Department of History
College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
Office: Meiklejohn Hall 4036
Phone: (510) 885-3207; FAX: (510) 885-4791
Dee E. Andrews, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
Richard A. Garcia, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine
Jessica Weiss, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Vahid Fozdar, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Bridget Ford, Ph.D. University of California, Davis
Linda Ivey (Chair), Ph.D. Georgetown University
Robert A. Phelps, Ph.D. University of California, Riverside
Khal Schneider, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Nancy M. Thompson, Ph.D. Stanford University
Kevin Kaatz, Ph.D. Macquarie University, Sydney (Australia)
Elizabeth McGuire, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Graduate Coordinator: Khal Schneider
The Master of Arts degree in History is designed to meet the varied needs and interests of students seeking an advanced degree in history. The program educates students in advanced skills in historical research, writing, interpretation and research, and provides opportunities for training in teaching and public history. Four options permit students to plan their coursework to best suit their goals within the overall program requirements and the range of courses offered.
The program includes graduate course offerings in historical research and historiography, conference (seminar) courses, undergraduate or graduate elective units, and a culminating master's project. Elective units may be taken in other fields with the approval of the graduate coordinator. The master's project may be a university thesis, examinations in major and minor fields, a public history project or a graduate teaching project, depending on the option chosen.
Because the majority of students in the master's program are employed full-time during the day, graduate courses are offered in the evening, usually on a one-night-a-week basis, in fall, winter, and spring quarters. This schedule allows students time to complete regular assignments, carry on research, and make regular progress toward the M.A. degree.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with an M.A. in History from Cal State East Bay will be able to:
- possess advanced knowledge of United States history and the history of at least one other geographical region;
- understand major arguments and themes in contemporary historiography, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to historical study, and humanistic values;
- demonstrate familiarity with Bay Area research libraries, archives, special collections, and digital sources;
- possess advanced writing and interpretive skills for analyzing both secondary and primary sources, and demonstrate advanced research abilities;
- complete a major independent project in history;
- observe the standards of academic integrity and attribution of sources, and practice the values of the historical profession, including ethics and standards for work in research libraries, on the Internet, at professional conferences, and at interviews for employment.
The master's program is especially suited to individuals interested in enhancing their careers as secondary school teachers, in qualifying as community college faculty, or training as historical editors, archivists, museum professionals and Bay Area or California historians. It is also useful for individuals interested in retraining for careers in history or in preparing for doctoral programs in history.
Although most graduate students find it convenient to specialize in American and California history, the History Department faculty also includes specialists in European, Asian, and Latin American history. Qualified graduate students may usually carry out research and specialize in these areas as well. The full-time faculty are professional scholars, widely published in their respective fields and active in regional and national historical associations. The department has many years' experience in advising and training master's students in history.
All History graduate students may complete their degrees with culminating examinations in a major and a minor field, selected in consultation with their graduate committees. Students may also choose one of three other options: Teaching, Public History, or University Thesis. These options are distinguished chiefly by their capstone projects, but the Teaching and Public History options also include courses especially designed for the field. Students must apply to the department for permission to complete their programs in any of the three options.
HIST 6010 and 6030
All graduate students are required to take HIST 6010, Seminar in Historical Research, and HIST 6030, Graduate Historiography. These two important seminars provide students with first-hand experience in primary source research in Bay Area collections and libraries and on the Internet, and with advanced knowledge of trends in the study of historical interpretation and writing, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to history, humanistic values in history and ethical standards. Students are urged to take these two courses in their first year of graduate study. Proficiency in information literacy is required for each course.
Research opportunities in Bay Area and California history abound at the University of California, Berkeley; the Bancroft Library; the National Archives at San Bruno; and numerous private collections in the region. The University Library provides excellent reference, Internet, and interlibrary loan services and contains substantial print and microfilm holdings.
History graduate students are encouraged to gain experience in applied history through internships at historical agencies in the Bay Area, depending on availability. Internships, like all formal appointments, entail an application process and interview. Internships are nearly always non-paying, but all graduate students are eligible to enroll in up to 4 units of HIST 6901, Graduate Internship, as a substitution for an elective in the program (see Degree Requirements below).
Pending annual funding, students may also acquire experience in lower-division teaching through paid Readerships, upon application to the History Department.
Qualified history graduate students are eligible for graduate financial aid through the loan and fellowship programs administered by the Financial Aid Office. Small scholarships, pending available funds, are awarded annually to assist graduate students in completing their master's projects.
Admission to the master's program generally requires a B.A. degree major in History, or the equivalent, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 ("B") in the last two years of undergraduate work and 3.25 ("B+") in history. A one-page statement of purpose, a writing sample, and two letters of recommendation must accompany applications. In addition, applicants must submit their scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) to the History Department office. Interested students with degrees in related disciplines, such as American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Political Science, Art or Theater History, and Literature, and suitable academic backgrounds in history are encouraged to apply but will be required to complete prerequisite coursework in history.
Students without necessary background in research or writing may also be admitted to the program as "Conditionally Classified Graduate" students with the requirement that they complete HIST 4030 and/or 4031 at a specified grade level before being admitted to "Classified Graduate" status. Students meeting all admissions requirements, and who have satisfied the University Writing Skills Requirement, are eligible to be admitted as "Classified Graduate" students. Applicants should consult with the History Graduate Coordinator for advising. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.
The Master of Arts degree in History consists of 45 units. Each of the four options in the master's program requires a prescribed program of 45 units listed below. Reading proficiency in a foreign language is strongly encouraged, especially for those planning to pursue doctoral degrees or research careers.
- Core Courses (13 units)
- HIST 6010 Seminar in History (5)
- HIST 6030 Graduate Historiography (4)
- HIST 6050 History Graduate Portfolio (4)
- Conference Courses (12-16 units)
Complete three to four conference courses, depending on choice of option (below) in at least two different areas. Students taking University Thesis must complete one conference course in the general area of the thesis topic. The same course number may be taken more than once if the content is significantly different. Conference courses are as follows:
- HIST 6100 Ancient and Medieval History (4)
- HIST 6200 European History (4)
- HIST 6300 Asian and Middle Eastern History (4)
- HIST 6400 United States History (4)
- Electives (8-12)
Eight (8) to twelve (12) units of upper division or graduate courses in History, depending on choice of option. Students in the Public History Option may select, with the approval of the Public History and Internship Coordinator and the Graduate Coordinator, courses in other disciplines specific to their professional goals. All students may substitute 6901 Internship and/or 6900 Independent Study for 4-8 units of electives, with approval of the Graduate Coordinator.
- Option Courses (4-12 units)
Students must select one of the options outlined below. Students are required to consult with the Graduate Coordinator regarding the selection of their conference courses and electives above, and for guidance in obtaining required approval for their chosen capstone project.
- Generalist Option
Capstone Experience: Comprehensive Examination.
Must take HIST 6905 (4 units) under the guidance of two faculty mentors and pass comprehensive examinations in major and minor fields as prescribed by the department. Option requires sixteen (16) units of Conference Courses and twelve (12) units of Electives.
- University Thesis Option
Capstone Experience: University Thesis.
Must take HIST 6910 (8 units) under supervision of faculty mentor. See requirement for conference course in B. Conference Courses above. Option requires twelve (12) units of Conference Courses and twelve (12) units of Electives.
- Public History Option
Required courses: HIST 4032 (4) Introduction to Public History, or approved alternative; and HIST 6901 (4) Internship in Public History. Capstone Experience: HIST 6899 (4) Project, under supervision of faculty mentor. Option requires twelve (12) units of Conference Courses and eight (8) units of Electives.
- Teaching Option
Required course (4 units): HIST 4033 Introduction to Teaching History. Capstone Experience (8 units): HIST 6900 Independent Study (4) and HIST 6899 Project (4), under supervision of faculty mentor. Option requires twelve (12) units of Conference Courses and eight (8) units of Electives.
- Generalist Option
Upper Division Courses Acceptable for the Master's Degree
All History courses in the 3000-4000 series except 3400, 4030, and 4031 are acceptable courses in a master's program.
Advancement to Candidacy
In addition students must meet the requirements of Advancement to Candidacy confirming that a student is prepared to finish the degree and is recommended as a degree candidate. A Classified Graduate student in good standing is eligible to be advanced to candidacy for the master's degree after:
- completing 12 quarter units applicable to the degree program
- completing HIST 6010 and 6030
- submitting a proposal for the Master's thesis, project, or two fields of examination to the Graduate Committee
- obtaining the Graduate Coordinator's approval of the student's committee, comprised of at least two faculty members.
|Course Number||Course Information|
|6010||Seminar in History (5)
Historical methodology including critical analysis and use of source materials, research and writing. Investigation of selected topics in political, economic, diplomatic, intellectual, and social history. Reports and discussion. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
|6030||Graduate Historiography (4)
Intensive readings in the classics of historical writing and the philosophy of history. Written critical analyses, both in- and out-of-class, are required. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Open only to postbaccalaureate students.
|6050||History Graduate Portfolio (4)
Preparation of professional portfolio of graduate work; presentation of original research in oral form suitable for conference participation; evaluation of work by class; revision of HIST 6010 or capstone work for consideration for publication in graduate e-journal; digital literacy. Prerequisite: HIST 6030 and HIST 6010.
|6100||Conference Course in Ancient and Medieval History (4)
Readings and discussion in the significant historical literature of ancient and medieval Europe emphasizing the chief areas of historical controversy and interpretation. Study of the major historians. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeated once for credit with other professors, for a maximum of 8 units.
|6200||Conference Course in European History (4)
Readings and discussion in the significant historical literature of modern Europe emphasizing the chief areas of historical controversy and interpretation. Study of the major historians. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeated once for credit with other professors, for a maximum of 8 units.
|6300||Conference Course in Asian and Middle Eastern History (4)
Readings and discussion in the significant historical literature of Asia emphasizing the chief areas of historical controversy and interpretation. Study of the major historians. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeated for additional credit with other professors, for a maximum of 8 units.
|6400||Conference Course in United States History (4)
Readings and discussion in the significant historical literature of the United States emphasizing the chief areas of historical controversy and interpretation. Study of the major historians. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit with other professors, for a maximum of 16 units.
|6898||Cooperative Education (1-4)
Supervised work experience in which student completes academic assignments integrated with off-campus paid or volunteer activities. Prerequisites: at least a 3.0 GPA; departmental approval of activity. A maximum of 5 units will be accepted toward the History major. May be repeated for credit for a maximum of 5 units.
Development of an original product which is summarized in a written abstract. Both the project and the abstract are submitted to the department which specifies their formats. Supervision by a departmental committee, at least one of whom must be a Cal State East Bay faculty member. Oral defense may be required. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
|6900||Independent Study (1-4)
May be repeated for credit, with consent of History Graduate Coordinator, for a maximum of 12 units.
|6901||Internship in Public History (1-5)
Supervised field work in non-academic settings, such as museums, libraries, archives, private business and government agencies, or historical preservation programs. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit, for a maximum of 5 units.
|6905||Directed Readings in History (1-4)
Selected readings in consultation with two faculty members in preparation for the Master's Comprehensive Written Examination in history. The reading list and the exams must be consistent with the student's areas of concentration and approved by the faculty mentors. Prerequisite: HIST 6030 and HIST 6010.
|6909||Departmental Thesis (1-4)
Development and writing of a research paper for submission to the department which specifies its format. Supervision by a departmental committee, at least one of whom must be a Cal State East Bay faculty member. Oral defense normally required. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
|6910||University Thesis (1-8)
Development and writing of a formal research paper for submission to the University in the specified bound format. Supervision by a departmental committee, at least one of whom must be a Cal State East Bay faculty member. Oral defense normally required. (See also "University Thesis Writing Guide," www.csueastbay.edu/thesiswritingguide.) Prerequisite: graduate standing.
|6999||Issues in History (4)
Readings, discussion, and research on contemporary and/or significant issues in history. May be repeated for credit when content varies, for a maximum of 8 units.