relief sculpture of Harriet Tubman and others

The Master’s in History Department offers four options: 

• General degree in History

• Specialization in Public History for those interested in areas such as museum work, archival administration and historic preservation

• Coordinated Master of Arts/Master of Library and Information Science degree program

• Specialization in Urban Historical Studies for students who intend to pursue a PhD in Urban Studies or in Urban History

Program Type

Master’s

Program Format

On Campus
Request Information
Loading…

New to Milwaukee?

Milwaukee is a bustling city and metro area with a smaller town vibe. Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, recreational opportunities abound all year round. Parks, beaches, bike trails, water sports and more are enjoyed by residents.

The restaurant scene is hopping, and Milwaukee is known as a foodie city. From casual to fine dining, food lovers will find no shortage of choices across all types of cuisine.

Milwaukee also hosts countless music and ethnic festivals throughout the year and boasts a large number of concert venues from small intimate clubs to large arenas, all of which bring in today’s hottest acts.

The area offers all of the amenities of any large city at a lower cost than comparably sized areas. Housing choices range from urban city living to suburban homes to rural areas, all within a reasonable commute from campus.

skyline of Milwaukee
Milwaukee skyline

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

Admission

To be considered for admission, an applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements:

  1. An undergraduate minor or 18 credits in history or equivalent preparation.
  2. Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s scholastic achievement and potential.
  3. A sample of the applicant’s written work that demonstrates their ability to conduct historical research and/or the ability to analyze critically the work of others.

Please visit the History department’s website for information on the History Department Application.

Applicants may be admitted with course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted toward the degree.

Advising

The Director of Graduate Studies provides initial advising for students in selecting courses and assists in selecting a Major Professor for long-term advising; the Director may assign a provisional graduate advisor before students select a Major Professor. Students are required to consult periodically with, and have their schedules approved by, the Director of Graduate Studies, the provisional advisor, or the Major Professor. The Major Professor normally serves as the chair of the student’s academic review and supervises either the writing of the student’s thesis or the student’s reading for the comprehensive exam.

Credits and Courses

General History: Thesis Option

Minimum degree requirement is 30 graduate credits, at least 24 of which must be taken in History. Required credit distribution:

HIST 712Historiography and Theory of History3
or HIST 713 Historical Research Methods
Select 6 credits in two colloquia 16
Select 6 credits in two seminars6
HIST 985Master's Capstone (Thesis option students must take 6 credits)6
Select 9 credits in electives in consultation with the student’s advisor9
Total Credits30
1

 Students may take 3 credits of either HIST 716 or HIST 717 as a substitute for 3 credits in one colloquium.

Academic Review and Thesis Prospectus

Within the first semester after completing 9 credits (including two of the following courses: HIST 712, HIST 713, a colloquium and/or seminar), Thesis Option students are subject to an academic review. The Review is a one- to two-hour meeting involving the student, the student’s Major Professor and two other members of the History Graduate Faculty who will serve as secondary readers of the student’s thesis. With the assistance of their Major Professor, the student must prepare a thesis prospectus in advance of the Review. The Review involves an evaluation of the student’s academic progress in master’s coursework, two unrevised course papers, and the thesis prospectus.

General History: Master's Essay Option

Minimum degree requirement is 30 graduate credits, 24 of which must be taken in History. Required credit distribution:

HIST 712Historiography and Theory of History3
or HIST 713 Historical Research Methods
Select 6 credits in two colloquia (800 numbers) 16
Select 6 credits in two seminars (900 numbers)6
HIST 985Master's Capstone (Master's Essay Option students must take 3 creditis)3
Select 12 credits in electives in consultation with the student’s advisor12
Total Credits30
1

 Students may take 3 credits of either HIST 716 or HIST 717 as a substitute for 3 credits in one colloquium.

Master's Essay Requirements

Within the first semester after completing 9 credits (including two of the following courses: HIST 712, HIST 713, a colloquium and/or seminar), Master's Essay students are subject to an academic review. The Review is a one- to two-hour meeting involving the student, the student’s Major Professor and two other members of the History Graduate Faculty who will serve as examiners for the student’s comprehensive exam. The Review involves an evaluation of the student’s academic progress in master’s coursework, two unrevised course papers, and a proposal for a Master's Essay.

A Master’s Essay, in the form of an article of 7000+ words appropriate for submission to a popular or an academic history journal. The intended journal and its submission requirements should be included in the project proposal. The Master’s Essay will be supervised by the student’s graduate advisor. In addition, students taking the Master’s Essay Option are required to create an additional scholarly resource that builds upon their article. Possible additional resources could include a lesson plan for use in the classroom with an annotated bibliography, materials for a conference poster presentation, a digital primary source collection, or other option of the student’s choosing. Students are encouraged to create an additional resource that contributes to their career goals. The Master’s Essay option requires enrollment in 3 MA capstone credits. Students are responsible for submitting a proposal to their graduate advisor and securing the advisor’s approval of their plans before enrolling in their MA capstone credits and beginning work. The History Graduate Program will also consider other MA capstone projects not listed above. Students interested in an alternative MA project are responsible for consulting with and securing approval from their advisor and the DGS before proceeding with an alternative project. Students who successfully propose an alternative MA project must take 3 but no more than 6 MA capstone credits.

Urban Historical Studies Specialization

This specialization combines historical approaches with those of the social sciences in studying urban processes, organizations, and society. It is designed to meet the needs of students who intend to enter the interdisciplinary Urban Studies Ph.D. program or a similar program after completion of the Master of Arts degree. The Thesis Option is recommended for this specialization.

The minimum degree requirement is 33 graduate credits distributed in the following manner:

HIST 712Historiography and Theory of History3
or HIST 713 Historical Research Methods
HIST 595The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data3
Select 6 credits in History colloquia (800 numbered courses)6
HIST 971Seminar on the History of American Urban Problems3
Select 3 additional credits in History seminars (900 numbered course)3
HIST 985Master's Capstone6
Select three of the following:9
URB STD 901
Urban Social Structure
URB STD 913
Seminar in Urban Political Process
URB STD 945
The Internal Structure of the City
URB STD 921
Seminar: Research Methods in Urban Studies
Total Credits33

Teaching Assistantships are the primary form of financial support for history graduate students. These positions provide a salary and tuition remission. Some small scholarships are also available. Click below for more details.

Contact

Prospective Graduates

Questions regarding the application or the application process should be directed to the UWM Graduate School at gradschool@uwm.edu or 414-229-6569.

Current Graduates

Questions about research opportunities, department funding opportunities, or issues specific to the discipline should be directed to Rebecca Shumway.