Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters


Department of History




Master of Arts in History

Welcome from the Graduate Program Director

Thank you for your interest in the M.A. program in History at Old Dominion University. In the History Department we have a strong faculty who are active teacher-scholars pursuing research, publishing books and articles, and winning awards and grants. They bring the latest methods and historical interpretations to the classroom. The Department’s strengths lie within American and European history, but we also have faculty members who cover Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Russia. Currently we have seventeen faculty members who offer graduate courses and fifty to sixty students enrolled in the program during any given semester. Classes are small, usually eight to fifteen students, and most often meet at night to accommodate the many students who work.

One of the distinctive features of Old Dominion University’s graduate student body is its diversity. The graduate students who enroll in our program come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. The Department thus offers a general Masters program that encourages students to take a variety of coursework in many fields. The program is designed to facilitate preparation for entry into doctoral programs in history and for teaching at the community college and secondary levels. Graduate work in history also provides an excellent background for careers in law, theology, business, government service, and for specialized work as a museum curator, librarian, archivist, editor, historic site specialist, or public historian.

I encourage you to read through our Web site to find out more about our faculty, the program, and the courses we offer. If you have further questions or wish an application, please call or contact me at the address below. Thank you.

Dr. Jane T. Merritt
Graduate Program Director
Contact Information

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate major or minor in history is desirable but not required for admission. To be admitted on a regular basis, an applicant must have completed 24 semester credit hours of history with an average GPA of 3.0 overall and in history. The General Test of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required for admission.

Financial Aid

The Department of History awards a limited number of graduate assistantships each year to outstanding applicants. Teaching Assistantships are 20-hour a week positions that entail running sections for undergraduates taking a large survey lecture course. The university also offers minority student grants and assistantships. Most forms of aid require the student to be enrolled full-time.

Graduate Study in History

The Master of Arts degree is available through a thesis or an exam option. Both are 30-credit programs and both require the completion of HIST 600, Historical Theory and Practice. Students take courses from nearly every field of history, with the ability to emphasize a particular geographic region or time period through electives.

EXAM Option:

6 credits in the Americas
6 credits in Europe, including Russia
3 credits in Africa or Asia
9 credits of electives
3 credits - HIST 600
3 credits - HIST 675, Exam preparation

TOTAL: 30 credits

Thesis option:

6 credits in the Americas
6 credits in Europe, including Russia
3 credits in Africa or Asia
6 credits electives
3 credits - HIST 600
6 credits HIST 698/699, Thesis credits

TOTAL: 30 credits

The thesis option is restricted to those students who have completed at least 9 credit hours of coursework in the pertinent field with a 3.7 GPA, and the written agreement of a 3-member faculty committee.

Other resources

Course Offerings

ODU Graduate Admissions