Salisbury University students on campus

Program of Study

The M.A. in history requires 30 semester hours of graduate coursework (including 24 hours completed at SU) and solid proficiency in fields of expertise as demonstrated through qualifying oral and written examinations. Before enrolling in courses, all admitted graduate students are expected to meet with the graduate director, who will review the program requirements and help them select areas of concentration for their study. Students also have the option of completing a thesis for course credit, which is particularly encouraged for those planning to apply to Ph.D. programs.

The Graduate Program in History offers four basic areas of concentration of which at least two (one major and minor) will serve as the foundation of each student’s coursework and study. These areas are: the history of the Chesapeake Bay region, Colonial and Revolutionary American history, United States history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and world history. Within these four basic fields students will of course specialize, depending upon their particular research interests and course completions.

Graduate research seminars taken at the 600 level form the core of the Graduate Program and will constitute the preponderance of each student’s curriculum. Offered in the evening, at least two are scheduled every semester on different topics. In addition, 500-level “swing” courses are available for graduate students, provided that credit has not already been received for their 400-level equivalents as part of a student’s undergraduate degree.

Independent study (HIST 629) and thesis reading and research courses (Hist 630 and 631) enable students to tailor their graduate program to suit individual interests and career goals. Our graduate faculty represent a vast array of fields of specialization and share their expertise as mentors to students wishing to explore topics in depth. Students interested in undertaking thesis research should contact potential faculty mentors (at least one supervisor and second reader) about their proposed topic before completing 15 credits of graduate coursework.

The MA in History at Salisbury University requires the following:

  • Complete 30 credits of graduate coursework (10 courses), at least 15 credits of which (5 courses) must be 600-level graduate seminars. Please note that all students must complete the seminar on historical research and writing, Hist 601, which is offered every third semester.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0 for the duration of their graduate study. Receiving more than one grade below a “B” in graduate courses is grounds for academic probation and eventual expulsion from the MA Program in History. See the SU catalogue for more information.
  • Sound performance on written and oral qualifying MA exams on one major area of concentration and at least one minor area. Taken at the end of a student’s graduate program, these exams are designed to test the breadth and depth of the candidate’s knowledge in selected fields of expertise, and will generally entail a significant historiographical component. Students should be prepared to select their areas of concentration in conjunction with faculty examiners by the time they have completed 18 credit hours of graduate coursework.