M.A. in History

Insight into the past and how it may affect the future

Graduate students interested in the Master of Arts in History will gain an expanded knowledge of the history discipline and have the opportunity to practice critical investigation through research and writing. The M.A. in history degree offers graduate students the opportunity to focus their studies on four different historical areas including the U.S., Europe, Latin America and culture. Students will gain an understanding in the scholarly discipline of history through the expansion of historical knowledge, the comprehension of historiography and the practice of critical inquiry. Framing the questions that define particular scholarly debates underlies critical analysis of primary and secondary sources. Students gain exposure to these questions in course work and demonstrate their familiarity with them in comprehensive examinations. In the thesis, they display awareness of the scope and challenges of historical research. They define what questions can and cannot be addressed with a limited body of sources. They situate their research and analysis in the historiography of a field. Ultimately, they discuss their work at a final thesis colloquium.

General Information and Requirements

Applicants to the M.A. program must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, with a major, or a 24-semester-credit minor, in history or a closely related discipline (acceptable fields outside history to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the graduate studies committee). A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (unless the applicant has demonstrated unusual promise during his or her junior and senior years) and satisfactory scores on the GRE are also required for admission to "Graduate Standing" in history.


The following are the groups and fields of historical study open for M.A. candidates. For more information about these groups and how you can tailor your studies toward your own interests, please contact the department.

Group I:

  • American Colonial History to 1750
  • U.S. 1740-1815
  • U.S. 19th Century
  • U.S. 20th Century
  • U.S. Social History
  • U.S. Cultural/Intellectual History
  • U.S. Political/Constitutional History
  • African-American History
  • American Environmental History
  • Nevada and the West
  • U.S. Diplomatic History

Group II:

  • Medieval European history
  • Renaissance
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Europe 1789-1914
  • Europe 1890-present
  • European Cultural/Intellectual History
  • European Social History
  • British Isles since 1688
  • Modern Irish History
  • British Empire
  • Russia to 1900
  • 20th Century Russia

Group III:

  • Colonial Latin American History
  • 19th century Latin America
  • Contemporary Latin America
  • Traditional East Asian History
  • Modern East Asian history
  • 20th Century East Asia
  • Latin American Cultural/Social history
  • East Asian Cultural History
  • Ancient Africa
  • Modern Africa

Group IV:

  • Cultural Theory
  • Gender Studies
  • History of Science
  • History of Medicine
  • History of the Book
  • Popular Culture and Diaspora Studies
  • Comparative fields (such as slavery, socialism, environmental history, 16th-century studies)
  • Fields in other departments (such as Basque Studies, historical archaeology)

How to Apply

  1. Review the requirements for admission
  2. Contact the graduate director to ascertain if you meet minimum qualifications for admission and to determine if your goals for study and research can potentially be realized at the University of Nevada, Reno
  3. Hold a B.A. degree in History (or a closely related discipline) from an accredited four-year college or university
  4. Complete the graduate school application and include:
    1. GRE Scores (must be no more than five years old). Note: GRE requirement is optional for the 2021 admission cycle.
    2. Official transcripts with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (unless the applicant has demonstrated unusual promise during his or her junior and senior years).
    3. A Statement of Purpose discussing your interests and plans for study and professional work. If you would like to be considered for a graduate assistantship, please include an explanation of previous teaching experience, related work experience, previous coursework and any other relevant information.
    4. Two letters of recommendation that discuss your academic qualifications and aptitude for graduate study.
    5. International students please also include a financial data form.

Before proceeding beyond nine credits of graduate study, please review the list of graduate program requirements.