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Master of Arts with a Major in History

The University of North Georgia offers a Master of Arts with a major in History degree. The program is designed to prepare students whose knowledge of history can be used in the public information sector, the secondary educational and two-year college level, or in pursuit of a degree beyond the Master of Arts with a major in History.

Our graduate program is dedicated to preparing serious and creative professional historians. The Master’s degree prepares students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in History or a related field, such as Library Science, Museum Studies, Historical Preservation, and other graduate degrees. Alternatively, many students use their knowledge of history in the public information sector, in secondary education, or at the two-year college level.

We offer students a rich intellectual environment, unique local research resources, and numerous opportunities for professional development outside the classroom. Our students develop research and analytical skills that allow them to advance in their profession or begin to explore a career in History.

Explore how the past has shaped the present and apply that knowledge to your future!

Plans of Study

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Knowledge & skills for success beyond the discipline

The M.A. in History degree is not just for those aspiring to become historians or teachers. UNG’s Master of Arts in History degree is designed to prepare students for advancement in both the private and public sectors.

It provides students with skills designed to help them advance in a wide variety of career choices that require problem solving skills. The program develops and strengthens skills in information literacy; the ability to find information and to use it effectively.

The program provides training in the theoretical and methodological elements of the discipline of history; advanced research techniques and analysis; and oral, written, and multi-media communication skills.

Graduates of the M.A. in History program will have comprehensive knowledge in their subject area specialties and will master the analytical tools for making ethical and intelligent decisions in the global environment. This combined set of cultural, historical, and intellectual capital supported by the soft skill set of research, analysis, and effective communication provides M.A. History degree-holders with highly applicable assets advantageous to professional decision makers of all occupations.

Why study history at UNG?

We offer...

  • Creative, dynamic faculty engaged in a broad range of scholarship and teaching.
  • We train students to be both professional scholars and teachers.
  • Our academic program allows ample choice for students to explore their particular research interests, while providing rigorous academic training in theory and methodology of history.
Degrees Offered

Military History

Military history is more than the study of battles. While battle is central to the examination of military history, military historians have a broader range of interests in studying war. The military historian examines both the societies and cultures that produce armed forces to investigate the intersections between war and society, the importance of economics, finance and logistics, war and technological development, asymmetrical warfare and counterinsurgency, warfare, ideology and genocide, and race and gender in wartime. One goal of studying military history at the graduate level at UNG is to understand tactics, strategy, and battle as reflections of societies fielding armed forces. Another is to familiarize them with the academic debates of military history.

The Military History Concentration at UNG will expose students a rigorous curriculum designed to cultivate specialized independent research on pertinent topics related to the field of study.

World History

World history may be considered one of the most valuable fields of research. The parameters and areas of study are abundant and ever expanding.  Traditionally, this field has provided significant insight and understanding of the complexity of global encounters from the topics of trade exploration, human migrations, colonialism, imperialism to the periods of decolonialism and developing interconnected global systems of economics, diplomacy, and conflict.  Interdisciplinary approaches to the past have opened new ways to think about these early modern and modern developments by examining aspects of power relationships between individuals and cultural communities.

The World History Concentration at UNG introduces students to the field of the global past through interdisciplinary methods of research and writing. Courses will change students to reconsider conventional thinking of the past for the purpose of advancing their understanding and contributing to knowledge through independent research. 

European History

European history focuses on the development of European society, culture, and institutions from its origins to the present. Department specialties include German Nationalism and State Formation, Modern German History, Russian and Soviet History, British History, Tudor England, Reformation & Renaissance History, Medieval European History, Roman History, and Ancient Greece.

American History

The American History Concentration at UNG offers students the option to study a wide range of areas and topics. Students can choose advanced study in the areas of Colonial and Revolutionary America, the Early Republic, Civil War & Reconstruction, Southern & legal history, twentieth century America, and U.S. diplomatic history at UNG.

Language Requirements

All candidates for the Thesis Track Master of Arts with a major in History must demonstrate competency in one language in addition to English.  Non-Thesis Track students are exempt.

The language competency requirement is met by taking a translation examination (500 words) administered by the department before the student can advance to the thesis-writing stage, usually between their second and third semesters. The language exam takes two hours with a dictionary allowed. The translation exam may be attempted three times. 

If a student has completed four semesters of a foreign language, or the equivalent, within the last five years at a university or community college, the student is eligible to take the translation exam with no further coursework. For a non-European language, the student should consult with his/her primary professor concerning minimum skill level to qualify for the translation exam.

If a student’s foreign language hours are more than five years old, the student must take a competency exam. If successful in placing at the level of a fourth semester in the language, the student is eligible to take the translation exam.

In order to pass the translation examination, a student may find it necessary to take language courses at UNG or another institution. These courses never count toward the degree requirements for the MA.

What is a thesis?

The Master of Arts with a major in History (MA) thesis is a research project of sustained length that investigates, challenges, or provides a new perspective on an issue, and individual, an event, or development in history. The format of a thesis requires a historiographical review of the academic scholarship on issue which justifies the research project. It provides extensive analysis and application of primary and secondary source evidence that ultimately advances the historical knowledge on the topic. On average, the length of a thesis ranges between 90 to 150 pages.

Thesis or non-thesis track: Which is best for me?

That depends. What are your career goals? If you would like to pursue a career as a professional historian or in a related profession in the private, public sector, or a doctorate in history program, the thesis track is essential for developing the necessary research, analysis, and writing skills of the discipline. If you’re in need of gaining advanced education credentials as a component of your current job or career path, the non-thesis track is a good option.

What are the requirements for a non-thesis MA in History?
Rather than producing a thesis project, non-thesis students will take a series of comprehensive exams at the end of their course work related to their areas of concentration. Non-thesis graduate students are expected to perform at the same level and rigor as thesis graduate students. All students are required to complete lengthy, and often challenging, readings assignments and produce papers assigned by professors.
Why is there only admission in the fall semester?

At the University of North Georgia (UNG), we are proud of our reputation of excellence in teaching and learning by creating smaller class sizes that help foster the personal attention our professors can give to each student. Part of creating that atmosphere of success involves new students entering the program in cohort groups. These smaller groups entering in the fall semester all take the department’s HIST 6000: Historiography course together. The fall admission period also allows the department to schedule the necessary graduate courses and colloquia more efficiently.  

What should I include in my letter of application?

The letter of application is an opportunity for you to tell the Graduate Admissions Committee who you are, what field of research you are interested in, and why you want to pursue an advanced degree in history. You might share your story about why you settled on history and what you hope to gain from the degree. If you are planning to write a thesis, you should describe your research interests, who in the department may best guide your work, and why you chose that topic. Application letters are usually one or two pages in length, single-spaced.

How long should my writing sample be?

Generally, a research paper in a related field 10-12 pages in length, double-spaced, is satisfactory. Some popular related fields to history include but are not limited to art history, philosophy, political science, criminal justice, anthropology, archaeology, international affairs, and English.

What if my writing sample is not a history paper? Will it still count?

That depends. The graduate degree w/a major in history will require graduate students to produce discipline specific papers in the expected format of historical research immediately upon entering the program. Being able to produce such work is essential sooner rather than later. Papers should utilize secondary and primary sources, and have footnotes in Turabian or Chicago Manual Style. If you have any questions, please contact the history department graduate student coordinator, Dr. Michael Proulx

When do I need to take the Language Translation Exam?

The Language Translation Exam is required by all thesis track graduate students and must be taken before the student advances to the thesis writing stage. Non-thesis track students are not required to take the exam. Most students take the Language Translation Exam after two or three semesters in the program.

Can a provisional student apply to the MA History program?

Yes. Provisional students who complete one semester of course work, while meeting department academic expectations for graduate work, may formally apply to the MA Program.

Degrees Awarded

The History department at the University of North Georgia is proud to have several students who have successfully completed the M.A. program in History since its creation in 2009. Many students are either currently working in the teaching profession or pursuing advanced studies in Ph.D. programs.

Student Thesis or non-thesis 
Dennis Bagwell Non-thesis, Military History, 
Ross Burger “The Rhetoric of Blitzkrieg” (Drs. Byers, May, Bennet).
Chris Monroe Non-thesis, World History
Jamie Myers Mize "‘Instances of Wanton Cruelty and Barbarity’: The Evolution of Martial Culture in 18th Century North America" (Drs. Van Sickle, Kim, Spike).
James Wolfe Jr. “Early Elizabethan Piracy: 1558-1568” (Drs. Van Sickle, Spike, Brick).
Student Thesis or non-thesis 
Donna Hamil The Mongol Khatuns: Political Agency and Cultural Adaptation of Royal Women in the Expanding Mongol Empire” (Drs. May, Hightower, Proulx).
Sarah Harris Non-thesis, American History
Jonathan C. Harton In the Shadow of Mountains: Civil War Archaeology and Memory in Northwest Georgia” (Drs. Smith, Van Sickle, Spike).
Peter Kravchenko “Modeling History: The Omni-Narrative and Unified Event Narrative” (Drs. Byers, Van Sickle, Proulx).
Winston Glen Kyle Forged in Conflict: The Role of War in the Development of Atlanta 1861-1946” (Drs. Smith, Van Sickle, Byers).
Ronald Martz Non-thesis, Military History
Laura Mullins Non-thesis, World History
Joshua Sasser Non-thesis, World History
John Thompson "World War I and Indigenous Identity" (Drs. Spike, May, Wynn, Byer).
Student Thesis or non-thesis 
Robert Baker  “From the First to the American Way” (Drs. Van Sickle, Smith, Whittemore).
Sarah Hyde “Democratization and Political Realignment in Antebellum South Carolina” (Drs.Van Sickle, Connolly, Smith).
Heather Welch A Matter of Bodies: Gendered Responses to Economic Incentives in the Holocaust and Argentina's Dirty War” (Drs. Byers, Spike, C. Harris).
Student Thesis or non-thesis 
Robert Klemm “A Slow Demise: Transatlantic Fascism and the Development of Latin American Nationalism in the Early 20th Century” (Drs. Byers, Spike, Harris).
Richard Morales Non-thesis, Military History
Nicole Bronsted Wagner “Defenders of ‘Beauty and Booty’: The Politicization, Plunder, and the Formation of American Identity during the War of 1812” (Drs. Van Sickle, Bricker, Spike).
Student Thesis or non-thesis 
Daniel Bennett “Fraternal Ties in Nationalist Eyes: The Fate of Freemasonry in the Age of European Nationalism” (Drs. Byers, Bricker, Whittemore).
Brian Everett “American Exceptionalism in the Film Industry of the 20th Century” (Drs. Jespersen, Byers, Marker).
Student Thesis or non-thesis 
Jeb Graydon Non-thesis, Military History
Jennifer Smith “Contact and Consequence: Space and Function of the Wakhan Corridor during the Nineteenth Century” (Drs. May, Hightower, Blackwell).
Bryant Wine Non-thesis, World History
Student Thesis or non-thesis 
Coleman Lee "You and the Cold War: An Orwellian Look at the Superpowers" (Drs. Blackwell, Harris, and Byers)
Dianna Southers Non-thesis, World History 

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