Department of History

Requirements for M.A.

Overview: The UCCS History Department offers a Master's degree (M.A.) in History. The graduate program maintains high standards; it is taught only by full-time faculty with appointments to the University of Colorado Graduate Faculty.  Students do not specialize in a regional history. Rather, all graduate students are exposed to a breadth of regions, time periods, and historical approaches through their course of study.  Beyond quality of instruction and breadth of exposure, the core strength of the UCCS Master's in History is its rigorous training of graduate students in the process of writing a primary-source-based research paper, grounded in the relevant historiography and theory, which makes an evidenced-based argument. All graduate students complete three full research papers, which they defend in an oral examination during their last semester. Students who complete the M.A. program at UCCS acquire the essential skills of the historian without over specializing at an early stage in their graduate training. Applicants must submit transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample (approx. 8-10 pages), among other materials. No GRE is required.  See website for details.  

History M.A. Requirements = 30 credit hours in total  

1)    HIST 6000: Historiography (3-credits) Most students must take HIST 6000: Historiography during their first semester in the program. It is only offered each fall semester. This course examines (1) the intellectual development of history as a discipline, (2) sources, documents, and issues of authentication, and (3) varieties and schools of historical analysis.   

2)    three 2-semester sequences of: Readings seminar (3-credits) and associated Research seminar (4 credits).  Seminars in any given field are offered over two consecutive semesters. The first semester in a field is a "readings" seminar (6000 level, 3 credit hours); the second semester is a "research" seminar (7000 or 6990 level, 4 credit hours). Students may not take the research seminar unless they have completed the corresponding readings seminar. Students must complete the readings and research sequence in at least three historical fields for a total of 21 credit hours. During the semester-long readings seminar students explore the history and historiography of a major regional or thematic focus. Readings seminars familiarize students with the relevant primary and secondary literature in each field covered. Students read extensively every week and meet with their professor and colleagues to discuss, clarify, and argue about what they have read, developing their intellectual powers as historians. During the subsequent semester, students enroll in the associated research seminar where they research and write a 25-35-page primary-source-based research paper around a central argument, which is grounded in the relevant historiography. Depending on the rotation of faculty teaching the graduate reading/research sequences, students may select from 2-3 courses offered each semester. Students typically gain an impressive breadth of exposure to diverse historical fields since their three readings/research sequences could be in US Southern History, Latin American History, Middle Eastern History, or Medieval European History, to name a few.  Again, the strength of the program is how students are given the opportunity to engage in focused readings, research, and writing on their chosen topic (within the field) over the course of two semesters.   

3)    one elective course (3 credits) The elective course must be either HIST 6995: Internship in History, an extra readings seminar or, by permission of the History Department Graduate Faculty Committee, a 3000- or 4000-level undergraduate course in History or in another department.   

4)    HIST 9600: Independent Study (Orals Exam and Final Portfolio submission) The capstone course for the M.A. degree is HIST 9600: Independent Study, which includes preparation for the required final oral examination and presentation/defense of a portfolio of the three research papers. Refer to the "Guide to HIST 9600" located on the website under the Graduate Program.    

For questions or more info, please contact: Director of Graduate Studies, Christina M. Jiménez, Ph.D. at or Dept Program Assistant, Ian Smith at

College of Letters, Arts & Sciences | Department of History
Phone: (719) 255-4069 | Location: COLU 2048
Chair / Professor: Dr. Paul Harvey | Phone: (719) 255-4078 |
Program Assistant: Ian Smith | Phone: (719) 255-4069 |