2011-2012 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 06, 2023  
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

History [HIS] M.A.

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History Department
Randi Storch
, chair
Kevin Sheets
, graduate coordinator
Old Main, Room 212
(607) 753-2723
Fax: (607) 753-5598


War, weddings, weather — incredibly diverse and often surprising phenomena create curious trails that glimmer from the past through the present and into the future.

As an historian, you delight in teasing out fascinating relationships among the mysteries and puzzles within everyday events by examining causes, consequences, human motives and why things happened. You can expand your understanding of historical basics and their effect on our world by studying for the Master of Arts (M.A.) in history at SUNY Cortland.

Program Highlights

You will enjoy our professional faculty who bring their excitement for history’s reach into enthusiastic exchanges in small classes with you and your peers. You will expand your historical reading and writing skills and benefit from the guidance of these dedicated mentors while conducting research that personally interests you. 

Research topics may range from African Americans in the Civil War or the Civil War prison at Elmira (N.Y.) to European or non-Western subjects, such as Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, the French Revolution, Latin American revolutionary movements or issues in modern China. Historical societies and museums in the area welcome you for internships, or you may help local collectors catalog their finds.

Culminating Experience

You will also write a master’s thesis or sit for a comprehensive written examination based on course work and mastery of the content and historical literature in your area of concentration, or a combination of your area of concentration and a secondary field.

Career Potential

When you complete the M.A. in history from SUNY Cortland, you are well prepared for a career in a wide range of fields, including museums, archives, social work, library science, public history, business, law, or state and federal civil service. You will also gain a solid foundation to pursue a Ph.D., and you will qualify for the terminal master’s degree. 

With additional on-the-job teacher supervision, a master’s degree in history will prepare you for permanent certification to teach social studies in the public schools of New York state.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to a degree program as stated in this catalog, you should present the following:

  1. A resume.
  2. A letter of application including educational and professional goals.
  3. Intermediate competency in a foreign language. This requirement may be met concurrently with graduate study.
  4. A minimum of 24 hours of approved undergraduate history courses. Under special conditions this requirement may be reduced.
  5. At least a 3.0 grade point average, on a 4.0 scale, in undergraduate history courses.
  6. At least a 2.75 grade point average in all undergraduate courses.
  7. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  8. Two letters of recommendation, at least one from a history instructor.
  9. Official transcripts documenting a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  10. Approval by the History Department’s Graduate Committee.

Apply for the M.A. in history.

Program Requirements

You must select an area of focus of at least nine credit hours in United States history, European history, or non-Western history (Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America).

The department also requires six credit hours of course work outside the area of focus. In addition to the program requirements stated below, you must either write a master’s thesis or take a written comprehensive exam based on course work and mastery of the content and historical literature in the area of focus or in a combination of the area of focus and a secondary field.

Other requirements for the award of the degree may be determined by the History Department and must be ascertained by you in consultation with a department graduate advisor.

Course Requirements

B. Concentration requirement: Nine credit hours

Select nine credit hours in one of the following concentrations - United States or European or Non-Western.

C. Additional History Requirement: Six credit hours

Select an additional six credit hours of approved history courses outside the concentration:

D. Research Seminar: Six credit hours

Select one research seminar course in the concentration, and one research seminar course outside the concentration from the following:

E. Approved electives in history or related field: Six credit hours

Select six credit hours in HIS or other advisor-approved courses (ENG, GRY) at the 500 and 600 level

F. Culminating Activity: One credit hour

Total Credit Hours Required: 31

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