Obtaining an MA in history can open career possibilities for a student, while allowing them to immerse themselves in a field of study, which they love. Salaries are not typically high, but the rewards are great for those who are motivated by learning.
University Degree Offerings
The Norwich MAH program offers a broad yet focused program of graduate training in historical research and writing. The program is well-suited for teachers who would like a discipline-based degree beyond the credential. It is also excellent preparation for a career with the State Department, teaching History at the community college, doctoral studies in History, or any career in the public or private sectors requiring advanced research, and analytical skills.
Norwich University Master of Arts in History
The Master of Arts in Military History at Norwich University program has a highly unique curriculum that includes methodology and historiography, an examination of theoretical concepts and debates over frameworks for analyzing warfare in history, and components dealing with American military history, non-western and non-traditional ways of war, military thought and strategy, and topical areas such as total war and race and gender in military history.
History degrees offered are Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Arts (MA) and Doctorate (PhD). A new MA degree in History and Media is offered at some universities.
Why a Masters in history – For those who are interested in studying how people lived in the past and in historical events and their causes, studying for an MA in history will be a rewarding experience. History helps us understand people and the way they live. The old saying “History repeats itself” is all too true. Historians can see patterns from in our past that can help guide us now and in the future. They can also document how we live now for later generations. Here are some reasons for getting an MA in history:
- For teaching as well as other professions, a graduate degree can offer increased earnings.
- Acquiring important skills:
- verbal and written communication
- structuring ideas and formulating arguments
- investigative skills such as gathering data and analyzing its importance
- organizing information
- A graduate degree can offer greater career potential.
- States like New York strongly encourage high school teachers to have advanced degrees.
- Earning an MA in history provides educational opportunities to specialize in a particular area of interest.
- According to statistics on graduate admissions, 80% of students who have MAs and apply for PhD programs are admitted.
Why a History Degree
History is a common major for students in 4-year liberal arts programs. Most history majors choose a specific era/part of the world to focus their studies on. They engage in scholarly research, digging through historical archives while consulting the work of contemporary historians. Their studies focus not only on factual information, but on the critical thinking and strong writing skills needed to analyze and present this information in a meaningful way
History Courses & Areas of study
As part of the curriculum, there are three areas of specialization. The student chooses three courses inside their chosen specialization and an additional 2 courses outside their specialization. Two research courses must also be completed. A master’s thesis must also be submitted and a comprehensive exam based on coursework may be required. The areas of specialization and courses are:
- United States History
- State History Issues
- American West Issues
- 19th Century American History
- The Civil War
- The Civil Rights Movement
- US Women’s History
- Early American History
- Historiography of US Women
- US Labor Radicalism
- The American Revolution
- American Labor and Working Class History
- European History
- Issues in European History since 1500
- Historiography of the French Revolution
- Law and Society in Russia and the Soviet Union
- History and Philosophy of History
- Issues in African History
- Issues in Asian History
- Historiography of Modern China
- Non-western History
History Career Opportunities
Most career opportunities for a Masters in history are in teaching. There may be civil service positions as well, though with the slump in hiring, the outlook for most government jobs is not so bright. A historian’s skills can fit in very well with any type of government work on the local, state or federal level. If you would like a government job, they are typically listed online and some have qualification examinations. Persistence pays. Some common jobs for those with a Masters in history are:
- Middle School History Teacher – Average salary $50,000
- High School History Teacher – Average salary $54,000
- Community College Instructor – Average Salary $66,000
- Researcher – $31,000
- Federal Civil Service GS 9 – $47,000
Online History Degrees
This degree is offered online at many different accredited universities. For those who are working full time, studying online is very convenient and saves so much time because there is no commuting involved.
History Education & Admissions Requirements
Every school has different admissions requirements. Some schools require a personal interview, however most do not. Here are some of the requirements for admission at a large state university:
- A resume
- A personal statement
- 24 credits in undergraduate history
- 3.0 grade point average or higher
- Graduate Record Examination
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts documenting BA
It is important that your Masters in history is accredited. If it is not, it is not legitimate. This may be a problem for any employer who has offered you a position based on your degree. If you have obtained a government or teaching job based on a degree which is not accredited, you could lose your position. The US Department of Education does not endorse or give accreditation to schools; however it does provide a complete database of accredited post-secondary institutions in the US. There are two types of accrediting agencies, national and programmatic. You can enter the institution name in directly or search by state. When you perform a search the institution is listed with all its accreditations and dates. You can find this tool at http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx.
Top Ranked History Degrees
Obtaining a Masters in history from a highly ranked university lends greater credibility to your degree. US News ranks the top 123 history programs. Those who are admitted to one of these elite schools will be able to impress any people who examine their credentials. Schools ranked by the Princeton Review or Forbes are also likely to impress others. Unranked schools having notable faculty members are more desirable than those that lack them.
History Professional Organizations
The American Historical Association is a professional association for historians. It provides information on history-related news and has employment information including job listings. It is a worthwhile organization for students, teachers and the general public as well.