Learn more about the Master of Arts in History.

About the Program

Temple University offers a varied and flexible program for graduate training in History at the master's level. While general requirements ensure that every graduate is familiar with the basic issues of history and the latest approaches of professional historians, students are encouraged to tailor their programs to suit their own particular interests. This program provides enrichment opportunities for teachers in secondary schools, students hoping to pursue history doctorates elsewhere, and professionals in a variety of fields. Philadelphia is a rich public history environment with numerous opportunities for research and fieldwork.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years, although a student whose advisor certifies that they are making satisfactory progress may apply for an extension of their program for up to a maximum of 5 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Interdisciplinary Study: The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research and interactions among faculty and students.

Affiliation(s): The History program at Temple is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, The Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, the Center for Public History, and Temple's Urban Archives.

Areas of Specialization: Faculty members specialize and offer substantial coursework in diplomatic and military history, environmental history, history of capitalism, modern history, public history, U.S. social and cultural history, and urban history.

Job Prospects: The program is primarily dedicated to producing well-trained historians who aspire to attain the PhD, teach in primary and secondary schools, and work in history-oriented institutions like archives, museums, historical parks and government agencies.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students are permitted to take up to 9 credits of coursework prior to applying. These courses can be transferred into the degree program after admission only if the student earned a grade of "B" or higher.

Funding Opportunities: Funding is not offered by the History Department to students studying at the master's level.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

NOTE: The optional Public History concentration is not open to students enrolling in the History MA program for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Fall: February 15

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline date.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from instructors or other individuals who are familiar with the applicant's academic work.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants are expected to have majored or minored in History or a related discipline at the undergraduate level. Applicants lacking that qualification are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate baccalaureate degree at Temple University.

Statement of Goals: In approximately 500 to 750 words, share a clear statement of your interest in the master's program in History at Temple University and how Temple's program meets your needs, your major historical interests, career goals, and academic and research achievements, if applicable.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional. Scores may be submitted if available.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Writing Sample: The writing sample should demonstrate an applicant's ability to conduct research and write a scholarly paper. It should be fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual and should not exceed 30 pages in length.

Transfer Credit: Graduate credits from an accredited institution may be transferred into the History program. Transferred credits must be equivalent to coursework at Temple and carry a "B" grade or better. They may not have been used to obtain another degree. Incoming students may transfer a maximum of 6 credits.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

HIST 8714Historical Methods3
Seven 8000-level seminars 121
Two 9000-level research seminars 26
Total Credit Hours30

Course selection is determined by the student's specific interests and goals. It is recommended that one skills-based course, such as HIST 5152 Digital History or HIST 8152 Managing History, be taken. Those with a concentration in Public History are required to take both HIST 8101 Introduction to American History I (to 1865) and HIST 8152 Managing History.


Students may take only one writing seminar in an academic term. The second seminar should be taken in the student's last term of study. Students choose whether to combine the two 9000-level courses to produce a master's thesis.

Internship: An internship is required only of students pursuing Public History as a primary or secondary field. 

Culminating Events: Both thesis and non-thesis options are offered as a culminating event. The default position of the department is that students opt for the non-thesis option.

Non-Thesis Option:
All MA students are required to take two writing seminars along with the PhD students. The writing seminars are open writing workshops, eschewing a particular time period or geographic focus on which students must concentrate, and instead allowing students to pursue whatever interest they wish. Students work with the course instructor who sets deadlines; provides feedback on argument, structure and writing; and, with input from the faculty mentor, assigns a grade for the course. Students also, where appropriate, work with another faculty mentor whose area of expertise aligns with the student’s research topic.

Thesis Option:
Before beginning the second writing seminar, students choosing the thesis option must formally declare that they will continue and build on the research paper written for the first writing seminar. Essentially, the first research paper is treated as one chapter in an MA thesis and the second chapter is written during the second writing seminar. Permission from both the faculty mentor who will oversee the project and the MA Coordinator is required. The instructor of the second writing seminar must also be advised of a student's choice to work on a thesis.

The MA thesis in its entirety must be signed by a first reader, i.e., the faculty mentor, and a second reader, who may or may not be one of the faculty members who taught the two research classes. The thesis advisor/first reader gathers the necessary signatures.

Students who pursue an MA thesis but do not complete it must have produced work comparable to two distinct seminar papers to complete the degree program.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of History

913 Gladfelter Hall

1115 W. Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6089


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:

Director of Graduate Studies:

Rita Krueger, PhD

9th floor, Gladfelter Hall


Petra Goedde, PhD