Graduate Information:


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Program for MA in History

Museum Studies & History

Ph.D. Program

Learning Objectives

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Foreign Language Exam Info


Program for MA in History

The Master's Program is a small, selective program of graduate study that emphasizes comparative understanding of historical process. It is organized around colloquia in comparative and regional topics, the preparation of specific fields, and individual research in consultation with a faculty member.

The program is designed both to prepare students for doctoral programs in history and to enhance the historical knowledge and interpretive skills of professionals working in secondary schools, libraries, foundations, and museums. In recent years, M.A. recipients have moved on to Ph.D. programs at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brandeis, Boston University, University of North Carolina and the University of Michigan.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the availability of standardized testing, GRE scores are currently waived for students applying to this program. Since the curriculum depends highly upon individualized interaction between faculty and students, admissions are contingent, in part, upon an appropriate match between faculty and student interest.

Completion of the program requires proven reading proficiency in at least one language besides English. Proficiency can be demonstrated either by passing one of the language exams administered expressly for this purpose by the foreign language departments at Tufts or by taking two courses in a single foreign language, the second coming at least at level 3 of language courses given at Tufts. To assist in deciding which route to adopt, each incoming student must take the pertinent foreign language placement exam at the time of registration for the first term, and upon receiving the results anyone intending to take courses must indicate a plan to do so within two years.

Normally, students are expected to complete the M.A. program within two academic years. The successful completion of ten courses is required. These courses must include the following:

  • The Historiography Proseminar (HIST 200)
  • One Graduate Colloquium
  • At least one Research Seminar
  • Either an additional Research Seminar or one semester of directed graduate research

Up to two of the ten courses required for the master's degree may, by prior agreement with the principal advisor, be taken in a department other than History. Appropriate courses offered by the Fletcher School will be accepted by petition for graduate credit in history.

A student may devote two out of ten courses to the writing of a thesis. In that case, only one additional course needs to be allocated for a Research Seminar or directed graduate research. In the second year of graduate study the student will present a research project drawn from graduate course work at Tufts to an ongoing Graduate History Roundtable for critical discussion.

Students will prepare two fields of study to be offered for examination. These fields may be regional or thematic in focus. Each student will consult with his or her graduate program advisor and a field committee to design a sequence of courses which will provide preparation for examinations in each field. Examinations must be taken at least six weeks prior to graduation. If the student chooses to write a thesis, only one field, different from the field of the thesis, need be prepared for examination.