The UNM Department of History currently enrolls about 50 Masters students, who in pursuit of their degrees complete course work, conduct historical research, engage in public history, teach in secondary and university education, and produce historical content for scholarly and popular venues. For some graduate students, the History MA is one step in their path to the PhD in History (at UNM or elsewhere), while many others go on to work in museum curating, academic publishing, public history, and the private sector. In 2008-2011, History Department will also collaborate with New Mexico public school districts in support of the Rio Grande Valley Teaching American History Grant, a program sponsored by the US Department of Education that helps public school teachers obtain their Masters in History.
Students in the Masters’ program may focus their work in one area and complete a comprehensive exam and thesis in that concentration (Option I), or select two regional concentrations and sit for the corresponding exams (Option II). Masters students make these selections from the following regional concentrations offered in the department:
The Western World to 1500
The Graduate Director advises Masters students about program requirements and helps each student to form a Committee on Studies, a group of faculty who provide the student with intellectual and professional guidance. All Masters students must take History 664: Advanced Historiography and fulfill the department’s foreign language requirement prior to taking their written comprehensive exam(s), which are usually administered in the fourth semester of full-time graduate study.
MA Program Prerequisites: 30 hours in history, including courses in general European and American history, and History 491 (Historiography) or its equivalent. Candidates for the master's degree are expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language approved by the department by the end of the first year of graduate work. Language credit by transfer is not acceptable.
For information on admission to the History Masters Program, click here. Prospective applicants may also contact the Graduate Director or department staff for further information. Students wishing to enroll for non-degree graduate coursework prior to admission for graduate study in History should consult the department's policy on Graduate Non-Degree Coursework and contact UNM's Non-Degree Student Services.
“History provides students with a greatly enriched view of the world around them as well as numerous real-world skills that will prove useful in many professional occupations. The study of history helps us to understand who we are and where we have been. That knowledge, in turn, helps to shape our future choices and directions. A major in history with its emphases on research, writing and creative and analytical thought prepares students for graduate student in history and in other fields, or for work in professions such as law, teaching, business, management, and publishing” (from the UNM History Department website). A bachelor's degree is the minimum formal education required. However, depending on the field, many employers also require graduate school (for example, many professional historical or academic jobs will require a graduate degree).