Program Overview

Program Overview

The Department of History and Social Sciences at William Carey University offers a unique Master of Arts in History program with a focus on the development of empires in world history. The M.A. program is designed to introduce high-achieving students to the various historiographical and methodological issues related to imperial studies, to critical analysis of primary source material and other related research skills, and to the appropriate secondary historical works relevant to their specific area of study. In addition to graduate coursework, M.A. students will be expected to demonstrate high-level skills in research and writing by completion and successful defense of a thesis-length project. Graduates of this program will be prepared for further graduate work on the doctoral level, teaching in community colleges, as well as a number of other academic and nonacademic jobs.

Degree Requirements

A total of 27 hours of graduate history coursework, which must include:

HIS 601: Empires and Imperialisms (3 hours)
At least 12 hours of coursework in the student’s chosen field of study, either pre-modern empires or modern empires
Subsequent course hours may be taken from any other HIS courses
Only 6 hours of 500-level history coursework may count towards the degree
Students may only transfer up to 6 hours of history coursework from a previously completed degree program

Prior to completion of coursework, the student must demonstrate reading proficiency in one of the following research languages: for pre-modern empires, Greek or Latin; for modern empires, French or German. Language examinations will be administered by competent faculty within the history department.

Upon completion of course work and demonstration of language proficiency, the student must pass a 4-hour written comprehensive exam.

Upon successfully passing the comprehensive exam, the student will move on to the thesis stage. The student may take 3-6 hours of thesis coursework towards the degree. All students in the M.A. in history program are required to complete a thesis. There is not a nonthesis option for the M.A. in history program. The thesis must successfully pass an oral defense before a committee of three history faculty members.

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to continue in good standing in the program and must have a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate. Students making a third C or lower may not repeat any other courses and will be dismissed from the program.


WCU Box #146 | 710 William Carey Parkway | Hattiesburg, MS 39401  |    (601) 318 - 6164