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Master of Arts in History

Master of Arts in History

The Master of Arts in History 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.

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. 

The minimum requirements for acceptance are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • 3.0 GPA for overall undergraduate coursework.
  • Application and Fee
  • Official copy of Transcript(s)
  • Completion of at least 18 undergraduate credit hours in history.
    • 3.0 GPA for all History courses.
  • Personal Statement
  • Sample research paper
  • The GRE IS required for admission into this program.
    • There are no exceptions to this requirement even for candidates with graduate degrees.
    • The advanced test IS NOT in History is not required.
    • Verbal Reasoning score of at least 500 (if taken before Aug. 2011) or 153 (if taken Aug. 2011 or later)
  • Conditional admission is considered on a case by case basis for those not meeting these requirements.
    • Students admitted under the alternative admission requirements are conditionally admitted and must achieve a B or better in the first graduate course completed. 

Application Process

1. Apply for admission

  • Visit the Online Learning Admission Page for more information.
    • There is a $65 application fee.
  • Complete the WKU Domestic and International Graduate Application
    • Under Planned Course of Study Section, Choose:
      • Category of Study >>> Masters
      • Planned Course of Study >>> History (078)

2. Submit Required Materials:

    • Request at least one official transcript showing the completed degree from accredited institutions other than WKU. 
    • The transcript must be forwarded from the college or university registrar electronically or directly to the Graduate School. 
    • Send your official transcripts from each college attended to Graduate Admissions. 
      • You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request an official copy be sent by mail.
    • Submit an official GRE score report taken within the last 5 years.
    • Submit a brief (approx. 750 words) written statement describing why you wish to pursue the program.
    • Provide a sample research paper at least 5 pages in length.
  • For additional information on university admission requirements please visit the Graduate School Admission Page.

Deadlines for Admission Applications & Transcripts

  • Fall Semester: June 1
  • Spring Semester: November 15

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 the Plan B (Non-Thesis Option) online graduate program which requires 36 hours of course work and leads to the Master of Arts degree.

Required Core Courses: Research Tool (3 hours)

All students must demonstrate competence in a research tool. In order to fulfill this requirement, students may demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by passing a proficiency exam or take certain courses that develop research skills. A grade of B is required in any research tool course. The Modern Languages Department will administer language proficiency exams.

  • HIST 535: Historiography


  • MATH 203: Statistics

Elective/Concentration Courses (33 Hours)

Students must complete at least 4 courses (12 hours) in an area of concentration to qualify for the M.A. exam in one of the following areas:

  • Pre-Modern Europe/World (Ancient World to Early Modern Europe)
  • Modern Europe (Enlightenment to Present)
  • Non-Western World
  • Pre- Civil War United States (including Civil War)
  • Post- Civil War United States

Please note the following as you plan your program of study:

  • Students may transfer up to 9 hours from another graduate program or institution to fulfill program requirements (if courses meet transfer requirements and advisor approval).
  • Certain courses may be offered on a rotating basis, so please plan your program of study carefully
  • 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 Advisor, Dr. Marko Dumancic by email at marko.dumancic@wku.edu.

Eligibility Requirements and the Application Process

Financial Aid includes grants, scholarships and loans for educational purposes. To qualify for federal student aid you must meet certain requirements. General eligibility requirements can be reviewed on the Federal Student Aid website. Here are a few basics to keep in mind:

  • Your eligibility is determined through an application process. So, your first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Even if you doubt your eligibility, apply. Approximately 90% of those who apply qualify for some form of aid. View a step-by-step guide through the application process.
  • WKU Online courses are treated the same as face-to-face courses. If your application is approved, you may elect to take web, on demand or face-to-face courses. Distance courses through On Demand require same semester completion and an On Demand Agreement.
  • You must be classified as a degree-seeking student to qualify. Degree seeking normally refers to an associate, baccalaureate or master degree. However, some stand-alone certificates are eligible.
  • Certificate Eligibility: As a general rule, if you are seeking an undergraduate certificate (certificate only; no degree), the program must require at least 16 credit hours, 15 weeks of instruction and be clearly tied to a profession. If you are seeking a graduate certificate (certificate only; no degree), the program must require at least 8 credit hours, 10 weeks of instruction and be clearly tied to a profession. For additional information on certificate eligibility, please email fa.questions@wku.edu. Certificates may also be earned in conjunction with degrees at the associate, baccalaureate and master levels.
  • You must be registered at least half-time to receive aid (6 credit hours for undergrad students; 4.5 credit hours for grad students).
  • You must meet federal and state regulations regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible. View the complete SAP Policy.

Veterans and Active Military

WKU is a military friendly school. Veterans and active military are required to file additional forms for military tuition assistance. The Office of Veterans Affairs unit that helps ensure all appropriate information is on file. Visit the Veterans Affairs office website.

Academic Department

Advisor: Dr. Alex Olson

Email: alexander.olson@wku.edu

Phone: (270) 745-4201
Website: wku.edu/history/grad/ma/non-thesis-opt.php

WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: (888) 4WKUWEB / (888) 495-8932
Website: wku.edu/online 

The Graduate School

Email: graduate.school@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-2446
Website: wku.edu/graduate 

For more information about this program, fill out the form below.

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 Last Modified 8/31/20