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Master of Arts in History

The Department of History at the University of South Florida in Tampa offers to Ph.D. applicants an enriching program of study, coursework, and directed research. Areas of specialization cover a number of fields, including Colonial through Modern U.S., U.S. in the World, the Ancient World, Medieval Worlds, Early Modern Worlds, Modern Europe, Digital Humanities, and Latin America.

Plan of Study

In addition to the general degree requirements of the University as explained in the USF Graduate Catalog, a candidate is required to complete a total of 30 hours in the following distribution:

  • 3 hours in the core course, Analysis of Historical Knowledge (HIS 6112). Students are required to take this course during their first year in the program, except in special circumstances that must be approved in advance by the Graduate Coordinator.
  • 15 hours in a major field of history
  • 6 hours in a minor field
  • 6 hours in thesis credits for students intending to write a thesis, or, for students who will not be writing a thesis, 6 credits of additional coursework completed within the student’s major or minor fields. Non-thesis degree students must complete 6 additional hours of their program (in lieu of thesis credits) in formal, regularly scheduled history courses at the 6000 level, or in graduate courses from other departments pertaining to the students’ major or minor requirements.

Of the 30 hours required for the Master of Arts, at least 21 must be in formal, regularly scheduled course work. Subject to the satisfaction of the above requirements, courses at the 5000 level are acceptable as part of a planned degree program. Students may take a maximum of 9 hours in "Colloquia" (HIS 6925). These are usually 4000 level courses that have been expanded to an appropriate graduate level of study. A maximum of 12 hours of 6000 level courses above earned at USF Tampa as a non-degree seeking student may be transferred into the degree program.

Language Requirement

The language requirement can be satisfied in one of two ways:
1.    A two-hour examination administered by the Department. The student will be expected to translate satisfactorily into English a 500-word passage from a foreign language appropriate to the student’s concentration, with the assistance of a dictionary. Students are responsible for providing themselves with dictionaries and other supplies (pens, paper) they may require on the day of the exam. It is the responsibility of the student to meet the scheduling deadline for the examination. Students must register for the exam on the Graduate History Program Canvas page and inform their advisor the Academic Program expert about their intention to sit the exam.
2.    With the approval of the Major Professor, the student may take two semesters of an intermediate-level (3000 and above) foreign-language course. These courses may not be taken Pass/Fail or Audit. In order to fulfill the foreign language requirement, the student must receive a B or above in each semester's course. Those students who have met these requirements as an undergraduate may have the language requirement waived by petitioning the Graduate Director. No undergraduate level language courses may be counted towards the required 30 hours of coursework for the MA.
3.    Students may substitute quantitative methods for the language requirement. The quantitative methods option will be fulfilled by earning a grade of B or higher in one of the following courses: ANG 5486 (Quantitative Methods in Anthropology); EDF 6407 (Statistical Analysis for Education Research I); or POS 6736 (Political Research Methods). Only POS 6736 has an explicit prerequisite (POS 3713 or equivalent), but students with limited mathematical backgrounds may first want to take STA 2122 (Social Science Statistics) to provide a foundation for any of these classes. The hours earned in a quantitative methods class may not be counted towards the required 30 hours of coursework.

Enrolling in Graduate Seminars

All history graduate courses (and many in other departments as well) require a permit, which is granted only by the professor teaching the course. This necessitates students contacting instructors, usually initially by email, to explain their interest in the course and to request a permit to enroll. Since enrollments are limited, students are advised to begin the process of requesting permits long before the actual registration process. The instructor will notify the student once permission to enroll in a course is granted.

The schedule of classes is available online at A list of seminar courses with descriptions will also be circulated via email each term prior to enrollment. Faculty email addresses are available on the department's website at Please note that students cannot rely on the number of "spaces available" in a course listed on OASIS because a course may well be filled with permitted students who have not yet registered.  In addition, courses often have a waiting list.

Important Contacts:

Graduate Director:  Cornelis Boterbloem, SOC 276,

Graduate Program Assistant: Susan Rhinehart, SOC 268, (813) 974-2784,

Office Manager: Theresa Lewis, SOC 260, (13) 974-2809,

Please refer to the M.A. Program Manual  or the University Graduate Catalog  for a full description of requirements and policies. The section of the University Catalog pertaining to History degrees can be located here: University Graduate Catalog History Section.