Master of Arts in History

The master's degree in history will equip students to pursue a doctorate in history; to teach at the public school or college level; or to engage in historic preservation, public history, records management, or other related careers.  Students who successfully complete the master's degree will have acquired an advanced knowledge of historiography, substantial experience with interpreting primary documents, knowledge of the research and writing process as used by historians, and an ability to communicate historical information and ideas effectively.
Admission to the program requires six hours of undergraduate history in any area.  Students who lack six undergraduate history hours will be required to take those hours before beginning graduate study.

The 37-hour degree provides maximum flexibility, with many choices of course topics to total 27 hours and two additional specifically mandated courses:  historical methods (online only) and a one-hour comprehensive exam at the culmination of the program. Students may choose to complete a thesis or take two additional courses to total 37 hours for the degree.

Students may choose from a variety of topics courses in American, European, and world history, including regional, environmental, science and technology, warfare and culture, and gender and ethnic minority history.  The program also offers participants choices from Baptist, church and biblical history courses through the School of Religion and Philosophy.

The flexibility of the MA in history extends to the format, with students choosing traditional, face-to-face classes on the Plainview campus, OR a completely online delivery format, OR a combination of the two.  Both face-to-face and online courses will be offered in four 11-week terms each year, following the Virtual Campus calendar. The face-to-face classes will meet on Friday nights and all day Saturday on four weekends spread across the 11 weeks.

Admission Requirements:

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Students desiring to enter the graduate program must submit the following documents:

  • Completed graduate application for admission
  • Non-refundable application fee of $50 (current and past WBU students are excused from this fee)
  • Official transcripts from each institution previously attended

Students must have six hours of undergraduate history prior to beginning graduate study.

Course Requirements:

37 hours, including a three-hour core course in historical methods
27 hours of graduate-level history courses
a one-hour comprehensive exam
Either a thesis or six additional hours of coursework.

Academic Advising

The Virtual Campus makes available online all the general information needed by students of the Degree Program Online. Any questions having to do with the Graduate Program procedures may be addressed to the Graduate Studies Office at 1-877-844-4544. Specific questions regarding academic issues of the master's degree in History will need to be addressed to Dr. Estelle Owens, Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences:

Dr. Estelle

  • Students who take the HIST/RLGN classes must have had undergraduate surveys of the Old and New Testament.
  • Students who plan to pursue a doctorate should be aware that doctoral programs require competency in two foreign languages.  Such students should take the thesis route in the Masters to prepare them for writing a doctoral dissertation.
  • Students must take the comprehensive exam (HIST 5100) during the last semester of their program and score a minimum of 80 on it in order to earn the degree.  This course may be taken along with one other course, as long as that course is not historical methods.
  • Students may take any “studies in” course more than once for credit if the topic is different each time.
  • Students should take HIST 5301 (historical methods) as early in their program as possible.            

Course Rotation (Two Years)

Spring 2010

HIST 5342: Studies in British History (Plainview)
HIST 5301: Historical Methods (online)
HIST/RLGN 5330: Baptist History (online)

Summer 2010
HIST 5311: Studies in 19th Century America (Plainview)
HIST/RLGN 5307: Church History (online)
HIST 5348: Studies in 20th Century History (online)

Fall 2010              
HIST 5333: Studies in Regional History (Plainview)
HIST 5301: Historical Methods (online)
HIST 5331: Studies in the History of Science and Technology (online)

Winter 2010
HIST 5310: Studies in Colonial/Revolutionary History (Plainview)
HIST 5346: Studies in Early Modern Europe (online)
HIST 5348: Studies in 20th Century History (online)

Spring 2011

HIST 5347: Studies in Modern European History (Plainview)
HIST 5301: Historical Methods (online)
HIST/RLGN 5330: Baptist History (online)
HIST/RLGN 5337: Ancient Near Eastern Backgrounds to the Old Testament (online)

Summer 2011

HIST 5340: Studies in Gender/Ethnic Minority History (Plainview)
HIST/RLGN 5307: Church History (online)
HIST 5311: Studies in 19th Century America (online)

Fall 2011

HIST 5311: Studies in 19th Century America (Plainview)
HIST 5301: Historical Methods (online)
HIST/RLGN 5306: The Intertestamental Period (online)
HIST 5341: Studies in Warfare and Culture (online)

Winter 2011

HIST 5332: Studies in Environmental History (Plainview)
HIST 5345: Studies in Medieval History (online)
HIST 5333: Studies in Regional History (online)