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Master of Arts in History

The Master of Arts in History degree prepares students for work in the field of history. This degree program is geared largely toward those seeking careers within academic settings at all levels. The History Masters programs are based upon a solid, committed faculty and multiple resources. With fourteen permanent and many adjunct faculty, the department of history offers courses in a wide variety of topics in the fields of non-western, United States, and European history. Graduate faculty are deeply involved in research and writing in their respective major fields (for more information on the faculty, see the faculty page). The department of history encourages a collegial atmosphere in which students and faculty work closely together. Its main goal is to prepare students for further study or for a successful career in history. Besides a faculty rich in its diversity and talents, the location of the university in the capital city of Idaho gives students access to the State Archives, Idaho State Historical Museum, the state’s Law Library, the Survey Research Center, the Frank Church Archive, and other research facilities. The Boise State library has a collection of almost 550,000 bound volumes and periodicals and subscribes to more than 4,900 serials. It is also a selective US Government and Canadian document depository, as well as an Idaho State depository. The inter-library loan system makes the holdings of other excellent collections accessible to Boise State students. Several large corporations with home offices in Boise have opened their archives to students and faculty doing research on department-supported topics.

 Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in History prepares students to work as research historians, to continue in history doctoral programs, or to advance the preparation of history teachers in K-12 education. It is best suited for those seeking a career in an academic-related field.

Students in the M.A. program may choose either the thesis or portfolio option as their culminating activity. The thesis option is recommended for students seeking entrance into a Ph.D. program or into an academic research-and-publication-based career.  It is a written exploration of a historical topic, based on primary source research, which defends an analytical argument that is original and compelling. The topic and scope of the thesis will be determined by the student in consultation with the advisory committee. The portfolio option is recommended for students who teach in the K-12 public school system and/or who do not plan to pursue additional graduate degrees.

Master of Arts in History

Course number & TitleCredits
HIST 500 The Nature of History3
HIST 501 The Study of History3
Culminating Activity

Thesis Option:
Approved History Electives (12-21 cr)
Approved Electives Outside of History (0-9 cr)
HIST 593 Thesis (6 cr)

Portfolio Option:
Approved History Electives in Major Field (12 cr)
Approved History Electives in Minor Field (6 cr)
Additional History Electives (0-6 cr)
Approved Electives Outside of History (0-6 cr)
HIST 592 Portfolio (3 cr)
One year of foreign language is required for graduation; these credits do not count towards the required 33 credits for the degree.