History

What is the Graduate History Program?

Duquesne's Graduate History Program is a 2-year, 30-credit Master's program that offers three major areas of study - American, European, and Global/International - through three flexible tracks of study: thesis, non-thesis with a minor, and non-thesis without a minor.  

Our program is particularly suited for individuals who:

  • are interested in going on to a PhD program,
  • are interested in working in academia,
  • are secondary school teachers looking to increase their knowledge in the areas they teach,
  • wish to apply the knowledge and skills gained to other academic or public service and government fields.

Why Study Graduate History at Duquesne University?

Our graduate History program is well-suited for students who wish to pursue a Ph.D., secondary school teachers interested in increasing their content knowledge, and individuals who want to work in non-profits, government, or business.  

The Department of History has exciting opportunities for graduate students. We have hired six new faculty since 2013, implemented a revised curriculum in 2016, and have developed new research and networking opportunities for students. We also expanded our financial assistance with new tuition awards and scholarships, graduate assistantships, and conference and research funding. 

Our location also puts us at an advantage. Duquesne is within walking distance to the art and entertainment districts of Downtown Pittsburgh, the South Side, and Oakland, home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh is consistently ranked as one of the most desirable and affordable cities in the United States. With all of these developments, now is an excellent time to consider Duquesne University for your Master's degree in History. 

Our alumni have been hired at number of well-known organizations, including:

  • Akita International University, Japan
  • Blair County Courthouse
  • Dynavox
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Highmark, Inc.
  • The Princeton Review
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Our alumni have pursued Ph.D. programs at schools such as:

  • American University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Florida State University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of California-San Diego
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of Rochester
  • West Virginia University

 

Degree

Master's

Required Credit Hours

30

Program Requirements

Our curriculum offers students with a number of choices for classes and new minor fields of study. To graduate with an M.A. in History, students must complete 30 credits and pass a written comprehensive examination. All candidates for the M.A. degree in History must pass written comprehensive examinations based on coursework and reading lists provided by three faculty examiners.

Students studying in the American/U.S History theme area must complete 18 required courses in these three areas:

Methodological Courses 
  • HIST 601 Introduction to Graduate History
  • HIST 602 Research Seminar

Period Courses
  • Choose two:
    • HIST 610 Colonies to Republic
    • HIST 611 Emergence of the Modern United States
    • HIST 612 Contemporary United States

Elective Courses
Students will choose two other elective courses. Some example electives include:
  • HIST 521 Roman Catholicism in the Long 19th Century, 1789-1914
  • HIST 530 Atlantic World, 1450s-1750s
  • HIST 533 Gender in American History
  • HIST 541 American Painting & Sculpture
  • HIST 542 American Architecture


In addition to the required courses, students can choose from three, 12-credit tracks
  • Thesis Track
  • Non-Thesis with Minor Track
  • Non-Thesis without Minor Track
Students studying in the European History theme area must complete 18 required courses in these three areas:

Methodological Courses
  • HIST 601 Introduction to Graduate History
  • HIST 602 Research Seminar

Period Courses
  • Choose two:
    • HIST 501 Medieval Europe
    • HIST 511 Early Modern Europe
    • HIST 619 19th Century Europe
    • HIST 620 20th Centure Europe

Elective Courses
Students will choose two other elective courses. Some example electives include:
  • HIST 513 Renaissance Europe: Courts & Nobles
  • HIST 521 Roman Catholicism in the Long 19th Century, 1789-1914
  • HIST 528 British Empire
  • HIST 548 World at War
  • HIST 550 The Cold War

In addition to the required courses, students can choose from three, 12-credit tracks
  • Thesis Track
  • Non-Thesis with Minor Track
  • Non-Thesis without Minor Track
Students studying in the Global/International History theme area must complete 18 required courses in these three areas:

Methodological Courses
  • HIST 601 Introduction to Graduate History
  • HIST 602 Research Seminar

Period Courses

Elective Courses


In addition to the required courses, students can choose from three, 12-credit tracks
  • Thesis Track
  • Non-Thesis with Minor Track
  • Non-Thesis without Minor Track

Application Requirements

Students must submit a completed online application with a resume or curriculum vitae.

Official transcripts recording all baccalaureate work, along with degree, from an accredited undergraduate college or university. If you are currently taking classes, please submit your transcript once grades are posted. Note: If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. 

Three confidential letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic studies or professional work. (NOTE: The Department does not contact recommenders. Letters should be submitted through the University's online system).

A brief (2-3 page) personal statement explaining your educational and/or professional experience thus far, your academic interests, the reason why you are pursuing graduate studies at Duquesne, and your career goals. Public History applicants should mention any professional experience in the field, and History applicants should identify their geographical area of interest (American, European, or Global history). Please also indicate whether you are interested in departmental graduate assistantships, full or part-time study, and list any foreign language experience.

An academic writing sample, not to exceed 25 pages (double-spaced).

An official score report indicating satisfactory performance on TOEFL examination (applicable to international students only).

Student Opportunities

In addition to coursework, there are other ways for graduate History students to engage in scholarly activities at Duquesne and elsewhere. Many students have their first chance to do so at the annual Graduate Student Research Symposium (GSRS), where they display posters and present papers about their work to an audience of faculty, students, and staff from across the university.

In 2015 the History Department established the Clio Awards, which give cash awards to the three best student papers or posters presented by graduate History students at the GSRS.

In spring 2019 the Department of History will establish the Excellence in Graduate History Awards which give cash awards to the two best graduating graduate students in either the Historical Studies and/or Public History programs.

In addition, we encourage students to continue developing and presenting their research at conferences, including the regional Phi Alpha Theta conference, as well as the many graduate student and national conferences such as the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies and the American Historical Association. And with funding available to graduate students, participating in these types of conferences is all the more possible.

We also have the Drs. Steven Bela Vardy and Agnes Huszar Vardy International Research and Study Grant available to our students. This grant promotes international academic work by providing financial support to a leading graduate Historical Studies or Public History student doing research overseas.