About

Are you interested in pursuing in-depth historical study to strengthen your credentials as a teacher? Are you interested in earning a degree as a stepping-stone to a doctoral program or to improve your abilities as a researcher, writer, and critical thinker?

East Carolina University's MA program in history affords bright and talented students the opportunity to pursue historical research to examine many of life's most interesting questions. Master's students learn to look at the human past in all its complexity and find patterns and meaning in ambiguous and complicated sets of facts. They learn to recognize the enormous range of human experiences across the centuries and to express their findings orally and in writing. History graduates are able to think critically, write effectively, and assess the dynamics of the world around them. History graduates learn how to become life-long learners, capable of success in a wide variety of fields. No matter what the future holds, there will always be jobs for people with these abilities. Graduate assistantships and a number of competitive scholarships are available for qualified, full-time students. These positions provide both teaching and research experience. ECU's nationally recognized chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honorary society, provides students the opportunity to present their research at scholarly conferences.

ECU Advantage

The history department's graduate program is built upon a solid foundation: its outstanding research faculty and exceptional graduate students. Twenty-seven history professors are currently part of the university's graduate faculty. These scholars cover the major areas of American history as well as many important nations and time periods concerning the history of Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Several history professors also possess extensive professional training in nautical archaeology as well as maritime and naval history.

Members of the department maintain an active research agenda, publishing articles in the major historical journals, as well as books with leading university and commercial presses. Our master's graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees at leading institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad. Others have secured employment teaching history at community colleges and secondary schools, while others have found positions with local, state and federal agencies, as well as the private sector.

What You Will Study

American History Concentration Program Coordinator: Jennifer McKinnon (203 Eller House; 252-328-6788; mckinnonje@ecu.edu) Atlantic World History Concentration Program Coordinator: Kennetta Perry (308-A Brewster Building; 252-328-6094; perryk@ecu.edu) European History Concentration Program Coordinator: Jennifer McKinnon (203 Eller House; 252-328-6788; mckinnonje@ecu.edu) Military History Concentration Program Coordinator: Jennifer McKinnon (203 Eller House; 252-328-6788; mckinnonje@ecu.edu) Public History Concentration Program Coordinator: Jennifer McKinnon (203 Eller House; 252-328-6788; mckinnonje@ecu.edu)

The department offers five areas of concentration as follows: American history, Atlantic world history, European history, military history, and public history. The student is required to take a minimum of 24 s.h. in one of these areas to which the historiography course, the seminar, and the thesis will contribute 12 s.h. of credit. (The concentration in public history requires successful completion of an internship in lieu of the seminar.) The student must also take a total of 6 s.h. either in a related field of history outside of the major concentration or (at the recommendation of the advisor and director of graduate studies, and with the approval of the chairperson of the Department of History) outside the Department of History.

In addition to the 30 s.h. of course work described above, students must fulfill the department's research skills requirement by: a) successful demonstration of reading knowledge in a foreign language (FORL 6000 satisfies this requirement); or b) successful completion of HIST 5950HIST 5951 (Introduction to Quantitative History/Directed Readings and Research in Quantitative History); or c) CSCI 5774 (Programming for Research) or CSCI 2600 (Introduction to Digital Computation). If HIST 5950HIST 5951 are used to satisfy the research skills requirement, they may not be counted toward the 30 s.h. requirement for the degree. Students who intend to pursue a PhD program are strongly advised to fulfill the foreign language requirement.

An oral comprehensive examination will be a component of the thesis defense. Candidates will be required to demonstrate their knowledge of their field of concentration as well as establish how their thesis contributes to that field of study.

Minimum degree requirement is 30 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. Core courses - 9 s.h.:
  • HIST 6900 - Historiography: Introduction to Research
  • HIST 7000 - Thesis
2. Seminar or Internship - 3 s.h.
    American, Atlantic World, European, and Military History Concentrations:
    • HIST 6910 - Seminar in American History

    • HIST 6920 - Seminar in European History or
    • HIST 6930 - Seminar in Atlantic World History
    Public History Concentration:
    3. Area of concentration - 12 s.h.

    (American, European, Military, Atlantic World, or Public History)

      4. Related history outside area of concentration - 6 s.h.
        5. Research skills requirement.
          For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

          Careers With This Degree

          Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

          • History, General
          • History Teachers, Postsecondary
          • Scientific and Technical Services
          • Education and Training
          • History, General

          Career Opportunities

          ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

          NC Tower

          This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

          • Self-employed;
          • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
          • Work outside of North Carolina.

          US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

          This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

          Degree-specific internships

          For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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