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History, M.A.

Saint Louis University graduate programs in history familiarize you with the richness of the thought, culture and society of the past. By studying the history of civilization, you’ll become acquainted with all fields in the humanities, as well as developments in other disciplines, such as law, medicine, business and technology.

Program Highlights

  • The graduate program in history at Saint Louis University is one of the oldest in the country, granting its first Ph.D. in 1919.

  • Today, the tradition of excellence is continued by training students in a variety of historical fields.

  • SLU's history program offers students internationally renowned faculty, an outstanding mentoring program and high-quality professional training.

In addition to the M.A. in history, Saint Louis University also offers a Ph.D. in history

Curriculum Overview

Masters students in history at SLU choose a specialized area of study from the following concentrations:

  • American
  • Byzantine
  • Early Modern European
  • Late Antique
  • Medieval European
  • Modern European
  • World History

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

SLU's history program offers students internationally renowned faculty, an outstanding mentoring program and high-quality professional training.

Careers

The wide-ranging skills that a student learns in the course of doing a master’s in history can be used not only in teaching and archival work but in government, foreign affairs, business, the law, the arts and a host of other professions.

Admission Requirements

The ordinary prerequisite is a B.A. in history (or at least 18 credits of successful work in upper-division courses in history), though students from other fields with strong backgrounds in history will also receive consideration. 

Language Requirements

Proof of competency in one foreign language is required through a written examination administered by the department or successful completion of graduate translation courses.

Application Procedures

  • An official transcript of undergraduate record and, for applicants to the Ph.D. program, graduate record
  • A current resume
  • Three letters of recommendation assessing potential in graduate studies
  • A letter of intent describing professional and intellectual goals, and interest in graduate studies. The letter should include the specific field of historical study interested in; a vision of how to contribute to existing research and criticism in an area of interest; and the SLU faculty members interested in working with. While plans may well change as a result of further study, the statement will help the department to assess the grasp of the field and the ability to describe ideas coherently and compellingly.
  • A 15- to 20-page writing sample which demonstrates competence in historical writing and analysis, and which may be an excerpt from a longer piece.
  • Completed applications with all materials for admission and financial aid must be received by Jan. 15. Students are not admitted in the spring or summer semester.

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application and Assistantship Deadline

Submit an application for the following fall semester by Jan. 15.

Review Process

A standing graduate applicant review committee meets just after the expiration of the application deadline. The committee reviews each item of every complete application. The committee makes its applicant selections by the beginning of March.

Scholarships, Assistantships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for a graduate assistantship, apply by the program admission deadlines listed. Fellowships and assistantships provide a stipend and may include health insurance and a tuition scholarship for the duration of the award. 

For more information, visit http://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to assess relevant literature or scholarly contributions in the field(s) of study.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply the major practices, theories, or research methodologies in the field(s) of study.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge from the field(s) of study to address problems in broader contexts.
  4. Graduates will be able to articulate arguments or explanations to both a disciplinary or professional audience and to a general audience, in both oral and written forms.
  5. Graduates will be able to evidence scholarly and/or professional integrity in the field of study.
Required Courses
HIST 5000Theory & Practice of History: An Introduction3
Concentration Courses
Select one of the following concentrations:12
Elective Courses Outside Concentration
Select from above areas or a maximum of 6 credits may be taken in academic fields other than history. 9
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option
Select one of the following options:6
HIST 5990
Thesis Research
Six additional credits from Concentration listings
Total Credits30

American Concentration

Required Courses
HIST 5600Studies in American History3
HIST 5610Advanced Studies in American History3
HIST 6840Seminar in American History3
Elective in American History3
Total Credits12

Byzantine Concentration

Required Courses
HIST 5200Ancient & Byzantine History3
HIST 5210Advanced Ancient & Byzantine History3
HIST 6800Seminar in Ancient & Byzantine History3
Elective in Byzantine History3
Total Credits12

Early Modern European Concentration

Required Courses
HIST 5400Studies in Early Modern European History3
HIST 5410Advanced Studies in Early Modern European History3
HIST 6820Seminar: Early Modern European History3
Elective in Early Modern European History3
Total Credits12

Late Antique Concentration

Required Courses
HIST 5200Ancient & Byzantine History3
HIST 5210Advanced Ancient & Byzantine History3
HIST 6800Seminar in Ancient & Byzantine History3
Elective in Late Antique History3
Total Credits12

Medieval European Concentration

Required Courses
HIST 5300Studies Medieval History3
HIST 5310Advanced Studies in Medieval History3
HIST 6810Seminar Medieval History3
Elective in Medieval European History3
Total Credits12

Modern European Concentration

Required Courses
HIST 5500Studies in Modern European History3
HIST 5510Advanced Studies in Modern European History3
HIST 6830Seminar in Modern European History3
Elective in Modern European History3
Total Credits12

World History Concentration

Required Courses
HIST 5700Themes and Methods in World History3
HIST 5710Advanced Studies in World History (taken over multiple semesters)6
HIST 6870Research Seminar in World History3
Elective in World History3
Total Credits15

Non-Course Requirements

  • Competency in one foreign language, to be verified by written examination.
  • A two-hour written comprehensive exam and a one-hour oral exam for the M.A.; a one-hour oral thesis presentation for M.A. research. (For students continuing on to the Ph.D., no exam or thesis is necessary.)

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

American History Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5000 Theory & Practice of History: An Introduction (Required Course) 3
HIST 5600 Studies in American History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5610 Advanced Studies in American History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 6840 Seminar in American History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5700 Themes and Methods in World History 3
Students must pass an exam or a class in one language  
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5610 Advanced Studies in American History 3
HIST 5990 Thesis Research 6
HIST 5500 Studies in Modern European History 3
 Credits12
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5990 Thesis Research 6
HIST 6840 Seminar in American History 3
Thesis defence or examination  
 Credits9
 Total Credits36

Program Notes

Students must complete 30 hours.

Students must take a studies and a seminar class in American history plus a minimum of two other classes in American history. They must also take the theory and practice in history class.

Students who undertake the thesis option must write a 25,000 words minimum thesis which is defended before three examiners in an hourlong exam.

Students who do not undertake a thesis, take two additional classes and undertake a two-hour written examination and a one-hour oral examination before three examiners in their final term.

Students must meet with their advisor every term for discussion of their progress.

Early-Modern European Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5000 Theory & Practice of History: An Introduction (Required Course) 3
HIST 5400 Studies in Early Modern European History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5410 Advanced Studies in Early Modern European History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 6820 Seminar: Early Modern European History 3
HIST 5300 Studies Medieval History 3
Students must pass an exam or a class in one language  
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5410 Advanced Studies in Early Modern European History 3
HIST 5990 Thesis Research 3
HIST 5200 Ancient & Byzantine History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5990 Thesis Research 3
HIST 6820 Seminar: Early Modern European History 3
Thesis defence or examination  
 Credits6
 Total Credits30

Program Notes

Students must complete thirty hours.

Students must take a studies and a seminar class in early modern history plus a minimum of two other classes in early modern history. They must also take the theory and practice in history class.

Students who undertake the thesis option must write a 25,000 words minimum thesis which is defended before three examiners in an hourlong exam.

Students who do not undertake a thesis, take two additional classes and undertake a two-hour written examination and a one-hour oral examination before three examiners in their final term.

Students must meet with their advisor every term for discussion of their progress.

Late-Antiquity and Byzantine Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5000 Theory & Practice of History: An Introduction (Required Course) 3
HIST 5200 Ancient & Byzantine History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5710 Advanced Studies in World History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 6800 Seminar in Ancient & Byzantine History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5300 Studies Medieval History 3
Students must pass an exam or a class in one language, usually Greek or Latin  
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
Participation in/Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5710 Advanced Studies in World History 3
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 5400 Studies in Early Modern European History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 6800 Seminar in Ancient & Byzantine History 3
Thesis defence or examination  
 Credits6
 Total Credits30

Program Notes

Students must complete thirty hours.

Students must take a studies and a seminar class in late antique/Byzantine history plus a minimum of two other classes in late antique/Byzantine history. They must also take the theory and practice in history class.

Students who undertake the thesis option must write a 25,000 words minimum thesis which is defended before three examiners in an hourlong exam.

Students who do not undertake a thesis, take two additional classes and undertake a two-hour written examination and a one-hour oral examination before three examiners in their final term.

Students must meet with their advisor every term for discussion of their progress.

Medieval European Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5000 Theory & Practice of History: An Introduction (Required Course) 3
HIST 5300 Studies Medieval History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5310 Advanced Studies in Medieval History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 6810 Seminar Medieval History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5400 Studies in Early Modern European History 3
Students must pass an exam or a class in one language, usually Latin  
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5310 Advanced Studies in Medieval History 3
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 5200 Ancient & Byzantine History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 6810 Seminar Medieval History 3
Thesis defence or examination  
 Credits6
 Total Credits30

Program Notes

Students must complete thirty hours.

Students must take a studies and a seminar class in medieval history plus a minimum of two other classes in medieval history. They must also take the theory and practice in history class.

Students who undertake the thesis option must write a 25,000 words minimum thesis which is defended before three examiners in an hourlong exam.

Students who do not undertake a thesis, take two additional classes and undertake a two-hour written examination and a one-hour oral examination before three examiners in their final term.

Students must meet with their advisor every term for discussion of their progress.

Modern European Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5000 Theory & Practice of History: An Introduction (Required Course) 3
HIST 5500 Studies in Modern European History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5510 Advanced Studies in Modern European History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 6830 Seminar in Modern European History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5400 Studies in Early Modern European History 3
Students must pass an exam or a class in one language  
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5510 Advanced Studies in Modern European History 3
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 5600 Studies in American History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 6830 Seminar in Modern European History 3
Thesis defence or examination  
 Credits6
 Total Credits30

Program Notes

Students must complete thirty hours.

Students must take a studies and a seminar class in modern European history plus a minimum of two other classes in modern European history. They must also take the theory and practice in history class.

Students who undertake the thesis option must write a 25,000 words minimum thesis which is defended before three examiners in an hourlong exam.

Students who do not undertake a thesis, take two additional classes and undertake a two-hour written examination and a one-hour oral examination before three examiners in their final term.

Students must meet with their advisor every term for discussion of their progress.

World History Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5000 Theory & Practice of History: An Introduction (Required Course) 3
HIST 5700 Themes and Methods in World History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5710 Advanced Studies in World History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 6870 Research Seminar in World History (Required Course) 3
HIST 5400 Studies in Early Modern European History 3
Students must pass an exam or a class in one language  
 Credits6
Year Two
Fall
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5710 Advanced Studies in World History 3
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 5600 Studies in American History 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in / Completion of Mentoring Events  
HIST 5990 Thesis Research (or additional class) 3
HIST 6870 Research Seminar in World History 3
Thesis defence or examination  
 Credits6
 Total Credits30

Program Notes

Students must complete thirty hours.

Students must take a studies and a seminar class in world history plus a minimum of two other classes in world history. They must also take the theory and practice in history class.

Students who undertake the thesis option must write a 25,000 words minimum thesis which is defended before three examiners in an hourlong exam.

Students who do not undertake a thesis, take two additional classes and undertake a two-hour written examination and a one-hour oral examination before three examiners in their final term.

Students must meet with their advisor every term for discussion of their progress.

For more information about our program, please contact:

Jennifer Popiel, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Admissions, Department of History
jennifer.popiel@slu.edu