Academic Programs

Master's Program

Villanova University is one of relatively few academic institutions in the country that offer only a Master's Degree in history, rather than both the Master of Arts and doctorate. Our program is designed to serve the diverse academic interests, needs and goals of our students. The Villanova faculty endeavors both to encourage our students’ love of history and to help them strengthen their analytical and interpretive skills to meet a broad range of career or personal goals. Ten courses are required to complete the Master's program; there is no thesis requirement, but opportunities to undertake original research projects are offered as part of regular courses.

Certificate of Graduate Study in History

Villanova University offers a Certificate of Graduate Study in History for those who wish to continue taking graduate courses in history. The program is open to all, but is especially well suited to the needs of secondary and middle school teachers. Five courses of the student's choice are required to earn a certificate.

Combined M.A. and Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program

This unique and exciting program offers students the opportunity to combine the scholarly rigor of a traditional M.A. in History with the valuable pragmatic skills needed for management positions in non-profit institutions.  It is particularly well suited for students interested in careers in the field of Public History, including work in museums, historic preservation, cultural tourism, libraries and archives, and new media. While advancing their mastery of historical research, historiography, and methodology in rigorous graduate seminars and internships in history, students in the combined program also learn how to manage the economic, administrative and political challenges faced by nonprofit institutions in their courses in Villanova’s nationally accredited Master of Public Administration program.

The combined Masters/Certificate Program requires 36 credits (instead of the 30 credits required for the History MA degree, and the 15 credits required for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management): twenty-four credits or 8 courses in History, and 12 credits or 4 courses in Public Administration.

More information about admission and the curriculum is available here.

Contact the Program Director

Judith Giesberg, Ph.D.
(610) 519-4668


Upcoming Events

Loading events...


  • Old House, New Discoveries Event
    April 24th at 5:30 p.m. Come peek into the rarely seen service spaces in The Woodlands mansion and learn about the ordinary people who worked beneath the stairs. Graduate students from the Department of History at Villanova University will share new research on the Woodlands mansion.

  • On Friday, April 4, Villanova University will host its 25th annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference. The conference highlights research from a variety of disciplines, all connected by a focus on gender/women. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. Click on the link below for further information:
  • Dr. Chris Haas has published the essay "Geopolitics and Georgian Identity in Late Antiquity: the Dangerous World of Vakhtang Gorgasali" in Georgian Christian Thought and Its Cultural Context: Memorial Volume for the 125th Anniversary of Shalva Nutsubidze (1888-1969), edited by Tamar Nutsubidze, Cornelia B. Horn, and Basil Lourié (Leiden: Brill Publications, 2014), pp, 29-44. 
  • Professor Bernard Reilly’s review of Miriam Shadis, Berenguela of Castile (1180-1246) and Political Women in the High Middle Ages (2009) has been published in Speculum 88 (2013), 338-339.
  • In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the National Constitution Center presents a conversation with scholars Ted Widmer, Sean Wilentz, Judith Giesberg, and Adam Goodheart of the popular New York Times "Disunion" blog on Monday, June 17, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. more
  • Lynne Ann Hartnett, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of Russian area studies, was interviewed on CBS Channel 3 News regarding the situation in Chechnya as part of the media reaction to the Boston Marathon bombings.