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History (MA) | Master's Degree in History

What You'll Learn

The master of arts program in history offers advanced training in United States and global history. This program is designed for both social studies teachers who need a master’s degree for professional certification and those seeking advanced preparation for careers in government service, journalism, public history, academia, and other fields that demand a combination of research, writing skills, and knowledge of the past. It also welcomes individuals seeking personal enrichment, whether or not history is directly related to their occupation. The program provides a strong grounding in historical content, public engagement, and advanced skills in research, analysis, and writing.

Learn more in our program guide.

Courses and Overview

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Our program offers small class sizes and engaged instructors

Geneseo’s History department has a strong commitment to diversity and international perspectives. We offer courses in five continental areas (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America), and they include content in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. Our courses combine skills-based instruction with deep investigations into the various meanings and approaches to history. They are taught by award-winning instructors with an accomplished record of scholarly publications. 

It is a flexible program for full-time and part-time students with courses offered in the fall, spring, and summer. A structured program of advisement helps students to link career goals to course outcomes and expectations. In addition, undergraduate seniors can enroll in the program and take courses.

The degree program is 32 credits, or eight four-credit courses. The program includes two required methodology courses, two geographic-focused courses, two thematic courses, and other electives.

Sample Course Offerings

Geographic-focused Courses

HIST 505: Readings in African History
HIST 520: Readings in Asian History
HIST 550: Readings in Modern European History
HIST 565: Readings in Early American History
HIST 570: Readings in Modern U.S. History

Thematic Courses

HIST 533: History of the Environment, Science, and Technology
HIST 581: Intersectional Histories
HIST 583: The History of Death and Dying
HIST 587: History of Nation-states, Civil Society, and Popular Politics
HIST 590: Empires and History

Methodology Courses

HIST 601: Approaches to History
HIST 602: Advanced Historical Research Methods

Why study History at Geneseo?

  • Our courses are taught by full-time faculty who have doctorates in the field of history and an accomplished record of scholarly achievement.
  • Academic rigor: students develop advanced skills and knowledge to better engage with historical problems and legacies.
  • Geneseo is ranked third in the nation (since 2008) among Master's Colleges/Universities who produce History PhDs, and we are ranked #1 among small colleges. 
  • Teaching is a central focus of the graduate program. Faculty are committed educators and seek to help students enhance their skills in presenting history to various audiences, such as students, scholars, and the general public.
  • We emphasize synthetic thinking, methodological understanding, and practical application that can be applied to a variety of fields.
  • Small class sizes.
  • Advisers are full-time faculty in the History department.
  • Tuition costs are very competitive.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete the online application, and submit the following:

  • two letters of recommendation
  • a resume or CV
  • a one-to-two-page personal statement that describes the applicant’s goals and preparation for graduate study.
  • a writing sample of no more than 15 pages. 

Apply Now

Career Outlooks

In the next few years, the New York State Department of Labor expects favorable growth for social studies teachers, postsecondary history teachers, and various fields of public history, such as archivists, curators, and librarians. A Master's degree in History from SUNY Geneseo can help you to achieve success in a variety of careers in the private and public sectors.

Financing Your Studies

Rev. James L. Swarts, M.A. ’76, History Graduate Student Scholarship  

This scholarship is available on an annual basis to any student enrolled in the Master of Arts program in History at the State University of New York at Geneseo who has applied and been admitted as a degree candidate.  Preference is given to graduate students specializing in United States History and exhibiting an interest in history education.

Learn more about other scholarships, assistantships, and financial aid offered by SUNY Geneseo.

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Contact Us

Want to speak to someone directly about our graduate program in history? Please reach out to Dr. Justin Behrend, the graduate program coordinator.