Texas Tech University

Master of Arts Program

Information about departmental admission standards, prerequisites, and other matters dealing with graduate study in history may be acquired by consulting the departmental website  or by contacting the department's Director of Graduate Studies or Graduate Program Coordinator.

The Department of History offers two different kinds of Master of Arts degrees in History – the MA academic preparatory concentration (with thesis) and the terminal MA, or professional enrichment preparatory concentration (non-thesis). The academic preparatory track MA is completed in residence or using a combination of in-person and online coursework. The terminal MA can be completed in residence or exclusively online.


Program Requirements

Academic Preparatory Concentration MA

A student in the MA academic preparatory concentration (thesis track) must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the Master of Arts degree. A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the Department of History at Texas Tech. All Department of History graduate courses meet face-to-face (no online courses are offered). The coursework includes 12 hours taken at the 5000-level in one of three geographic areas of concentration (United States, Europe, or World) and 12 hours of elective graduate coursework. Of the electives, 6 hours must be chosen from geographic areas outside of the student's geographic area of concentration. Students must complete the required HIST 5304 and HIST 6301 courses in the first semester they are offered after the student's admission to the program. HIST 5304 must be taken before HIST 6301. HIST 5304 and HIST 6301 must also be taken before completing 6 hours of thesis hours (HIST 6000). Students cannot take more than 6 hours at the 7000-level. Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the Graduate Program Coordinator, the Director of Graduate Studies, and their primary faculty advisor.

Course Requirements

  • HIST 5304 (take first semester course offered after admission)
  • HIST 6301 (take first semester course offered after completing HIST 5304)
  • Geographic Area of Concentration (12 semester credit hours)
  • Electives (12 semester credit hours, 6 of which must be outside the geographic area of concentration)
  • HIST 6000 - Master's Thesis (6 semester credit hours)

Foreign Language Requirement

Proficiency in one language other than English is required of all candidates for the MA thesis-concentration degree.

"Proficiency" in a language is defined according to the following parameters:

    • Native speaker status as certified by the Graduate Studies Committee;
    • Attainment of a grade of C- or better in a fourth semester undergraduate course (in Texas numeration, the 2302 course);
    • Attainment of a grade of B- or better in the accelerated graduate language course (one that is equivalent to two years of undergraduate language courses; in Texas numeration the 5341 and/or 5342 course);
    • Other class work equivalent to the above; OR
    • Demonstration of an equivalent level of competency through an approved exam (administered by the Department of Classical and Modern Language and Literature, by an approved outside agency, or by a scholar with demonstrable experience in the language in question) or by some other means acceptable to the Graduate Studies Committee, the Department, and the Graduate School.


Thesis work is directed by a committee consisting of at least two members of the history graduate faculty. Other faculty who may be a scholar with relevant expertise from the Department of History, another department, or another university, can be added to the committee if the thesis director, student, and graduate advisor conclude that the nature of the thesis topic warrants it. After the final version of the thesis has been approved by the committee, students are required to pass an oral defense of the thesis.

Professional Enrichment Preparatory Concentration MA
("Terminal MA," non-thesis)

The professional enrichment preparatory concentration is designed to assist persons for whom a graduate degree would provide career advancement in a chosen or desired field other than that for which a history Ph.D. is required. The focus of the terminal MA is on providing a platform for developing critical analytical skills (reading, written, and oral) within a historical framework. The program may be completed in residence, but can also be completed fully online. The degree does not require the completion of a thesis-length work but does require the completion of a Capstone Portfolio.

Some of the careers for which obtaining a terminal M.A. in History may be an asset include the following: education/teaching (K-12 or community college), public history, digital humanities, journalism and social media, public affairs, library studies, governmental and non-governmental agencies, social work, campaign management, community organizer, genealogist, archivist/archival administration, corporate management, and industry consultant.

Course Requirements

A student in this plan must successfully complete at least 30 hours of graduate work to receive the terminal Master of Arts degree. Students must complete HIST 5304 and are encouraged to do so at their first opportunity. Students must also complete 3 hours in World history, 3 hours in European history, and 3 hours in United States history, as well as 12 additional hours, 9 of which must be taken in the Department of History. Students must also complete HIST 6301 during their penultimate semester and HIST 7310 in their final semester. Students in this program will work closely with a department-appointed Non-Thesis MA Coordinator.

Foreign Language Requirement

No foreign language is required for the terminal MA option.

Capstone Portfolio

Students will work with the Non-Thesis MA Coordinator to prepare a Capstone Portfolio consisting of three discrete components: a Capstone Project, a Paper/Project Revision, and a Reflection Essay.

Once a student completes their Portfolio, they will present it in an oral defense before a panel consisting of the Non-Thesis MA Coordinator and members of an annually rotating Non-Thesis MA Review Committee, consisting of faculty in the Department of History.