Dec 06, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

History, M.A.

Advisement for the program is available from the History  Department.

The History Department’s Master of Arts (M.A.) program offers students the opportunity to undertake advanced coursework in many areas of U.S. and world history, and is especially strong in the study of the Chesapeake Bay region. Graduate seminars on specialized topics are taught by a diverse and world-class faculty, whose primary goal is to see that students acquire the dispositions necessary for conducting professional historical research. Small classes afford individualized attention and faculty support. The scope and rigor of the program furnishes an excellent foundation for those interested in continuing their studies at the Ph.D. level. Evening offerings give teachers and other nontraditional students an invaluable opportunity for ongoing education and career development.

With its emphasis on research, reading and writing, the M.A. program in history not only prepares its students to succeed in challenging academic and professional environments, but also promises to foster in them a lifelong love of learning and appreciation for the complexity of the human condition.


Admission to the M.A. in history at SU requires an application for graduate program admission; the application fee; official transcript from all colleges and universities attended; if applying for in-state tuition, a Residency/Domicile Information Form; and the following additional application documents and requirements specified by the History Department:

  • Submission of Letter of Intent (Cover Letter).

  • Submission of three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to judge the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate studies in history, an example of the applicant’s scholarly writing, along with the departmental application for admission to the graduate program in history, to the History Department, Salisbury University, 1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21801

  • Completion of the equivalent of an undergraduate major in history with at least 15 semester hours in history at the junior-senior level or above, including a course in research and writing, with a grade point average of 3.0 or better in all history courses. This preparation is designed to serve as a foundation for graduate study in history and such courses are therefore ineligible for inclusion in the 30 semester hours normally required for the degree.

  • A student who has completed a bachelor’s degree in a major other than history should contact the history graduate program director for additional information.

All application materials, either those specified for the Admissions Office or those specified for the History Department, should be submitted by no later than May 15 for fall admission or October 15 for spring admission.

Provisional Admission

Students who do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to the M.A. in history may only be admitted on a provisional basis, and must make up the deficiency. Provisionally admitted students may take a maximum of nine semester hours and must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 with no grade less than C.

Program Policies

  • After being formally admitted to the M.A. in History Program, and before beginning classes, graduate students are required to meet with the graduate history program director to select one major concentration area and at least one minor concentration area and to discuss thesis option.

  • A graduate student may not receive credit for a 500-level SU HIST course that corresponds to a HIST course previously taken at the 400 level for undergraduate credit (same title or topic).

  • Complete 30 semester hours of graduate coursework (including 24 hours completed at SU). 

  • Satisfactory performance on oral and written examinations.

  • Up to 6 semester hours of graduate work in history may be transferred from other institutions.

  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0; earning two grades of C or one grade below C is grounds for dismissal from the program.

  • Complete satisfactory performance on oral and written examinations.

  • The program should be completed within 7 years of admission


This checklist is an unofficial tool for planning. Matriculated students and advisors should consult the Academic Requirements Report in GullNet before and after registering for classes each semester to track academic progress.

Program Requirements

Seminar Requirement (5 courses)

Select at least 5 seminars from the selected major and minor concentrations at the 600-level (HIST 601  is required), the aim of which is to develop skills in historical research, analysis and writing.

Complete the Following:

Seminars Taken - Including Subtitle:

  • Seminar:

  • Seminar:

  • Seminar:

  • Seminar:

Complete 1 of the Following Options:

Non-Thesis Option

In addition to the seminar requirement, complete at least five courses from any 500-level HIST course, any 600-level HIST seminar not taken twice already and/or the following course:

(Note: HIST 629  may only be taken once)

Courses Taken - Including Seminar Subtitle, If Applicable:

  • Course:

  • Course:

  • Course:

  • Course:

Thesis Option

Students intending to choose the thesis option should follow the procedures and declare their intent to do so the semester preceding their graduation.

In addition to the seminar requirement, complete at least three courses from any 500-level HIST course, any 600-level HIST seminar not taken twice already and/or the following course:

(Note: HIST 629  may only be taken once)

Courses Taken - Including Seminar Subtitle, If Applicable:

  • Course:

  • Course:

Complete the Following 2 Courses in the Last 2 Semesters of Coursework

Note: Thesis must be taken at least once for a minimum of 3 credit hours. It may be repeated up to three times for one credit each.

Written and Oral Exams

After completion of 18-21 semester hours of graduate work, students meet with the graduate director to finalize the specific areas in which they are to be examined. Students complete the written examination first; these responses become the starting point for discussion in the oral examination. Students who fail the written or oral examinations may retake the examination once, but must do so within one year of the date of the original examination.

Major Field Exams

Name of Major Field:  
Written Exam Passed: (date)
Oral Exam Passed: (date)

Minor Field Exams

Name of Minor Field:  
Written Exam Passed: (date)
Oral Exam Passed: (date)