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Master of Arts in History

Learning Goals


History MA students will receive an education that reflects the strengths of the faculty.  The students can take courses in the history of California, the American West, the Spanish borderlands, the environment, Mexico, Brazil, early and modern Europe, and American foreign policy.  Along with course content, the students will learn about different categories of analysis, including, but not limited to, historiography, gender studies, literary criticism, deconstruction, trans-nationalism, anthropological theory, and critical race theory.


History MA students will learn how to interpret primary sources, evaluate secondary sources, find information in a library and appropriate databases, give an academic presentation, and compose a thesis using original research to answer a historical question.

Cultural competence

History MA students will learn about different peoples, traditions, beliefs, and regions.  Their exposure to a wide variety of human experiences will help the students appreciate the challenges of living in a global, international world in which migration patterns and Internet technology have erased traditional boundaries.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with an MA degree will:

  • Know how to draft, and answer, a question for their thesis.
  • Display the insight and understanding needed to find and evaluate secondary and primary sources.
  • Know how to write clear, coherent prose and organize an argument.
  • Have the confidence to present a lecture on their findings.
  • Be prepared to consider all sides of a historical debate before exercising judgment.