Contact & Location


Department of History

Physical Address:
Administration Bldg. 315
PHONE: (208) 885-6253
FAX: (208) 885-5221

Mailing Address:
Department of History
c/o University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3175
Moscow, ID 83844-3175

Queen Elizabeth I

Master of Arts Program

The Master of Arts program is intended to provide students with research skills and experience, to develop greater depth of knowledge, and to enhance professional opportunities.  M.A. students may choose either the thesis option or the non-thesis option.  Thesis topics are limited to the fields of:  United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia.

Admission to the Program

Students apply through the College of Graduate Studies Admissions in advance of review by the department of history. A candidate for admission must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to be considered for admission.  In addition to items noted above, to be considered for admission to the MA program, the applicant must provide (please send to Graduate Admissions):  
  • A statement of purpose which outlines the proposed field(s) of study and the applicant's reasons for seeking admission to the program
  • Three recent letters of recommendation
  • A sample of written work, preferably from a prior history course  
  • GRE scores
  • One to two page curriculum vita/resume  
  • College transcripts (copies OK)

Selecting a Major Professor and Committee

During the first semester of study, a Master of Arts student will be assigned a temporary faculty adviser.  By the end of the first academic year, the student will select a formal major professor and additional faculty members to constitute a committee, and will complete and file an "Appointment of Major Professor and/or Committee Form" with the College of Graduate Studies.  It is also the student's responsibility to complete and file an official "College of Graduate Studies Study Plan" with the College of Graduate Studies. Thereafter, students will not be permitted to enroll or be eligible for financial aid until these requirements are met.

The major professor is responsible for the academic and administrative supervision of the student's program.  Students should give special attention to the "List of Requirements for a Master's Degree" and the "List of Procedures for Master's Degree" in the College of Graduate Studies section of the University of Idaho General Catalog. Ultimate responsibility for seeing that all requirements are met in a timely and appropriate manner rests with the student.

An M.A. committee consists of at least two, optionally three, members of the history department, and one non-history faculty member (the "outside" member).  The student's major professor serves as the chairman of this committee.  It is the student's responsibility to file the "Appointment of Major Professor and/or Committee" form with the College of Graduate Studies.

M.A. candidates have the option of changing committee members in the course of study.  It remains the choice of faculty to serve or not to serve on any M.A. committee.  In addition, a faculty member has the right to resign from a committee at any time, although always with prior notice to the student, the major professor and the department chair.  Any changes in the committee must be made on the "Graduate Program/Committee Change" form and filed with the College of Graduate Studies. 


A graduate student must attain a grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) for all courses taken in or applied to the program.  A GPA below 3.0 is "not passing" in graduate work and will result in termination from the program.

Time to Completion

Students are normally expected to complete all requirements for the MA, including thesis and exams, within three years (six regular semesters) of their acceptance into the program.  Students may petition the department for either a one semester or maximum one year extension.  Exceptions may be made for medical or other extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the department.  Failure to complete degree requirements in the time allotted will mean immediate and permanent termination from the program.

Course of Study

The M.A. program comprises 30 credits beyond the B.A./B.S., with the following conditions:
  • Students may take up to three graduate courses offered through Washington State University (WSU).  Under the thesis option, these courses may include one graduate historiography course and one graduate seminar relevant to the student’s area of emphasis. 
  • Under the non-thesis option, the courses may include one graduate historiography course and one field course relevant to the student’s area of study.  A third course could be an additional seminar for the thesis option or an additional field course for the non-thesis option.

Under both options, a total of 18 credits (normally six courses) must be in graduate level (500) history courses, including those noted above.  The remainder may be at the 400 level. Under the thesis option, no more than 6 of the required 30 credits may be satisfied by History 500 Master’s Research and Thesis.  Under both options, up to six credits may be in acceptable non-History 400 or 500 level related fields.

In all curricular matters, the student should consult with his/her major professor.  In the case of History 502 (Directed Study) and 599 (Research), the student must obtain the major professor's permission before enrolling.

Finally, it is the student's responsibility to complete and file an official "College of Graduate Studies Study Plan" with the College of Graduate Studies.  This study plan, which may be amended, (on the "Graduate Program/Committee Change" form and filed with the College of Graduate Studies) will outline the classes to be taken to satisfy the MA course requirements.