historic cemetery

Program Information

M.A. in History

The requirements for a Master of Arts in history are the satisfactory completion of 30 units, usually ten separate courses. A student is required to take a minimum of four 600-level courses (12 units). A student may take a maximum of four 500-level courses (12 units).

There are two tracks students can choose from:

Plan A is the thesis option for graduate students in the program. Students who choose this option conduct primary source research in order to produce a thesis that makes an original contribution to the field of history. The thesis option requires a committee of three professors - two from within the history department and one who teaches in another department. For more information, please see the department's Graduate GuideYou can also view recent completed theses in History housed in the library.
Plan B is the exam option for graduate students in the program. Students who choose this option work with two faculty members in the history department to delineate two different fields of study that may be defined chronologically, geographically, or thematically. In conjunction with the advising faculty, the student prepares a reading list of forty books for each field, for a total of eighty books, and takes a four-hour written examination in each of the two fields. For more information, please see the department's Graduate Guide.

Required courses are History 601, 665; six units selected from History 620, 630, 640, 650, or 680; History 797; and History 799A for those students electing Plan A.

Students approved for Plan B shall meet the same course requirements as those enrolling in Plan A, except that they must enroll in History 795 (three units) and one additional three-unit history course numbered from 620 to 680 in place of History 797 and 799A. With the approval of the graduate adviser, a student may substitute up to 6 units of special study, HIST 798, or up to 6 units earned outside the department, for up to 6 units of electives.

See our Courses page for more information.

Community College Teaching Certificate

The history department also offers a Community College Teaching Certificate through the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education (ARPE). This certificate requires twelve units of coursework, six of which taken as optional non-departmental courses for the Master's degree.

NOTE-- This program is currently unavailable.

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“It was at SDSU I learned how to be a good student, balancing class assignments and outside work. The seminar classes were especially important because I learned how to get the most out of monographs and apply historiographical trends. Particularly important were the high standards of all my professors. Their high expectations and encouragement helped me go into a Ph.D. program knowing that if I worked hard enough, I would succeed.”


Dr. Paula DeVos
Phone: (619) 594-4893
Office: AL 534
E-mail: [email protected]