MA Program Overview

The Master of Arts degree in History is a flexible advanced degree program supporting students with varied interests and academic backgrounds. We encourage both traditional and non-traditional students to consider our program. Bringing together students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. in history, current middle and high school teachers, as well as individuals with a love and passion for history, our MA degree courses introduce you to advanced skills in historical research and provides opportunities for training in teaching and public history. We deepen students' knowledge of a wide range of subjects, through the unique expertise of our History Department faculty.

Our degree program is also grounded in the Bay Area. We therefore encourage MA students to explore internships, applied history projects, and community engagement opportunities, depending upon their interests. Cal State East Bay MA candidates also conduct original research in the astounding archives and libraries in the Bay Area and work with local organizations to build their professional resumes. Moreover, the Department of History at Cal State East Bay offers a number of "in-house" professional development opportunities, including our annual student research conference and publishing and editing the exceptional East Bay Historia journal and the well-regarded legacy publication of the California Historical Society, California History.

Graduate opportunities and financial resources are available through the Office of Graduate Studies


Concentrations

Upon entering the graduate program, candidates for the MA in History degree will select one of the following program concentrations, depending on their interests and upon approval of the Department of History Graduate Committee:

Generalist Concentration

For those pursuing the MA because of their enjoyment of the study of the past, or for those planning to continue their advanced education in a career field or another MA degree field, the generalist concentration offers both depth and flexibility. The capstone project consists of an examination.

 

Road Map:

FALL TERM SPRING TERM
YEAR 1
  • HIST 630 Historiography
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
  • HIST 610 Research Seminar
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
YEAR 2
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
  • HIST 651 Portfolio/Advising
  • HIST 692 Graduate Exam
  • HIST 652 Scholarly Practicum

See in Catalog

Teaching Concentration

For those who are currently teachers or hope to build careers as educators, the teaching concentration offers courses in the pedagogy of teaching history and opportunities to work with faculty in college history classrooms. The capstone project combines curricular design and historical thinking pedagogies.

Road Map:

FALL TERM SPRING TERM
YEAR 1
  • HIST 630 Historiography
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
  • HIST 610 Research Seminar
  • HIST 404 Intro Teaching History or
  • HIST 644 Teaching History Practicum
YEAR 2
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
  • HIST 651 Portfolio/Advising
  • HIST 699 Graduate Capstone
  • HIST 652 Scholarly Practicum

See in Catalog

Public History Concentration

The Public History Concentration encourages candidates to explore how the general public encounters and engages with the past. An internship is required. The capstone project can take many forms, including museum or archival curation, documentary filmaking, oral history, historic preservation, digital humanities, or other forms of popular history.

Road Map:

FALL TERM SPRING TERM
YEAR 1
  • HIST 630 Historiography
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
  • HIST 610 Research Seminar
  • HIST 402 Intro to Public History
YEAR 2
  • HIST 641 Graduate Internship or
  • HIST 642 Public History Practicum or
  • HIST 643 Digital History Practicum
  • HIST 651 Portfolio/Advising
  • HIST 699 Graduate Capstone
  • HIST 652 Scholarly Practicum

See in Catalog

University Thesis Concentration

MA students pursuing this concentration undertake a significant work of research as a formal University thesis. The concentration is designed for students hoping to pursue the Ph.D. in history. Students seeking to complete this concentration must receive approval from the Graduate Committee.

Road Map:

FALL TERM SPRING TERM
YEAR 1
  • HIST 630 Historiography
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
  • HIST 610 Research Seminar
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
YEAR 2
  • HIST 600 Reading Seminar
  • HIST 651 Portfolio/Advising
  • HIST 691 University Thesis
  • HIST 652 Scholarly Practicum

See in Catalog


How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in our MA degree program in History. We are eager to support your successful application. If you have questions about the application process, please write to linda.ivey@csueastbay.edu, or call (510) 885-3207, to connect with our Graduate Coordinator, Professor Linda Ivey.

For full consideration, and to ensure timely financial aid and advising consultation, we request that you submit your applications by the following deadlines:

For enrollment in Spring Semester 2023: November 1, 2022 by 11:59 PM (PST)

For enrollment in Fall Semester 2023: March 1, 2023 by 11:59 PM (PST)

Application to the MA program in History requires three components:

  1. CAL STATE APPLY

    Please complete a university application through Cal State Apply, the California State University online application portal. Before initiating this university application, please review information about our MA program concentrations here. You will be able to change your concentration in consultation with our faculty advisors, after you begin the MA program. We recommend that you save the Cal State Apply submission confirmation page for your records.

  2. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS

    Request official final transcripts from all colleges and universities attended be sent to Cal State East Bay’s Office of Admissions. Institutions may send electronic transcripts to electronictranscripts@csueastbay.edu. Electronic transcripts must be sent from the institution directly to CSUEB for them to be considered official.

  3. DEPARTMENTAL APPLICATION

    For Spring 2023 applications, please also provide this Departmental Application to our current Graduate Coordinator, Professor Linda Ivey, via email, at linda.ivey@csueastbay.edu. Our Graduate Committee evaluates these documents with care, to assess candidates' preparation and interest in the History MA program:

    Two letters of recommendation are required.
    We prefer letters from academic references over letters from nonacademic employers. Ideally, these letters should be from undergraduate instructors with whom you had sustained contact. Instructors of seminars and small, discussion-based classes will often have the best sense of your skills and interests.

    A statement of purpose is required.
    Your statement should be approximately two double-spaced pages in length, or 600 words. Please help our Graduate Committee understand your specific professional and personal goals in seeking an advanced degree in the discipline of history. Our Graduate Committee welcomes sincere statements offering a true reflection of your aspirations and hopes. If you did not undertake a comprehensive study of history as an undergraduate, your statement of purpose can help us to understand your interest in pursuing an MA degree in History.

    A writing sample is required.
    This should be a 10- to 20-page essay. The essay should be representative of your best and most sophisticated writing and should give us insight into your intellectual, analytical and creative abilities. A senior thesis or undergraduate seminar paper would be ideal. The sample should highlight your ability to work with primary sources and to make historical arguments. 

    Unofficial transcripts are required.
    Please provide copies of transcripts from institutions of higher learning that you have attended for our departmental review. These can be unofficial transcripts. At least one of these transcripts must indicate completion of a BA or BS degree. As a flexible degree program, we are happy to consider candidates with undergraduate degrees in any college discipline. You may submit up to 6 unofficial college transcripts.

 


Capstone Projects

Overview of Capstone Projects and approval process

 

Upcoming deadline: November 10, 2022
Please submit the proposal via email to the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Linda Ivey. 

Project Descriptions and Expectations

 

EXAMS -- HIST 692

The option consists of written exams on an agreed upon range of subjects and scholarly literature with a major examiner and a minor examiner. In most cases, examinations pose two questions: One question will assess your content knowledge, gleaned mainly from coursework; a second question assesses your understanding of the historiography for areas of historical study. 

  1. Major Examiner: 25-30 titles
  2. Minor Examiner: 12-15 titles

UNIVERSITY THESIS -- HIST 691

A fully integrative analysis based on primary research, but in conversation with secondary literature. The history thesis should be approximately 85-100 pages, including abstract and full bibliography and footnotes. A student wishing to complete a university thesis needs their capstone proposal to be approved by the Graduate Committee and primary thesis advisor before undertaking the project -- approval is not a given. Students should be in regular contact with the major advisor on the thesis throughout the project. The second reader should see a fairly complete and edited version. University theses must adhere to strict university guidelines and submission deadlines. Students are responsible for this timing, and for leaving suitable time for reading and revising advice from both readers.


TEACHING & PUBLIC HISTORY -- HIST 699

Students propose the nature of the project, which should be curricular or pedagogical for the teaching option, and investigate history in a public space for the public history option. Details will be proposed by students and revised and agreed upon by the student’s primary capstone advisor, as assigned by the Graduate Committee. Each project must include the following:

  • A 3500-5000 word essay which situates the project in the literature, including the most recent pedagogical and/or state-of-the field scholarship, including recent thoughts on climate in classrooms, museums, historical spaces, digital tool application, etc;
  • Learning outcomes for imagined students/audience;
  • The content and materials of the project itself*;
  • A full bibliography of all sources consulted, primary and secondary; 
  • Other agreed upon components by the student and major advisor;
  • A contract/checklist written by the student and signed by the student and major advisor as to what these specific deliverables will include.

*The type and number of materials created for capstone projects vary greatly. Please consult with faculty and/or the Graduate Coordinator for guidance.

For teaching projects: In general, students undertake a significant amount of research and compilation of materials and sources for a particular course and/or extended unit within a course. The extent to which this project should be fleshed out will be agreed upon by the student and the capstone advisor.  Materials may include, but are not limited to: learning outcomes; detailed  and diverse assessments; syllabus reflecting the particular, creative approach followed in the construction of the course.

For public history projects: In general, students undertake a significant amount of research and compilation of materials and sources for a historical exhibit/digital project/educational experience/community history project designed for public interaction and education. The extent to which this project should be fleshed out will be agreed upon by the student and the capstone advisor. The project should reflect a complete public historical project, reflective of research into the topic and into the way the topic is presented to a particular audience.

Capstone Proposal Template

Click here to open and download a general template for the capstone proposal.

Enrolling in Capstone Courses

The capstone courses are as follows:

HIST 691 - University Thesis (1-6 units); HIST 692 - Comprehensive Exam (for generalists, 1-6 units) or HIST 699 - Departmental Thesis (for Public History and Teaching History concentrations, 1-6 units). Each course carries 6 units. The option for "1-6 units" is for students who opt to break up the units for financial purposes. But each track requires 6 units of capstone work. 

Enrolling in these courses is contingent on your submitting a capstone proposal. The graduate committee must have an understanding of the project you hope to pursue before we will enroll you.  

Upon approval of your capstone project, the Graduate Coordinator enrolls you in the capstone units through an electronic form, which you sign. The Graduate Coordinator completes the form and sends it to you to sign via email. After approval for this special registration from the Department Chair and Dean's Office, you will see these units in your course schedule.

If you do not complete the project by the end of term: this is totally normal, do not sweat it. You will be assigned a grade of "RP", which basically means the work is in progress. This is pretty standard for graduate level independent research courses. If you receive an RP, you do not need to enroll again. Only enroll once (read: only pay once!). 

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