History, MA

Program Description

The History MA is a face-to-face 30-hour program for individuals seeking further academic training in the practice of historical research and mastery of historical knowledge. This program aims to provide students with advanced knowledge and skills in the content, analytical theories, research methods, and public presentation of history. Students have an opportunity to study topics in European, Latin American, and United States history. Courses are designed to train students in the critical skills of examining historical evidence, reading and interpreting historical scholarship, undertaking archival research, and confronting and discussing ideas about the past in writing and in public.

The MA in History is designed for students who wish to become historians, develop academic skills for careers in public history or archival science, or wish to prepare for PhD programs. It provides professional development for secondary education teachers and those seeking professions in non-profit, educational, and governmental sectors. The program also encourages students to involve themselves with historical activities and institutions in the metropolitan area.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Advanced knowledge and skills in content, analytical theories, research methods, and public presentation of history.
  • Enhanced breadth of coverage, preparation, and professional skills for post-graduate application of MA in History – secondary schools, PhD programs, or public history employment.
  • Advanced competency in using archival resources, conducting research, handling primary sources, constructing original historical theses, and effective writing.

For Additional Information


Campus Address:
Faculty Center (FC), Room 270A
Phone: (361) 825-5783

Mailing Address:
Department of Humanities, College of Liberal Arts
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5814
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5814

Admission Requirements

Applicants must comply with all university admissions procedures outlined in the graduate catalog in effect at the time of their seeking admission into the program. They must also satisfy additional history area requirements. The combined requirements are listed below.

Applicants must:

Complete at least 6 hours of upper-level undergraduate history credits, with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Submit to the Office of Recruitment and Admissions a portfolio that includes the following:

An application on the appropriate university form;

Official transcripts of all previous college-level studies; 

Two letters of recommendation, at least one from a professor in the undergraduate major;

A writing sample (minimally seven double-spaced pages in length with proper citations) of previous academic work in history; and

An essay stating education and professional goals. Include the reason for applying to this program in particular. Include an explanation for unusual application (lower than required GPA, or returning non-traditional student, or no Undergraduate  History).

Students who cannot meet the requirements stated above may be accepted for admission if the History Graduate Committee decides this is appropriate.

A history admissions committee chaired by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in History, and including two additional tenure-line members of the full-time faculty in history, will review the above materials. Basing their decision upon the information contained in all of the above items, the committee will unconditionally admit, conditionally admit, or deny admission. Students with conditional status for one term may accrue no more than 6 hours of graduate credit towards the MA prior to being formally admitted to the program.

International students must have their credentials evaluated for their equivalent value according to standard university procedure and meet other admissions requirements specified in the graduate catalog.

Program Requirements

All students must complete their respective requirements with a 3.0 GPA or better, and can earn no more than one “C” grade in their graduate work. 

Core Courses
HIST 5310Historiography3
HIST 5320Research Methods3
HIST 5380Seminar in History3
Supplementary Courses
Select one of the following tracks:21
Exam Track
Select 15 hours of history courses.
Select 6 hours of either history or non-history graduate courses. Non-history courses must be approved in advance by the History Graduate Program Coordinator.
Thesis Track
Select 12 hours of history courses.
Select 3 hours of either history or approved non-history course
Thesis (complete 6 hours) 1
Total Hours30

After 24 hours of graduate coursework, students will complete 6 hours of HIST 5395 Thesis (6 sch).

All students must also complete one year of a second language at the undergraduate level (or the equivalent credit by examination.)

Students may transfer up to 12 hours of graduate credit from accredited institutions.

Exit Requirements

History graduate students may choose from two tracks to complete their degree based on each student’s career objectives.

The exam track is designed for students for whom the MA is the terminal degree. With the exam track, students must pass a written comprehensive examination during the term of expected graduation. The student’s committee will administer and evaluate the examination, designating the performance as a “pass with distinction,” “pass,” or “fail.” Any student who fails the comprehensive examination may retake it once within one calendar year. Failure to pass the examination a second time results in termination from the program.

The thesis track is designed for students who intend to pursue further academic study. The history MA thesis requires substantial commitment and ongoing consultation with the student’s graduate advisor.  Thesis students must defend the thesis in an oral examination, administered by the student’s committee. Evaluators will give a grade of “pass with distinction,” “pass,” or “fail.” If the student receives a failing grade, the student may resubmit the project a second time. Failure on the second submission will result in the student’s termination from the program. 

Students must use the required College of Graduate Studies forms and meet the deadlines for thesis committee formation and scheduling of the thesis defense. The thesis must meet the College of Graduate Studies thesis formatting requirements in addition to those of their discipline. For CGS deadlines and forms, refer to the CGS website and/or CGS Masters Handbook.

Areas of Concentration

By the end of the first year of study and in consultation with their graduate advisor, students will choose one of three areas of concentration in accordance with their academic and career objectives. Each concentration has an exam and a thesis track option. Both tracks require one year of a second language or its equivalent by examination. 

General Historical Studies

  • History core courses (9 hours)
  • Thesis track: 15 graduate hours beyond the core with no more than one approved non-history elective, and 6 hours of HIST 5395 Thesis
  • Exam track: 21 graduate hours beyond the core with no more than two approved non-history electives

History and Teaching

  • History core courses (9 hours)
  • HIST 5330 (3 hours)
  • Thesis track: 12 additional graduate hours with no more than one approved non-history elective, and 6 hours of HIST 5395 Thesis
  • Exam track: 18 additional graduate hours with no more than two approved non-history electives

History and Interdisciplinary Studies

  • History core courses (9 hours)
  • Two approved non-history graduate courses (6 hours) in an interdisciplinary field of the student’s choice or design, in consultation with the program coordinator and faculty adviser. Possible fields of study include Visual and Media Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Queer Studies; Race, Migration, and Borderlands; and American Studies
  • Thesis track: 9 additional graduate hours in history, and 6 hours of HIST 5395 Thesis
  • Exam track: 15 additional graduate hours in history

Graduate Advisor/Graduate Committee

By the end of a student’s first academic year, the student will identify a graduate faculty advisor. In conjunction with the academic advisor, students will determine their preferred track. By the end of a student’s second academic year, the student and graduate faculty advisor will identify a graduate faculty committee consisting of no less than two additional history faculty.

Degree Plan

The degree plan, signed by the student and graduate faculty advisor, will become official when approved by the Dean, no later than the end of the second year of study. Any courses to remove deficiencies in undergraduate academic preparation will be included, along with the minimum number of graduate hours, in the degree plan and must be taken before any graduate level hours. Exceptions may be made if only three undergraduate hours are required, in which case they may be taken concurrently with a graduate level course.


Internships will consist of 50 to 100 hours of work with private and public sponsoring agencies. Some internships will be paid by the sponsoring agency; most will not, depending on the resources available to the sponsoring agency. The student, one member of the History graduate faculty, and an administrator in the sponsoring agency, will design the internship. The latter two individuals will supervise the student’s performance during the internship. The student will submit a written report of the experience to the supervising faculty member within one month of the end of the internship. The student’s faculty supervisor will grade the internship report on a credit/noncredit basis.

HIST 5390Internship in History3

Transfer of Credit

In addition to the University’s general policy on transfer of credit, the following regulations will apply to the MA in History program: Up to 12 semester hours of graduate-level study may be transferred from other accredited institutions of higher education if appropriate to the degree. No course with a grade of less than a “B”, and no course that has counted toward the earning of another graduate degree will be accepted as transfer credit. Credit that is more than seven years old will not be counted toward the MA degree.


HIST 5310  Historiography  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A study of the literature of history with attention to the differing methodological approaches and their evolution over time. Required of all graduate students in history.

HIST 5320  Research Methods  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Students will develop and practice research skills using primary sources and write an original research paper. Topics will vary according to the course instructor. Required of all graduate students in history.

HIST 5322  Research Seminar: The American Civil War  
3 Semester Credit Hours  

RESEARCH SEMINAR: THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR Students will write a research paper in Civil War history based largely on primary source materials. Topics will be tailored to fit the student's needs and interests in consultation with the course instructor.

HIST 5323  Seminar: the Gilded Age  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Thematic seminar examining the late-nineteenth century America. Topics include the New South, the closing of the frontier, corporate enterprise and its effects on work and society, the party system, populism, the city, and overseas expansion.

HIST 5324  Seminar: U.S. Modern Popular Culture  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Explores leading examples of U.S. modern popular culture from the late nineteenth century to the present, with attention to interpretations and theories that help explain cultural change. Topics include consumerism, motion pictures and television, sports, music, and popular literature.

HIST 5328  Seminar: Mexican American History  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A study of the events, personalities, organizations, and individuals that have been critical in the development of the modern Mexican American community. Emphasizes politics and organization building.

HIST 5329  Seminar: United States Women's History  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A seminar that will include readings on women’s historiography, and also will address several key topics in American women’s history, including: plantation, slave, and immigrant women, activism, sexuality, work, religion, politics, societal prescriptions of femininity, and mass cultural influences.

HIST 5330  Pedagogy and Professionalization  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Introduction to practices and skills associated with professionalism in history. The class focuses on practical application in professional settings and the classroom, and it prepares students to develop and teach college-level history courses.

HIST 5331  Seminar: U.S. From 1945 to Present  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A study of U.S. social, political, cultural, and economic history in the decades following World War II. Topics include the Cold War, foreign relations, the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, and the Sixties.

HIST 5332  Seminar: African American History  
3 Semester Credit Hours  

This course examines major topics, themes, and problems in the 19th and 20th century African American History. We will focus on the ways in which race has impacted history, culture, institutions, ideas, and politics as seen through the African American experience (s). This course will also look at the cross-cultural influences between African Americans and Africans. Our readings and discussions will explore the following topics: race, the rise and fall of Reconstruction, migration, the New Negro and war, the Renaissance, education, feminism, crime and punishment, housing, urban life and culture, queer politics, institution-building, intra-racial class and gender dynamics, civil rights, black nationalism, and Hip Hop.

HIST 5333  Seminar: Early American History  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Examines early American history from European contact through the American Revolution. Topics and themes include slavery, class, gender, environmental history, religion, the movement of peoples, the encounter between Indians and Europeans, and the formation of democratic institutions.

HIST 5336  Seminar: United States Urban History  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A study of the geographic, economic, social, and political development of American cities, the structuring of the country's urban networks, and the evolution of American urban life.

HIST 5337  Seminar: Religion and Society in Early America  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Examines the religious history of early America from European contact through the antebellum period, with a focus on the vibrant religious cultures early Americans created and the ways they used religion to understand themselves and order their world.

HIST 5338  Seminar: History of American Education  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A thematic seminar that examines the history of American public education since the 19th century.  Topics include the role of the state in educating citizens, common schools, the feminization of teaching, vocational education, immigrant education, bilingual education, school desegregation, and urban school movements.

HIST 5345  Seminar: Environmental History  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

In this graduate-level reading seminar, we will examine the central role of nature in the nation’s past, looking beyond more traditional historical topics to discover how the environment has shaped society and the ways in which humans, in turn, have shaped nature throughout American history. Through extensive reading, writing, and discussion, we will connect nature and its creatures to larger historical trends and events in US history. The aim of this class is to provide you with a better understanding of environmental history including the field’s scholarship, key questions, major developments, and methodologies.

HIST 5351  Seminar: Colonial Mexico  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

An examination of economic, social and political developments in colonial New Spain, as well as an attempt to place New Spain in a larger regional context.

HIST 5355  Youth and Protest in the Americas  
3 Semester Credit Hours  

An examination of recent approaches to the study of youth in Latin America and North America.  Explores youth activism as a window into understanding how age functions as a category of analysis. Topics include university reform movements, consumer culture, and labor struggles.

HIST 5360  Public History: Corpus Christi and South Texas  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A discussion of the role and use of history outside traditional academic settings. Introduction to the work of historical associations, historic preservation, historic editing, museums and archives, and oral history, with discussion of techniques for incorporating such resources into teaching.

HIST 5370  Oral History: Techniques and Practice  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

An introduction to the methodology and practice of planning, conducting, editing, and transcribing interviews with eyewitnesses to or participants in historic events, highlighting Corpus Christi and the South Texas region.

HIST 5372  Seminar: Pacific Rim  
3 Semester Credit Hours  

Examines critical intersections among the histories of Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas since the turn of the nineteenth century, with a focus on interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches to human migration, critical race and ethnic studies, war and colonialism, gender ideology, and borderland studies in transnational and diasporic contexts.

HIST 5373  Seminar: Modern East Asia  
3 Semester Credit Hours  

Designed to help students develop bibliographical and historiographical command of modern East Asian history, the course examines the recent scholarly literature on the paradigm of modernization, colonialism, revolution, gender, class, and historical memory in the region's three principal states-China, Korea, and Japan.

HIST 5380  Seminar in History  
3 Semester Credit Hours  

An intensive study of selected issues, periods, regions, or themes in history based on independent reading, research, and writing by the student. May be repeated when topics vary. This course is delivered either in classroom or through online technology. When delivered through online technology, students must have access to a computer and Internet to complete course work.

HIST 5390  Internship in History  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A hands-on experience in historical work. Arranged in consultation with the student's advisor. May be repeated when topics vary. Grade assigned will be "credit" (CR) or "no credit" (NC).

Prerequisite: .

HIST 5395  Thesis  
6 Semester Credit Hours  

May be repeated once for credit.

HIST 5396  Individual Study  
1-3 Semester Credit Hours  

Individual study, reading or research with faculty direction and evaluation. Topic must not duplicate regular graduate courses and must be in the field of expertise of the instructor.