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Master of Arts in History

Program of Study

  • Approval of courses by Graduate Program Director
  • 30 units of coursework including
    • HIST 500 Core Seminar (taken during the first semester) (3 units)
    • HIST 501 Teaching Seminar (3 units)
    • HIST 502 Public History Seminar (3 units)
    • HIST 595 Thesis (6 units)
    • 18 units of elective courses, 12 units of which must be from history courses numbered in the 500s. An additional 6 elective units may be chosen from the following: history, political science, peace and justice studies, international relations, art, art history, marine science, theology and religious studies, literature, language, anthropology, ethnic studies, sociology, education, business administration, and law. Under certain circumstances and with special graduate level adjustments, 6 elective courses may be taken at the undergraduate, upper-division level.
  • Only one course with a grade of "C+", "C", or "C-" may count towards the degree.
  • No courses with a grade of "D" or "F" will count toward the degree although the grade will be calculated in the GPA.
  • Satisfactory performance (minimum grade of "B") on a comprehensive examination in the final semester or completion and acceptance of a thesis.


The student must submit a thesis of at least 100 pages that shows proficiency in research into primary documents and independent thought. The thesis topic is to be approved by a faculty committee of at least two USD history department members. The student must register for HIST 595 "Thesis," until the 6 unit requirement is met and the thesis is completed. If the student has not completed the thesis by the time all required courses are completed (including the 6 units of HIST 595), they must continue to register for one-half (0.5) unit of thesis each semester (excluding summer and Intersession) until the thesis is completed and accepted. A pamphlet entitled Instructions for the Preparation and Submission of the Master's Thesis is available for sale in the University Bookstore.