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    Cal Poly Pomona
  Jan 19, 2018
2017-2018 University Catalog

History, M.A.

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Offered by: College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, History Department

Eileen Wallis, Chair
Amanda Podany, Graduate Coordinator

The Master of Arts in History is designed for K-12 teachers who would like to pursue professional development and enhance their academic content knowledge. It is also open to those with other career goals, such as those who want to teach at the community college level.

General Program Requirements

The degree requirements consist of:

  1. A minimum of 25 units of 500 or 600 level courses. Only 4 units of HST 600  may be used to satisfy this requirement.
  2. A maximum of 20 units of 300 and 400 level courses.
  3. Total: at least 45 quarter units of course work.
  4. Comprehensive Examinations

Admission Requirements

  1. The applicant must hold a B.A. degree in either history or in one of the social sciences, humanities, or fine arts disciplines from an accredited college or university.
  2. If the applicant does not hold a BA in history, he or she must have taken enough history courses as an undergraduate not to need additional courses prior to enrolling in graduate courses. Pre-requisites are as follows: a course in history methods, lower division courses covering all eras of US history, and at least three upper division history courses. These courses should be listed in the application essay (see no. 4 below).
  3. The applicant must have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.00 in history, social science, fine arts, and humanities course work;
  4. The applicant must submit an essay (about one page) with the application describing his or her background in history (for applicants without a history BA) explaining why he/she wishes to pursue a graduate degree and describing his/her post-baccalaureate work experience and plans for the future;
  5. The applicant must submit three letters of recommendation from professors, or supervisors. (In the case of K-12 teachers, his/her principal and two colleagues);
  6. The applicant must receive a positive recommendation from the Department of History Director of the Graduate Program and the Department of History Graduate Committee.

The preferred method of application is electronically at: but students may also obtain hard copy applications from the Admissions Office on the second floor of the CLA building.

Please note that the application and academic transcripts should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office, while the essay and the letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Department of History.

Graduate Guidelines

COURSEWORK: M.A. students will be expected to take their 500- and 600-level courses as a cohort. All 500- and 600- level courses will be offered in the late afternoon and evening in order to accommodate students who teach during the day. Students who pursue the degree in two years will take two courses each quarter, six quarters a year; students who pursue the degree in three years will take four courses a year. All M.A. students will take graduate courses in both US and World history.

ADVISING: By 12 units, all graduate students will be assigned to a principal faculty advisor. Within 24 units, all graduate students will be assigned to a graduate committee with two additional faculty members. For a list and description of departmental faculty, go to:

PLAN FOR DEGREE COMPLETION: By 12 units, all graduate students must declare, to their principal advisor, their intention to take MA comprehensive exams. A Master's thesis is not permitted except under exceptional circumstances and with the full support of a faculty member who is willing to oversee the thesis. If this is permitted, the graduate student must declare their intention to write the thesis by 12 units.

MASTER'S EXAM: All students will take their Master's exams on the same date and time in spring quarter of their second or third year. The Master's exams will cover both world and US history and will be based on materials covered and readings assigned in the 500 and 600 level courses.

The date of the Master's exams will be announced at least a quarter in advance.

MASTER'S THESIS: By 12 units, students given permission to write a MA thesis must submit, to their principal advisor, a 200-300 word prospectus summarizing their intended topic of study and receive consent of the advisor to proceed with the topic. By the completion of 24 units, the student must acquire the signatures of 2 additional faculty members who agree to serve on the student's committee.

PROGRESS TOWARD DEGREE: Students are expected to demonstrate consistent progress toward their degree. The Master's Degree is designed to be completed in 2 or 3 years.

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