Master of Arts in History

University of Central Arkansas

Program Description

Master of Arts in History

University of Central Arkansas

The Department of History at the University of Central Arkansas is proud to offer a rigorous comprehensive Master’s program that is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. Our seminar-based curriculum provides venues for expanding content knowledge, introducing historiography, and practicing research methods in courses designed to produce original research.

We pride ourselves in training students to be scholars and teachers at all levels of education and for careers beyond academia. Our students have matriculated to Ph.D. programs such as the University of Chicago and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. They have launched, or continued, fulfilling careers at the Clinton Presidential Center, the Old State House Museum, and in various public and charter schools.

Whether you have just earned your BA or have been teaching or working for years, our MA program can help you achieve your goals.

Why UCA?

  • Don’t just learn history; do history. Our students have the opportunity to do original, archival research, and present at national conferences.
  • Learn from the best. Our award-winning professors offer unique classes, like Holocausts in History, and have the opportunity to develop special, tailored classes.
  • Gain critical skills for the real world. Your experience is built on what you learn in class and what you practice in research, analysis, writing, and presentation. These skills are necessary for success within academia and beyond.

The department’s faculty create a dynamic learning environment that fosters close interaction between students and professors. Our seminar-based curriculum ensures that each student in the graduate program receives individual attention and guidance. We pride ourselves on training students to be scholars and teachers at all levels of education, while also offering preparation for careers outside academia in government agencies, historical societies, libraries, and museums.

  • Choose a track. Our program has two tracks–a thesis track and a non-thesis track–so that you can tailor your studies to your particular career goals.
  • Choose major and minor fields. We encourage students to follow their passions and broaden their academic horizons. You choose a major field and minor field to focus your studies on European history, Non-Western history, and the United States history. You complete 12 hours of coursework in the major field and 6 hours in the minor field.
  • Take classes when convenient for you. We recognize that many people juggle work schedules while advancing their education. Many of our classes are in the evening to allow you to maintain full-time employment while earning your degree. We offer graduate classes in the fall, spring, and summer so you can choose a pace that works for you as you complete the 30-hour program.
  • Use your degree. Our graduates have demonstrated high success rates in finding employment that uses the skills they cultivated in our program. (See

How to Apply

To apply, submit an application packet that includes:

  • The online UCA graduate application, available at
  • GRE scores
  • A 2-3 page formal statement of purpose that explains why the applicant is pursuing a master’s degree, identifies the applicant’s particular historical interests (i.e., the historical problems or issues that most interests the applicant), and suggests why the applicant is interested in the History MA program at UCA.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A writing sample. CV (academic resume)
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended. Transcripts should be sent directly to the UCA Graduate School or delivered in an unopened envelope sealed by the institution. Electronic copies are welcome.

Program Rules and Requirements

All graduate students in this program must adhere to the following program rules and requirements:

  • Students must complete 30 hours to graduate. Eighteen hours must be at the 6000 level. A minimum of 24 graduate hours must be taken in residence.
  • Students must develop a major general field of study (a minimum of 12 graduate hours) and a minor general field of study (a minimum of 6 hours taken)
  • Students must complete HIST 6300 and HIST 6371
  • Students must maintain a 3.0-grade point average throughout their course of study.
  • Students may not register for classes if they have two outstanding X grades from previous semesters. Once X requirements have been met, the hold will be released.
  • Students may not get credit for more than one Independent Study.
  • Students will successfully pass formal comprehensive examinations administered during their last semester of graduate study. These examinations will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis with the understanding that a “B” level performance is necessary to pass. All three members of the examination committee must agree on the grade awarded.
  • Students who fail a written or oral exam will have one opportunity to retake the exam.
  • Students must complete any additional track-specific requirements, listed below:

Non-Thesis Track:

Aside from the above requirements, non-thesis track students must pass both a written and oral exam. The written exam tests specific, detailed knowledge of the courses you have had with three professors: two from your major field and one in your minor field. The oral exam tests broad knowledge and connections from all courses taken. The three faculty members who directed the written exam will comprise the oral exam committee. Should a student fail either exam, a second examination must be taken no earlier than one month after the first examination.

During the student’s final semester, students will request the COGS to create an examination committee. As a rule, this committee will be composed of no fewer than three graduate faculty members chosen by the COGS from whom students have taken coursework during their graduate study. Generally, this will represent your major and minor fields. It will be the responsibility of the committee to administer the final comprehensive examinations.

The purpose of the comprehensive examination will be to examine students’ general knowledge of history. Questioning, therefore, will concentrate on students’ knowledge of their major general field of study, their minor general fields of study, as well as general historiography and historical methodology, learned in the 6300 course.

Thesis Track:

Aside from the requirements listed under Program Rules and Requirements, thesis track students are required to write a Master’s thesis. A student must have a 3.5 minimum GPA at the time of their enrollment in the first thesis course (HIST 6301). As this track is designed for students who plan to continue their studies in a Ph.D. program, the following additional requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Submit a thesis prospectus and complete the Intent to Write a Thesis form.
  • Show proficiency in one foreign language through a translation examination administered by the department. You will be given one to two pages from an academic journal or scholarly monograph to translate with the help of a dictionary in three hours. 85% accuracy will be counted as a passing score. If you fail the exam you may retake it twice more, but you must wait one month between test dates. Once proficiency has been proven, students will be allowed to register for HIST 6301 and 6302.
  • Complete HIST 6301 and 6302 (thesis research and writing) under an approved thesis director and thesis committee. If additional semesters are needed to complete the thesis, students must enroll in 6101 every semester (including one summer session) until the thesis is completed.
  • Provide evidence that they possess knowledge of the general discipline adequate to the M.A. level of study (written) and defend the thesis (orally). It will be the responsibility of the thesis director and the thesis committee to administer the final oral defense of the thesis and a written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive portion of the examination will test students’ general knowledge of history. Questioning, therefore, will concentrate on students’ knowledge of their major general field of study, their minor general fields of study, as well as general historiography and historical methodology.

In addition to the curricular requirements described above, early in the penultimate semester of study, students must choose a thesis director and submit a thesis proposal that must be approved. It will be the responsibility of the thesis director in conjunction with the COGS to select a thesis committee. Both the thesis director and the committee members must approve the proposal.

Cost & Fees

Tuition Rates

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 26, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
30 hours
Part time
Full time
- see Tuition Rates table under Cost & Fees
USA - Conway, Arkansas
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
USA - Conway, Arkansas
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info