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Fields and Concentrations

Master of Arts in History

Fields and Concentrations

Choosing Advisors and Fields of Study

All History MA candidates choose a major and minor field. Students will take courses in these fields (see Requirements for the MA in History) and will be tested in these fields (see Comprehensive Examinations). After consulting with the Graduate Advisor, students are responsible for contacting as soon as possible two field advisors, one of whom will oversee their progress in the major field, the other of whom will oversee their minor field. All students should have chosen a major field and major advisor by the time they have taken 9-12 credit hours.

Major Fields, Minor Fields and Concentrations

The MA in History seeks to provide students with a balance of breadth and depth in the study of history. Major fields are broad areas of study within which students gain a general picture of historical processes. Concentrations provide focus for developing expertise within the major, either regionally or thematically. Minor fields provide a complementary or comparative area and must be from outside the major field.

Advisors and students together will work out Plans of Study, which indicate the courses students intend to take to meet their requirements, based on their selection of major and minor fields. Students should make every effort to enroll in courses which best fit their major field, major concentration and minor field.

Major Fields and Core Lists 

Students can choose to major in one of the following four fields:

  • European History
  • Global History
  • Public History
  • U.S. History

The department has compiled a core readings list for each of these major fields. Students will draw on the core lists for their comprehensive exams. Core lists contain a number of themes with bibliographies for each theme. In consultation with their major advisor, students choose at least two books from each theme; for some themes, students will read more than two books.

Major Field Concentrations

Students work with advisors to select one of the major field concentrations listed on the Web site. Concentrations provide thematic or regional focus to a broad geographical major (e.g. for the global history major, students could concentrate on trade, borders, imperialism, etc., or any of the areas of regional expertise of our faculty). Readings for the major field concentration are in addition to the core reading list.

Minor Fields

Students choose minor fields from the list of major fields or the list of major field concentrations. They choose their minor field in consultation with the minor field advisor.

Concentrations and Minors List

Regional Concentrations/Minors
American West East Asia
Britain Islamic World
Germany Latin America
Western Europe

United States History Chronological Concentrations/Minors

Colonial and Federal
Nineteenth Century
Twentieth Century

Public History Concentrations

Historic Preservation
Museum Studies
State and Local History

Topical Concentrations/Minors

(these can be regional or global and must be negotiated with your field advisors)
Colonialism and Imperialism
Cultural and Social History
Diplomatic History and Foreign Policy
Economic and Business History
Environmental History
Gender, Women and Sexuality
Intellectual History
Nation and State
Race and Ethnicity
Science, Medicine and Technology
Urban History
War and Revolution