You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences History MA Admissions & Requirements, MA in History or Public History

Admissions at a Glance

Fall priority admission: February 1
Spring or Summer admission
Required materials
Application form and fee
Statement of purpose*
2 letters of recommendation
GRE scores (Optional)
Writing sample**
Learn more about additional requirements for international students

How to Apply  Request Info  Tuition & Funding

*If applying to Public History, please indicate on application.
Statement of Purpose: explain how an MA in History will further your career goals. 

**Writing Sample: recent written work of substantial length (senior thesis, research paper, or interpretative essay).

Admissions and Program Requirements

How Admissions Decisions Are Made

In evaluating grades, test scores, recommendations, and other supporting documents, the Department's Graduate Committee primarily seeks evidence of promise in the field of history. No single item either qualifies or disqualifies a student for admission. Someone with high GRE scores but indifferent college grades may have to explain convincingly why he or she is now ready for serious professional work, whereas someone with lower GREs and good grades may present samples demonstrating real research and writing ability.

Provisional admission may be extended in certain cases where students do not meet usual standards. To gain full MA candidate status, the provisional student must demonstrate to the Department's satisfaction an ability to pursue a degree program with reasonable promise of success. On the completion of 6-12 hours of courses taken for letter grade credit, a provisional student must then apply for full standing, using the Graduate Academic Action form.

Although an undergraduate major in history provides a desirable background for more advanced work, majors in other fields will be given full consideration. The Department recognizes that almost any major may provide an adept student with knowledge or methodologies useful in the field of history. Applicants for the Public History concentration typically have some experience, such as an internship, with a public history organization or institution.

Please include a statement of purpose indicating educational and career objectives, areas of interest within history, and relevant academic or practical experience.