History - MA, MS

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

About This Degree

The Department of History has been recognized by the American Historical Association as one of 12 outstanding history departments in the United States and Canada, selected for its “brilliant teaching and leadership.”

The department's graduate program attracts students from across the United States and overseas. Because the department limits its entering class to approximately 12, every graduate student is important. Moreover, master’s-level students are not competing with doctoral students for the faculty’s time or for history-related work experiences.

The faculty members of the History Department have a broad array of specialties, so students can study a variety of time periods and geographic areas in history. In particular, the department has particular depth in the areas of environmental history, religious studies, and Western United States studies.

The MA degree requires students to gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages. The MS degree requires students to incorporate computer, social, or natural science into their research in lieu of a foreign language. A course plan will be developed for each student with their committee in their first year.


At a Glance

College: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department: History Department

USU Locations:

  • Logan campus

Program Requirements

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a master’s degree in history can find careers in many venues, such as:

  • Historical societies
  • Museums
  • Publishing companies
  • Archives
  • Government agencies
  • High schools
  • Libraries

Many master's students go on to prestigious doctoral programs or have careers as writers.

Job Outlook



James Sanders

Professor and graduate advisor
Email: james.sanders@usu.edu
Office: MAIN 323 E
Phone: (435) 797-1294

I am not a current USU student

I have not applied or been admitted, even if I've taken a USU Concurrent Enrollment course

I am a current USU student

I have been admitted and plan to attend, or continue attending USU

USU Locations



Admission Requirements

The Department of History strongly recommends that applicants have either an undergraduate major or minor in history or a closely related field.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • GRE optional
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • Writing Sample Required

International students have additional admissions requirements.

It is important that students be aware of the areas of expertise of the History Department faculty. If students wish to study a field not covered by faculty at USU, they may not be admitted to the program.


The department accepts new students each fall and has the following application deadline (for both admission and funding):

  • Fall semester – January 1

Program Requirements

Students may complete up to four credits of internship work in various museums or historical venues. The internship is not required for graduation, however.

Plan Options

Students can receive the MS or MA by pursuing one of two options:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Financial Aid

The History Department offers various types of graduate financial assistance:

Graduate assistantships are the primary financial assistance offered by the Department of History. Offered annually on a competitive basis, there are seven graduate assistantships each year for qualified students. These assistantships entail approximately 20 hours of work a week assisting the faculty in the introductory survey courses taught by the department. The award carries a stipend of $3,750 for one semester of work and $10,000 per academic year and a nonresident tuition award. A GA must maintain a GPA of 3.0 and be enrolled as a full-time student to keep an assistantship and may hold graduate assistantships for a maximum of two years while enrolled in the master's program. Applications for graduate assistantships should be postmarked no later than December 15 for the next academic year.

Additional financial assistance: The department has a small number of Carr Graduate Fellowships which are usually awarded to supplement the stipend provided to graduate assistants and to support summer research travel. In addition, a $500 summer research award, the Charles and Elizabeth Peterson Thesis Award, is given on a competitive basis to a student working on the history of Utah or the West.

Additionally, the cost of living in Logan, Utah, is about 12% lower than the national average.

A variety of funding opportunities are available on the graduate school website.

Take The Next Step

You May Also Be Interested In

Ancient Languages and Cultures

The master's in Ancient Languages and Cultures focuses on the historical methods and ancient languages necessary to prepare students for admission to and success at doctoral programs

Communication Studies

Study how communication in human interaction can build relationships that enact positive interpersonal, organizational, and social change.

Political Science

Study either public policy or conflict and cooperation as you earn a master’s degree in political science.