersection of immigration, labor and environment. The historic city possesses rich archives and a compelling story, and has a strong relationship with UMass Lowell.

Bradley Sherwood helps a child weave on a loom at summer camp at the Tsongas Industrial History Center

Internships, Archives & Experiential Learning

Opportunities exist to conduct research and find internships at institutions throughout Middlesex County, including Center for Lowell History, Lowell National Historical Park, Lawrence History Center, the National Archives and Records Administration in Waltham and local historical societies.

Meet Our Students

Christina Sirignano seated at a desk in an office
Christina Sirignano '20, '21
History and Education

A scholarship endowed in memory of the late English teacher and lecturer Socrates Lagios helped Christina Sirignano complete her master’s degree in education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was very happy when I got the scholarship. I took three classes the summer of COVID because I was unemployed, and I was able to not worry about money quite as much.
Read More About Christina Sirignano