History, MA

Department of History, College of Arts & Sciences

Vision Statement

The mission of History MA program is to develop in students an understanding both of history itself and of history as a profession. In so doing, students will move beyond thinking of history as simply a series of events.

Since the professionalization of history in the late nineteenth century, historians have sought to explain not only what happened but why events unfolded the way they do. In subsequent years, this has led to an increasingly sophisticated volume of materials which deepen our understanding of the past. The process has also led to the formulation, and frequently the subsequent refutation, of models of interpretation.

In order to develop a proper understanding of the past, graduate students in history need to understand not only the events of the past but how historians have interpreted those events. As such the History MA program is committed to exposing our students to the events of history, the records of history, as well as to those who have sought to explain them. In so doing, our graduate will understand history at a much deeper level than when they entered the program.

Program Contact Information

Dr. Jeanne Reames, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
Arts & Sciences Hall (ASH) 287K
402-554-2593
mreames@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: May 15
  • Spring: October 15

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Complete 21 semester hours of undergraduate work in history, including a course on historical research, with a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation are required.
    • Because we seek to determine your potential as a historian, letters of recommendation should be solicited primarily from historians with whom you have worked during your academic career. If you did not major in history and therefore cannot get letters from historians, then the best remaining option is to obtain letters from professors in the field in which you majored. Letters of recommendation from employers, family friends, and the like are essentially useless to us.
  • Statement of Purpose (Essay)
    • Submit an essay of 250-500 words describing the applicant’s interests in history and why he or she wishes to earn an MA degree in History.
  • Writing Sample
    • 10-12 pages in length from an upper-division history (or cognate) course, or equivalent-length history-related article published in a peer-reviewed publication.
  • The History Graduate Program Committee may choose, in rare cases, to admit provisionally any student who does not meet all of the above requirements, with the understanding that all conditions for unconditional admission must be met before HIST 8010 or HIST 9100 courses may be taken.
  • Students who have no undergraduate course in historical research and methodology must successfully complete HIST 2980 during one of the first two semesters of their enrollment. This course, required of all undergraduate history majors at UNO, seeks to develop two skills essential to all historians: the ability to write clearly and the ability to conduct critical and thorough research. Students who lack these skills may anticipate serious problems in their studies.
    • Interpretation of this requirement rests with the History Graduate Program Committee. Students who believe that they have taken a comparable course may be asked to submit examples of their work, which will enable the Graduate Program Committee to assess their proficiency.

Required Courses

Thesis Option (36 hours)

The 36-hour thesis program includes six (6) hours of thesis credit, plus thirty (30) credit hours in graduate coursework. This program is especially recommended for students who wish to continue work toward a PhD, but is open to any student.  

Students who intend to write a thesis should bear in mind that this is a substantial undertaking and one that normally takes at least a year of focused research, background reading, writing, and revision to complete, in addition to previous coursework.  An MA thesis must present original research and provide evidence of both extensive work in primary sources and engagement with the current scholarship on the subject matter in question. Students should develop some idea of a topic well before they complete their coursework and, in conjunction with the Graduate Program Chair, identify the department member best suited to supervise the thesis. Each faculty member of the department has complete discretion as to whether he or she will work with a particular student and whether the proposed topic is acceptable. Further discussion on thesis topics will be addressed during advising and/or new student orientation.

Required Courses
Complete 15 hours from the following distributed between the two courses. Consult your advisor for more information.15
SEMINAR IN HISTORY
COLLOQUIUM
Select three hours from the following.3
RESEARCH DIRECTED READINGS PROJECT
GRADUATE INTERNSHIP
GRADUATE HISTORICAL METHODOLOGY
Select 12 hours from History or other advisor approved courses.12
HIST 8990THESIS6
Total Credits36

Students completing an MA with thesis may include no more than three (3) hours total from among HIST 8010 and HIST 8020.

Non-Thesis Option (36 hours)

Thirty-six (36) hours of graduate coursework in history.

The 36-hour non-thesis program consists entirely of coursework. This program is especially recommended for students who wish to pursue work in public history, archiving, secondary-school teaching, park-service work, etc.  Students will receive guidance and support regarding future career paths from their comprehensive exam committee.

Required Courses
Complete 15 hours from the following distributed between the two courses. Consult your advisor for more information.15
SEMINAR IN HISTORY
COLLOQUIUM
Select six hours from the following.6
RESEARCH DIRECTED READINGS PROJECT
GRADUATE INTERNSHIP
GRADUATE HISTORICAL METHODOLOGY
Select 15 hours of History or other advisor approved courses.15
Total Credits36

Students completing an MA without thesis may include no more than six (6) hours total from among HIST 8010 and HIST 8020

Exit Requirements

Thesis Option

MA Thesis Contract

Any faculty member in the Department of History who agrees to chair a MA thesis committee or who agrees to be a member of an MA thesis committee, may ask the student in question to sign a MA Thesis Contract. The basic model for such a contract will be available to students on the History Graduate Student Blackboard page. The faculty member in question may choose to modify this basic model if they think appropriate.

All candidates should carefully review the Graduate College requirements for forming a Supervisory Committee, Thesis/Thesis Equivalent Proposal Approval Forms and final approval and submission of a thesis.

Non-thesis Option

Comprehensive Examination

Successfully pass comprehensive exams which may only be taken after the candidate has successfully completed all other requirements for the MA.  Full details on comprehensive examinations will be provided during advising and/or new student orientation.  

Exams will be offered in each semester of the academic year i.e. fall, spring summer. Students generally may not take their exams until they have completed all the required coursework for their MA program.  Rare expectations may be considered at the discretion of the GPC. 

As comps are not a course, they are graded only as pass/fail – with a B- being the minimum grade to pass. The three questions will be graded separately – students must pass all questions in order to earn their MA.  Retaking all or part of a comprehensive exam should be scheduled within two semesters (including summer) of the original exam, except in extraordinary circumstances and with the special permission of the Graduate Committee.  Failure of 1 question will require a rewrite of that question (new or revised to be determined by the committee); failure of 2 or more questions will require a retake of the entire exam (new or revised, again to be determined by the committee).  Retakes will be limited to one attempt.  Further details on comprehensive exams will be provided during advising and/or new student orientation.

As is the case with regular courses, students may appeal comprehensive exam grades ONLY IF they believe such grading was “prejudiced or capricious” (see Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. Details here). The process of appeal will follow that provided in the Department of History Grade Appeal outlined here,  with the GPC standing as Instructor of Record.


 

Course Attendance Requirement and Withdrawal Policy

  • All History Department faculty may, at their own discretion, remove from any class any graduate student who misses three or more classes during a single semester.

  • The History Department Graduate Program Committee may remove from the program any student who withdraws from three or more courses.

Academic Progress

  • Each candidate must complete his or her MA degree within eight (8) years of starting the program. A candidate who, owing to extenuating circumstances, is unable to meet this requirement may appeal in writing to the Graduate Program Chair and/or the History Department Graduate Committee for an extension of time. Such extensions will normally be granted only in cases of serious illness or military deployment.
  • In addition to conforming to all requirements for academic progress laid down by the Office of Graduate Studies, the History Department notes the following: pursuant to the section “Automatic Dismissal,” wherein is noted “Departments/Schools may have additional and more stringent criteria for evaluating a student’s performance and may demand a higher level of performance than that demanded by the Graduate College,” please note:
    • The History Department at UNO will automatically dismiss from the program any student who is awarded any grade below B- in two (or more) classes, regardless of whether or not they have complied with other requirements of satisfactory progress.

HIST 8010  RESEARCH DIRECTED READINGS PROJECT (1-3 credits)

Special research problems and or directed readings arranged individually with students on topics not explored in other graduate offerings. If students do not complete all the readings during the semester in which they enroll in the course, they must complete all the readings within one academic year of their enrollment.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Minimum of nine graduate hours in history completed. Permission of history Graduate Program Chair. Open only to students enrolled in the History MA program. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8016  RELIGION IN EARLY AMERICA (3 credits)

This course examines the history and nature of religion in North America to c. 1770 with an emphasis on the British colonies. (Cross-listed with HIST 4010, RELI 4050).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Must be a graduate student enrolled in History MA program. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8020  GRADUATE INTERNSHIP (1-3 credits)

The graduate student is supervised by a member of the faculty in a project involving part-time employment or service with a museum, historic site, historical society or other institution. Work hours, activities, reporting requirements, and responsibilities must be specified in written agreement between employer, student, Graduate Program Chair, and/or supervising faculty member. Normally taken for 3 hours. If a hosting institution cannot commit to a supervised workload which the departmental advisor and/or Graduate Program Chair believe to be equivalent to 3 hours, course may be taken for fewer hours. In such circumstances, student may repeat course up to a total of 3 hours.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Student must be enrolled in the History MA program and have completed at least 6 hours of graduate credit. Student must have approval of Graduate Program Chair (GPC) and/or supervising faculty before enrolling. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8030  GRADUATE HISTORICAL METHODOLOGY (3 credits)

This course will examine various historical methodologies which have been employed by historians to provide structural interpretations of the past. Although exact content may vary, examples of methodologies include the Whig Interpretation, Marxism, Structuralism, Postmodernism, and the New Social History.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Students must be enrolled in the MA program in history. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8046  HOMESCAPES: THE MATERIAL CULTURE OF EVERYDAY LIFE IN AMERICA, 1600-1860 (3 credits)

This course examines the culture and technologies of house forms and work landscapes in North America, 1600-1860. (Cross-listed with HIST 4040).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate student in history, or permission of the graduate chair.

HIST 8056  HISTORY OF WOMEN IN AMERICA TO 1875 (3 credits)

This course examines the history of women in what is now the United States from the seventeenth century to 1875. Topics include law, work, sexuality and reproduction, slavery, cross-cultural encounters, religion, political activism, and the transformation of gender by the market and industrial revolutions. (Cross-listed with HIST 4050).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8066  HISTORY OF WOMEN IN AMERICA FROM 1875 - 1992 (3 credits)

This course examines the history of women in the United States from 1875 to 1992. Topics include law, work, sexuality and reproduction, immigration, civil rights, political participation and party politics, and changes to the American gender system, including family structure and employment. (Cross-listed with HIST 4060, WGST 4060, WGST 8066).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8126  AMERICAN SOCIAL AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY SINCE 1865 (3 credits)

Primarily a non-political approach to American history, this course will examine significant topics in American thought and society. (Cross-listed with HIST 4120).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8136  THE REVOLUTIONARY ERA, 1763-89 (3 credits)

An analysis of the imperial and internal forces which led to the revolution and an examination of the economic, social and political problems of the emerging nation. (Cross-listed with HIST 4130).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8146  COLONIAL AMERICAN HISTORY (3 credits)

This course provides a study of the settlement and development of North America to c. 1763 with an emphasis on the British colonies. (Cross-listed with HIST 4140).

HIST 8166  THE U.S.: EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD: 1789-1828 (3 credits)

An interpretative study of the middle period of American history. (Cross-listed with HIST 4160).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8176  AMERICAN FRONTIER 1800-1900 (3 credits)

The Trans-Mississippi West from the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade days to the disappearance of the frontier around 1900. (Cross-listed with HIST 4170).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8186  CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION (3 credits)

A period study from 1845 to 1877. The background of the Civil War, the war years and the reshaping of the Union during reconstruction. (Cross-listed with HIST 4180).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8246  EMERGENCE OF MODERN AMERICA (3 credits)

A study of a transitional period in American history, this course considers the importance of industrialization, urbanization, immigration and the emergence of the United States as a significant world power. (Cross-listed with HIST 4240).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8276  20TH CENTURY AMERICA TO 1932 (3 credits)

A study of the history of the United States from the end of the 19th century to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the presidency in 1932. (Cross-listed with HIST 4270).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8286  TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICA SINCE 1932 (3 credits)

A study of the history of the United States since the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the presidency in 1932. (Cross-listed with HIST 4280).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8336  U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY TO 1860 (3 credits)

A history of constitutional theory and practice to 1860. (Cross-listed with HIST 4340).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8346  U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY SINCE 1860 (3 credits)

A history of constitutional theory and practice since 1860. (Cross-listed with HIST 4340).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8356  AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC HISTORY (3 credits)

A history of the foreign relations of the United States. (Cross-listed with HIST 4350).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8406  HISTORY OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS (3 credits)

A survey of traditional North American Indian cultures, their contact with transplated European peoples, and the continuing problems faced today. (Cross-listed with HIST 4400).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8416  HISTORY OF NEBRASKA (3 credits)

From the earliest known records to the present. (Cross-listed with HIST 4410).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8426  THE SIOUX TRIBE (3 credits)

A cultural and historical study of the Sioux tribes emphasizing the earliest historic period to the present. (Cross-listed with HIST 4420).

HIST 8436  AMERICAN URBAN HISTORY (3 credits)

Historical survey of urban development in the United States from the colonial period to the present, with attention to urbanization as a social process affecting the nation at large as well as cities in particular. (Cross-listed with HIST 4430).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8446  HISTORY OF THE SOUTH (3 credits)

Economic, social and political development of the south as a region. (Cross-listed with HIST 4440).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8456  NATIVE AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTALISM (3 credits)

This course studies North American tribal subsistence and natural resource use practices from the early historic period to the present, Native Americans as environmentalists, and modern tribal environmentalism. (Cross-listed with HIST 4450).

HIST 8476  AMERICAN MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH (3 credits)

Analysis of the relationship and interaction of medical thought and practice, public health problems and institutional development, and the changes in American society and culture from the 17th to the 20th century. (Cross-listed with WGST 8476, WGST 4470, HIST 4470).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Junior.

HIST 8486  THE UNITED STATES IN THE 1960S (3 credits)

This course is a review of the economic, social, cultural, and political changes that marked the United States in the 1960s. (Cross-listed with HIST 4480).

HIST 8516  INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE: FRENCH REVOLUTION TO PRESENT (3 credits)

A study of enduring political, religious, economic, scientific and philosophical ideas in their historical setting. (Cross-listed with HIST 4510).

HIST 8526  INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE: FRENCH REVOLUTION TO PRESENT (3 credits)

A study of leading political, religious, economics, scientific and philosophical ideas in times of extraordinary social change. (Cross-listed with HIST 4520).

HIST 8536  THE AGE OF THE RENAISSANCE-REFORMATION (3 credits)

A study of the politics and economics of the 15th and 16th centuries as well as the achievements of Renaissance culture and the emergence of the Protestant churches and the Tretine Catholicism. (Cross-listed with HIST 4530).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8546  MEDIEVAL EUROPE (3 credits)

An examination of medieval European history with emphasis upon social and economic developments. (Cross-listed with HIST 4540).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8556  THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT (3 credits)

A study of the politics and economics of the late-17th century and of the 18th century as well as the emergence of modern secular thought and its impact upon traditional European society. (Cross-listed with HIST 4550).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8566  THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE NAPOLEONIC ERA, 1789-1815 (3 credits)

Particular attention is given to the development of democratic practice concurrently with the development of modern authoritarianism. (Cross-listed with HIST 4560).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8576  EUROPE:1815-1890 (3 credits)

A study of reform and reaction with resulted in the Balkanization of Europe. (Cross-listed with HIST 4570).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8616  TUDOR AND STUART ENGLAND (3 credits)

A study of England under the Tudors when the English people solidified the monarchy and experienced a golden age, and the Stuarts continued modernization and formulated the new institutions foreshadowing those of our world today. (Cross-listed with HIST 4610).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8626  ENGLAND: FROM EMPIRE TO WELFARE STATE (3 credits)

A study of the change and development in Great Britain from the late 18th century to 1918. (Cross-listed with HIST 4620).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8646  BRITISH EMPIRE AND COMMONWEALTH (3 credits)

Britain in America, Africa, India and the Pacific. The development of a dependent empire and transformation into independent nations. (Cross-listed with HIST 4640).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8656  HISTORY OF MODERN IRELAND (3 credits)

A survey of Irish history from the Act of Union of 1801 through the civil rights movement of "Troubles" of Northern Ireland in the 1970s. (Cross-listed with HIST 4650).

HIST 8716  EUROPE AND AMERICA IN TWO WORLD WARS (3 credits)

A military, social and political history analyzing the causes, conduct and consequences of each war, the war time transformation of European and American society, and the emergence of the United States as a world power. (Cross-listed with HIST 4710).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8726  THE HOLOCAUST (3 credits)

An interdisciplinary approach in a seminar oriented format discussing various aspects of the most notorious genocide in modern times. The course will explore the history of anti-Semitism, the rise of Nazi Germany and the road to the 'final solution.' It will further explore psychological, sociological and intellectual aspects of the dark side of humanity. (Cross-listed with HIST 4720, RELI 4160, RELI 8166).

HIST 8736  ISRAEL AND PALESTINE (3 credits)

This course will outline the history of the conflict over Palestine/Israel, examine its present status, and explore its likely unfolding in the future. It seeks to provide a broad and concise understanding of the historical events which have shaped the relations between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as a keen awareness of the challenges and prospects related to their future. (Cross-listed with HIST 4730).

HIST 8746  COMPARATIVE GENOCIDE (3 credits)

This course explores genocide and its many forms throughout history. It begins by considering the varied elements and definitions of the term. Next it looks at what makes people kill before going on to examine many different genocides throughout history. Finally, the course addresses the prosecution and prevention of genocide. (Cross-listed with HIST 4740).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate student enrolled in History MA program. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 8776  EUROPE:1890-1932 (3 credits)

A study of the conditions and forces immediately precedent to World War I, the war itself, the peace following the war and the rise of the modern dictatorships. (Cross-listed with HIST 4770).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8786  EUROPE: 1933 TO THE PRESENT (3 credits)

A study of the ever increasing tensions between the Facist and Communist dictatorships and the Western democracies, World War II, the resultant dislocation of power and the emergence of the balance of terror. (Cross-listed with HIST 4780).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8806  U.S. AND THE MIDDLE EAST (3 credits)

This course focuses on the evolution of US relations with and Foreign Policy vis-a-vis the Middle East over the last six decades. It seeks to illuminate the constant features in contrast to the changes in direction, examining the agendas of varying administrations as well as the treatment by the media of this region. It follows a chronological framework with particular emphasis on key thematic topics. While emphasizing the political dimensions of international relations, the class will also explore cultural and social aspects of the ties between the US and the peoples of the Middle East. (Cross-listed with HIST 4800).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students

HIST 8826  MESOPOTAMIA AND PRE-ISLAMIC PERSIA (3 credits)

Examination of the Ancient Near East from the emergence of its earliest civilizations--Sumer, Akkad and Babylonia--through the Bronze and Iron Ages, concluding with Persia in the Common Era (CE) just before the rise of Islam. (Cross-listed with HIST 4820).

HIST 8846  ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND THE MACEDONIAN ORIGIN (3 credits)

Examination of the conquests of Alexander the Great, as well as controversies in Alexander studies. Includes discussion of both the Macedonian culture that produced him and the career of his father, Philip II. (Cross-listed with HIST 4840).

HIST 8916  TOPICS IN HISTORY (3 credits)

A course on selected topics offered on a one-time or occasional basis. Course may be repeated as long as the topic is different each time. Cross listed with WGST 4910/ WGST 8916 when topics are appropriate to Women's and Gender Studies. (Cross-listed with HIST 4910).

HIST 8990  THESIS (1-6 credits)

Thesis research project written under supervision of an adviser.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Completion of twenty-four hours of history graduate work. Approval of Graduate Program Chair. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 9100  SEMINAR IN HISTORY (3 credits)

This seminar guides advanced graduate students through critical readings and practices in historical research or historiography. Topics will vary and course can be repeated under different topics.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Open only to History MA students who have completed HIST 3930 or equivalent. Non-History MA students may be admitted after consultation with History GPC and instructor. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

HIST 9200  COLLOQUIUM (3 credits)

The colloquium guides advanced graduate students through the historiography of a specific subject. Topics will vary and course can be repeated under different topics. Open only to students enrolled in MA program in history unless permission granted by History Department Graduate Program Chair.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Open only to History MA students who have completed HIST 2980, HIST 3930 or equivalent. Non-History MA students may be admitted after consultation with History GPC and instructor. Not open to non-degree graduate students.