2023-24 Edition

History, M.A.

The Department of History at the University of California, Irvine emphasizes graduate training in regional areas, world and transnational history, and thematic specialties as elaborated in the graduate handbook. Whatever the student's chosen emphasis, the History Graduate Program encourages students to think across national and regional borders and to have a solid understanding of how the discipline of History contributes to debates about global and local transformation.

It is desirable that an applicant have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in History; however, the Department also considers students who have previously specialized in other subject areas and who have strong analytical and writing skills. The Department's required grade-point minimums and English Language Proficiency requirements for international student admission are consistent with university policy. A GRE score is not required for admission. Students are accepted for fall admission only.

Program of Study

Masters students receive similar opportunities as those offered doctoral students to train in the history of area regions and thematic emphases.

A total of nine courses are required for students completing the thesis track of the program: three in a primary field, one History Methods course (HISTORY 205), the two quarter first-year research seminar (HISTORY 202A and HISTORY 202B), two electives that may be taken outside of the Department, and one directed reading course (HISTORY 291) with the advisor to prepare to work on the thesis.

Students completing the exam track for the M.A. program are required to complete nine courses: three in a primary field, one History Methods course (HISTORY 205), four elective courses (two of which may be taken outside of the Department, one may be HISTORY 291 with an exam committee member), and one directed reading course (HISTORY 291) with the advisor to prepare for the comprehensive exam.

Time Limits

The M.A. is a one-year program in academic residence as a full-time student. However, it is understood that many M.A. students are employed and need to enroll on a part-time basis. Students are allowed up to three years of graduate study to complete the degree.

Degree Conferral

Degree Conferral Plan I- Thesis: The master’s thesis represents a revision of the first-year research paper, equivalent to a scholarly article, under the supervision of the faculty advisor. The project is reviewed and approved by the advisor and the thesis committee.

Degree Conferral Plan II- Comprehensive Exam: At the end of the final quarter, the M.A. candidate must pass a comprehensive oral exam administered by the faculty advisor and one other faculty member. Students are examined on their first field.

Language Requirement

Students in the M.A. program whose major field requires use of foreign language sources must demonstrate competence in a foreign language in the process of writing the first-year research paper and thesis. Other M.A. students do not have to meet a foreign language or alternative skills requirement.