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History Graduate Studies

The master's degree programs in the Department of History are designed to fulfill a variety of academic and professional objectives. The program facilitates preparation for entry into doctoral programs in history and for teaching at the university, community college, and secondary levels. Graduate work in history also provides an excellent background for careers in law, theology, business, government service, and writing, and for specialized work as a museum curator, librarian, archivist, editor, historic site specialist, and research historian.

Normally broad in its academic scope, the master's degree program in history is also sufficiently flexible to permit a diversity of programs tailored to meet the needs of individual students.  

Stofferahn's Graduate Seminar

Areas of Graduate Study 

Concentrations in United States history, European history and history of the wider world are also available at the master's level. Within these fields, students may pursue interests in a number of areas, including:  women's history; cultural, social, and political history; Atlantic and Mediterranean/Middle Eastern history; and interdisciplinary work with the Women's Studies and African and African American Studies Programs. A formal concentration in labor and reform movements in the United States is also available.

Online MA Program

In addition to our on-campus offerings, Indiana State University now offers an Online MA option.  This program includes 33 credit hours which can be completed part-time in about three to five years of study.  Typical courses include intensive reading, research, and writing assignments combined with discussion boards and/or synchronous online meetings.  The online MA is designed to be flexible to meet the needs of educators and working students. 

The emphasis in the Online MA program is on US History.  Students seeking other courses of study should contact the department in advance of their application.

Application Procedures

Applications for Fall admissions are due April 15 of each year.  Student seeking Spring admission must submit their application by September 15 of the previous year.  A BA or BS in History or a cognate discipline is required. Prospective students need to complete the application package for the School of Graduate Studies. 

Grad Admissions Criteria: 

The Department encourages applicants with an undergraduate major or minor in history or similar area and a corresponding gpa of 3.0 or higher to apply to its Master’s degree program.

The Department accepts applications on a rolling basis but applicants must apply no later than Sept 15 to enroll the following spring and April 15 to enroll the following fall.  These deadlines apply to Graduate Assistantship applications.  Exceptions are sometimes applied to the date of enrollment and are made at the Department’s discretion.

Applicants are required to submit:

  1. A personal statement addressing the applicant’s experience with history and/or closely related field, areas of historical interest, and reasons for applying to ISU’s Master’s program.
  2. A writing sample, preferably a research paper that demonstrates ability in historical research and analysis.
  3. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from those with experience in history.
  4. All forms and fees required by the Indiana State University’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies (CGPS), including official transcripts (

This is a selective process.  The Department takes all of these materials into account when making its decisions and relies upon the expertise of its faculty to determine whether applicants meet the standards required of the discipline.

The entire application process is now online through the ISU Graduate Studies office.  To begin the process, click the "Apply Now" button on the Graduate Studies page​.

It is recommended that the General Test of the Graduate Records Examination be taken prior to admission.

Financial Aid and Debs Fellowships

Graduate assistantships are awarded each year to outstanding applicants.  Job description for Graduate Assistants.  Grants, loans, and work-study programs are also available.


Indiana State University, through the Department of History, also awards the Gertrude and Theodore Debs memorial Fellowships to study in the history of American labor and reform movements.  Awarded annually, renewable for a second year, each fellowship is valued at approximately $8,000 per year, and recipients also may apply for a tuition waiver.  Up to two fellowships are awarded each year.


Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Barbara Skinner

(812) 237-2722