The MA in History


UNM’s Department of History offers an MA degree designed to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Students learn methods of historical analysis, a variety of historical interpretations, and practical applications of the field. Our MA students complete coursework, conduct historical research, engage in public history, teach in secondary and university education, and produce historical content for scholarly and popular venues. For some graduate students, the MA in History is one step in their path to the Ph.D. in History (at UNM or elsewhere), while many others go on to work in education, museums, academic publishing, public history, and the public and private sectors.

MA students may choose either the thesis option (Plan I), in which students focus their work in one area of concentration and write a research thesis in that field, or the non-thesis option (Plan II), in which students choose a major and a minor field of concentration. All MA students must take HIST 664 (Advanced Historiography) and must fulfill the department’s language requirement. Please see the Graduate Handbook and Forms page for details).

  • Plan I students will complete 30 credit hours, comprised of 24 hours of coursework (of which at least 18 hours must be in History) and 6 hours of thesis credit (HIST 599). 
  • Plan II students will complete 33 hours of coursework credit. They will select one regional concentration as their major field (requiring a minimum of 18 hours of coursework) and one of the following options for their secondary field of concentration:
    • A) selecting a secondary field as their minor field of concentration (requiring a minimum of 12 hours of coursework) and taking a comprehensive exam in that minor field; or
    • B) completing a transcripted graduate minor in another unit campus (requiring a minimum of 12 hours of credit in that unit) and fulfilling all the requirements of that graduate minor; or
    • C) creating a secondary field of concentration that reflects the student’s professional goals (must be approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee). Plan II C students will select courses from various units on campus, both inside and outside of the History department (totaling at least 12 credit hours) and craft a capstone project that reflects deep engagement and proficiency in this secondary field of concentration.

The regional concentrations available in the department are:

  • The Western World to 1500
  • Europe 1500-1815
  • Europe 1815-present
  • United States
  • American West
  • Latin America
If you have further questions about the MA in history, please contact the Director of Graduate studies.