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Western Kentucky University

Online Learning

Master of Arts in History

Our mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge while preparing them for a wide variety of careers. We believe that asking questions and seeking knowledge, either for practical reasons or out of curiosity, is one of the most worthy of all pursuits.

The study of history flows from our desire to understand how humans have tried to turn their hopes into reality. Examining these past efforts can be both exhilarating and humbling. The human past is a record of remarkable achievements, astonishing in their variety. The past, however, also gives evidence of the fragility of those achievements.

This program is designed to prepare students for the teaching of history on the junior and senior college level; to provide the initial graduate work for those who intend to pursue a doctoral degree; and to enhance the preparation of secondary teachers of history who desire to meet certification requirements through such a program.

The Department offers an online, non-thesis option leading to Master of Arts degree. Courses are offered on a rotating basis, but set up to allow students to complete the M.A. in three years.

Admission Requirements

Application and all supporting materials (i.e., transcripts, GRE scores) need to be received in Graduate Studies by the dates listed below to ensure adequate time for departmental review. Applicants can apply online at, or may download a printable application.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester:
June 15
Spring Semester:
November 15
Summer Term:
Contact History Department

Please note: To be eligible for any type of financial aid or a graduate assistantship, you must be admitted in good standing to a degree program. Non-degree seeking students are ineligible for financial aid and graduate assistantships.

Admission Guidelines and Requirements for the History M.A. Program

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 with a minimum of 18-21 hours of history
  • GAP score of 2200, as required by Graduate Studies (GAP is GRE x GPA)
  • Application and Fee must be returned to the Graduate Studies Office
  • Official Transcripts from undergraduate institution, if degree granting school is not WKU

Standardized Examination Scores

All degree-seeking students must submit appropriate standardized test scores regardless of their undergraduate grade point average. Standardized test scores must be received by the Office of Graduate Studies prior to admission. The admission decision will be based upon both the transcript grade point average and the test score. Registration materials for the GRE are available by logging on to

Admission decisions are based upon both the undergraduate grade point average and the GRE General Test score. The GAP score is the product of the GRE score x the overall undergraduate grade point average. For example, a GRE score of 1200 and a grade average of 2.75/4.0 would produce a GAP score of 3300. Since GAP is a product of both GRE and grade point average, both the GRE and transcript record are essential for making an admission decision. GAP score requirements for general admission to Graduate Studies (individual degree programs may be higher) are as follows:

  • If test was taken before 9/30/2002, a score of 3500 is required.
  • If test was taken after 10/01/2002, a score of 2200 is required.

Program Requirements

The M.A. in History offers students flexibility in the course work they pursue by encouraging that the program for each individual be built around areas of interest. The History Department offers two graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts degree.

  • “Plan A” (Thesis Option) requires 24 hours of course work plus a 6 credit-hour thesis.
  • “Plan B” (Non-Thesis Option) requires 36 hours of course work.
  • All students must take HIST 535: Historiography.
  • All students must demonstrate competence in a research tool. In order to fulfill this requirement, students may pass a foreign language proficiency exam or take certain courses that develop research skills.

To learn about course offerings and other program requirements, and to build a program that’s right for you, please contact the History Department’s Graduate Program Advisor, Eric Reed (

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Certain courses may offered on a rotating basis, so please plan your program of study carefully. Contact Dr. Eric Reed, the academic advisor for the program for additional information on course offerings at

Department Contact Information

Program Advisor: Dr. Eric Reed
Phone: (270) 745-3841

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 Last Modified 4/11/15