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History Department

Master of Arts in History

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.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in History, with concentrations in U.S. History and Global Comparative History, requires thirty credits of coursework. The U.S. History concentration includes standard topics in American history as well as more specialized courses in local history, public history and industrial history. The Global Comparative History concentration allows students to choose from an array of courses covering a broad geographical and temporal range.

Students may be full or part-time. A full-time student could complete the M.A. degree in one and a half full academic years (summer attendance included).


Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. There is no application deadline; applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements:

  1. Graduate Application and Application Fee, To apply online: Graduate Admissions.
  2. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  3. An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better. At the discretion of the department's Graduate Admissions Committee, students may be admitted with a grade point average below 3.0 if they substantive work experience in the field, including successful classroom teaching.
  4. Acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination. There is no minimum GRE Score. However, we recommend a Verbal Score in the 55th percentile or better and a Analytical Essay score of at least 4.5.
    GRE's are waived for:
    1. UMass Lowell B.A./M.A. applicants
    2. UMass Lowell alumni who graduated in the last five years with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
    3. Applicants who earned a graduate certificate from UMass Lowell with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
    4. Applicants with an earned Master's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States.
  5. Students for whom English is not a national language must also submit a score for the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 570 for the paper test and for the new Internet-based test the aggregate minimum is 79. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.
  6. Three Letters of recommendation.
  7. A personal Statement
  8. A curriculum vitae summarizing education and work experience.
  9. In addition, the Department's Graduate Admissions Committee may request an interview.

B.A. / M.A. Candidates

UMass Lowell undergraduates who wish to be B.A. / M.A. candidates may apply to the program and waive the GRE test and application fee. To apply to the B.A. / M.A. program, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all previous course work. Application is typically submitted during the student's second semester of their junior year but may be submitted through senior year.

B.A. / M.A. application requirements:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better
  3. Two Letters of recommendation from UMass Lowell History Department faculty.
  4. A personal statement that describes the student's interest in a History Master's degree

Additional B.A. / M.A. Information:

  1. Students admitted to the B.A. / M.A. program are accepted on a conditional basis with the requirement that students receive their bachelor's degree at the end of their senior year and graduate with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. If students do not meet this requirement, their master's degree candidacy will be voided and they would be required to re-apply via the traditional application process.
  2. B.A. / M.A. students must complete their bachelor's degree first before graduate admissions can change their status to that of a fully matriculated graduate student.
  3. B.A. / M.A. students may defer their graduate matriculation for up to one year following their graduation for the bachelor's degree. A request for deferral must be made to the Graduate Admissions Office in writing. After one year of deferral, failure to register for graduate classes will invalidate their acceptance into the master's program.


Program requirements include thirty credits of coursework which may be completed in one of three ways:

  1. Ten three-credit graduate courses;
  2. Nine three-credit graduate courses and a three-credit project or internship with an area historical society or organization;
  3. Eight three-credit graduate courses and a six-credit thesis.

Required Courses:

  • HIST.5010 The Practice of History
  • 5000 Level History Research Seminar as approved by Graduate Coordinator.


Students completing a thesis take six electives and those doing a project or internship take 7 electives. Students not doing a thesis or project/internship take 8 electives.

  • HIST.5020 Introduction to Archives
  • HIST.5100 Modern Revolutions in a Global Context
  • HIST.5110 History of College, 1100-1900
  • HIST.5120 Athenian Democracy and Political Culture
  • HIST.5130 World History: Theory and Practice
  • HIST.5160 Consumer Cultures in Historical Perspective
  • HIST.5350 Immigration History
  • HIST.5360 Readings on the Great Depression and the New Deal
  • HIST.5400 Law, Politics and Society in Early America
  • HIST.5450 Native People of the Northern Woodlands
  • HIST.5460 Topics in African American History
  • HIST.5470 History of the U.S. South
  • HIST.5500 Graduate Reading Seminar: Imperial Japan, 1894-1952
  • HIST.5510 Reading Seminar on Modern China
  • HIST.5520 Enterprise in Latin America
  • HIST.5590 Reconstructing America: Upheaval, Immigration and Reform
  • HIST.5900 Topics in History
  • HIST.5910 Directed Study

With the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, students may count up to two graduate-level courses (6 credits) outside of the History Department as electives.

 Transfer Credit

Matriculated students are allowed to transfer up to 12 credits of graduate course work completed with a grade of B or better taken in other departments at UMass Lowell or at other accredited college or universities in the United States or Canada, provided that the courses are within a relevant content area and do not involve credit for field experience or professional work. Such transfer credit is subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the Registrar's Office

 Advising and Support

Each entering student will be assigned to an adviser from among the History Department's full-time faculty. The student will meet with his/her adviser on a regular basis throughout their years of study to discuss course selection and academic progress. It is our expectation that faculty advisers and student advisees will meet at least once each semester.

 Learning Outcomes

Students in the M.A. program will develop a thorough grounding in the historical process and a greater empathy and special perspective for viewing human thought and action through a broad exposure to the complexities that shape the forces of civilization. Graduates will recognize the distinctiveness of people and societies of the past and acknowledge the threads that connect the experiences of these people over time. Learning outcome include:

  1. How to think historically, that is, a heightened ability to understand and explain change over time, utilizing multiple sources.
  2. Demonstrate a thorough grounding in the historical process and a variety of perspectives through which to view human thought and action
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the distinctiveness of people and societies of the past, as well as the threads that connect the experiences of all peoples over time.
  4. How to critically evaluate and work with a wide range of primary source materials.
  5. Effective oral and written communication skills so as to be able to present reading and research findings effectively in written and in spoken presentations; to be able to tell the story well.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of interpretations developed by different historian
  7. Greater Understanding of linked global histories


For more information about the program or to contact the coordinator, please visit the History Department website.