Master's Degree Requirements

Thirty graduate credits (10 courses) are required for the Master of Arts degree. Each student plans his or her program in consultation with a faculty advisor. Students must take at least four courses in one of the following concentrations:

In consultation with their adviser, students may elect a concentration defined as a particular era, such as: ancient and medieval; early modern, the "long nineteenth century," (1789-1914 in European history); the 20th century (1914-1989 European history); or another period historically coherent epoch.

Public History:
HIS 8702 – Public History; HIS 9006 – Graduate Internship in Public History (or Public History Practicum); Two additional courses in American history (HIS 8704-- Material Culture, recommended). Historiography course should be U.S. or comparative with strong U.S. component.

In consultation with their advisors and with the approval of the director of the graduate program, students may develop their own concentration. The courses must form a coherent and viable program of study. Students must provide their advisor and the director of the graduate program with a written rationale for the concentration and a list of the courses to be taken.

Students must also complete one course in historiography and pass a comprehensive examination at or near the end of their course work. No course may be applied to more than one requirement, e.g. to two concentrations, or to a concentration and the historiography requirement. A master’s thesis is not required, but in exceptional cases students may receive department approval to write a thesis, which will earn six of the 30 credits required for the degree.

Contact the Program Director

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


Upcoming Events

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  • 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.