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California State University, Long Beach
2012-2013 CSULB University Catalog


Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in History


1. A bachelor's degree in history with an overall 3.0 GPA or higher or

2. A bachelor's degree with 24 units of upper-division courses in history. These courses must be comparable to those required of a major in history at this University. Deficiencies are determined by the graduate advisor after consultation with the student and after study of transcript records.


The Master of Arts in History is a program of 30 minimum units as defined below.

Core Courses required of all students:

  • HIST 501 Theories and Methodologies of History (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing in History.
  • HIST 590 Selected Topics in Comparative History (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing in History.

Options for Field of Study

The fields are Africa and the Middle East, Ancient/Medieval Europe, Asia, Latin America, Modern Europe, United States, World.

Option One

For Students pursuing one field of concentration.

Take 18 units of graduate-level coursework in field:

Take HIST 510 Literature of History (3) (in the field)

Take HIST 510 Literature of History (3) (outside the field)

Take Research Seminar if offered. For example:

  • HIST 611 (Ancient/Medieval), HIST 631 (Europe),
  • HIST 663 (Latin America), HIST 673 (US), and
  • HIST 682 (East Asia)

Option Two

For students pursuing two fields of concentration.

Take 9 units of graduate-level coursework in each field:

Take two HIST 510s, one in each field

Take Research Seminar in the field of concentration. For example:

  • HIST 611 (Ancient/Medieval), HIST 631 (Europe),
  • HIST 663 (Latin America), HIST 673 (US), and
  • HIST 682 (East Asia)

Electives applicable to all students:

Six units of electives of graduate (500/600) coursework in History or supporting disciplines relating to the student's Field(s) of Concentration. Upon written approval of the Graduate Advisor, students may substitute three to six units of upper-division (300/400) coursework in History or supporting disciplines relating to the student's Field(s) of Concentration. Graduate students who wish to enroll in double-numbered (400/500) courses must take the 500-level course.

All Students

The courses for Special Preparation (595), Directed Study (695), Directed Research (697), and Thesis (698) may be applied to the 18 unit total only with the permission of the graduate advisor. A student may propose a field other than those cited above with the consent of the Graduate advisor and her/his graduate committee.

A reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages may be required, depending upon the candidate's program of study as recommended by her/his graduate committee.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students should see Graduate Advisor to file Advancement to Candidacy after at least 6 units but no more than 15 units of graduate coursework are completed.
Must have taken 501 as well as have passed the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) or appropriate designated course. The Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) is administered several times every academic year by the University Testing Office. Must be attempted in the first semester of graduate work and passed by the time of advancement. Exam may be waived if earned a 4.0 or higher on Writing portion of GRE.

Advancement must take place at least two semesters prior to taking Comprehensive Exams or completing the Thesis. Comprehensive Examination Approval Form or Thesis Committee Agreement Form must be filed with department at time of Advancement. At this point, a student must commit to taking exams or writing a thesis. Advancement to Candidacy is a formal contract listing courses student has taken, is taking, and will take. Changes to contract may be made in consultation with Graduate Advisor.

Culminating Project

Students must take either Comprehensive Exams in one field (two periods) or in two fields, or write a Thesis on one field or incorporating two fields to culminate their Master's Degree in History.

Comprehensive exams require filing a Comprehensive Examination Approval Form with the department.

Completion of a thesis: a thesis requires filing a Thesis Committee Agreement Form and enrolling in HIST 698 with the thesis advisor for four (4) units.
All candidates for the M.A. degree in history who have selected to write a thesis must demonstrate competency in at least one foreign language. Exceptions are granted only with the approval of the chair of a graduate student's committee and the Graduate Advisor.

The language competency requirement may be met in two ways:

1. Through an examination by a faculty member with expertise in the student's language. The exam will be a translation of about a 500-word text to be completed in two hours; a dictionary is allowed.

2. By taking the equivalent of two full years of university level foreign language courses, with an average GPA of 3.0 in those courses. If the primary concentration is in Ancient/Medieval, a student may also fulfill this requirement by taking one year of Greek and one year of Latin. All course work completed must be within five years of admission to the graduate program.

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