M.A., M.A./M.L.I.S.


Faculty: Professor George, chair; Associate Professor Sterne, director of graduate studies; Professor Mather, director of Archaeology and Anthropology option. Professors George, Honhart, Rollo-Koster, and Rusnock; Associate Professors Buxton, Gonzales, Ferguson, Nevius, Pegueros, and Widell; Assistant Professors Loomis, and Verskin; Lecturers DeCesare, Reumann, and Ward; Professors Emeriti Cohen, Findlay, Kim, Klein, Schwartz, Strom, Thurston, and Weisbord.


United States, Europe, or archaeology and anthropology option.

United States or European History: Students may complement their work with courses in Latin American or Asian history or with courses taken outside the department, particularly in political science, education, English, and languages. Students might also develop programs of study that emphasize regional studies or themes such as race, gender, or family.

The master’s program in history includes both class work and individual instruction in the form of 500-level seminars; small 400-level courses that include undergraduates; special readings; and directed study courses, as well as master’s thesis research for those who qualify for the thesis option. All graduate work stresses independent research and is designed to promote critical reading and writing. The diversified program-with its requirement for work in more than one field of history and the opportunity it offers of work in another discipline-should be of service both to students who wish to continue their graduate education at the doctoral level and to those who are interested in secondary teaching. Students are required to develop a systematic program of studies with the director of graduate studies during their first semester as a master’s degree candidate.

For special readings (HIS 502, 503, 536, 537, and 588), students participate in 300-level courses and complete additional projects assigned by the instructors. Arrangements are made with the instructor at the beginning of the semester. To be eligible, a graduate student must not have taken the 300-level course-or one closely resembling it-as an undergraduate.

Students may also take up to six credits from the graduate offerings at Rhode Island College (in Providence), or at the Summer Graduate Program in Maritime History of the Munson Institute, Mystic Seaport, New London. These courses must be approved for program credit prior to registration and are included in the six-credit maximum for transfer credit and the 12-credit maximum for advanced standing.

Archaeology and anthropology: Students study method and theory in history, anthropology, and archaeology and the connections among the disciplines. The option is offered in cooperation with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Art (Art History). It includes both class work and individual instruction in the form of 500-level seminars, small 400-level courses, tutorials, and directed study courses. Students enrolled in this option are encouraged to work on thematic links across the disciplines such as maritime history and underwater archaeology, social history and cultural anthropology, or ancient history and classical archaeology.

The archaeology and anthropology option serves the needs of students looking for interdisciplinary opportunities in history, anthropology, and archaeology. It also provides essential humanistic and social science training for Ph.D. students in geological/archaeological oceanography.

Master of Arts

Admission requirements: GRE and bachelor’s degree. While 24 credits of history are usually required, majors in related fields may be admitted with permission of the director of graduate studies and the department chair. For the archaeology and anthropology option, credits in anthropology, archaeology, art history, and related fields may be accepted with permission of the director of graduate studies, in consultation with graduate faculty from the Departments of History, Art, and Sociology and Anthropology.

Program requirements: For the United States or Europe specializations, there are thesis and non-thesis options. In both options, the student must declare a primary concentration in European or United States history, and a secondary concentration in another area of history or in a related field outside the department. Students in the archaeology and anthropology specialization may pursue the thesis option or complete a major research paper in HIS 591. For all specializations, an approved program will require 30 credits.

United States or European History specialization program requirements: Of the 30 required credits, at least fifteen credits must be from HIS 506, 507, or 508. Courses with these numbers may be repeated if taken with different professors and/or on different topics.  Three of these fifteen credits may be filled by a 500- or 600-level seminar in another department. Admission to the thesis option will be granted after evaluation by the director of graduate studies and two faculty members who are familiar with the student’s first semester of graduate work.

In the nonthesis option, the student may earn no more than 12 credits in special readings (502, 503, 536, 537, and 588) and directed studies (591). Nine credits will normally be taken in the secondary concentration. A written comprehensive examination in the student’s primary and secondary concentrations and a follow-up oral examination are required. The examining committee will normally consist of two faculty members from the student’s primary concentration and one from the secondary concentration. In the thesis option, the student may earn a maximum of nine credits of HIS 599, a maximum of three credits of Directed Study (HIS 591), and a maximum of nine credits of special readings (HIS 502, 503, 536, 537, 588). Work in the secondary concentration may be limited to six credits.

Archaeology and anthropology specialization program requirements: Of the 30 required credits, students must select at least three from HIS 401, 441, or 481; at least three credits from APG 401, 413, or 427; and at least three credits from HIS/APG 490, APG 417, and ART 475/575. Students must take an additional six credits of 500-level history courses, including at least three credits from HIS 506, 507, or 508. Students must also take ART/APG 465 or 565. The remaining credits are to be selected from the following approved electives: Any 400- or 500-level history course, any anthropology course listed above; any art history course listed above; APG 470; ART 469, 470, 480; NES 400; TMD 440, 510, 520, 524, 570. Up to six credits of other graduate courses may be substituted for approved electives with approval of the student’s major professor and option coordinator. A comprehensive examination and a follow-up oral examination are required, unless the student is pursuing the thesis option. The examining committee will normally be comprised of at least two faculty members from history, and one each from anthropology and art.

M.A. in History and M.L.I.S. Cooperative Program

By proper selection of course work, a student may simultaneously earn the degrees of Master of Arts in history and Master of Library and Information Studies.

Admission requirements: GRE and other requirements listed for history and library science. Applicant must apply and be accepted in both programs. The application for each program must indicate history/library and information studies as the field of specialization.

Program requirements: students must submit individual programs of study for the 36-credit M.L.I.S. program and the 30-credit program for the M.A. in history. The integrated pursuit of the two degrees makes it possible for six credits of appropriately selected course work from one program to serve as electives in the other, and for six credits of course work to be applied in the opposite direction. Thus, when planned and taken jointly, the two programs can be completed with a total of 54 credits rather than 66 credits.