Department of History

Master of Arts in History

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Why Choose History?

Dawne Dewey

The Master of Arts program in history provides training if you intend to pursue a career as professional historian, whether in teaching, research, or public history (archives and museum studies), as well as if you desire a strong historical background for other vocational or avocational objectives. The program offers opportunities for specialized study and research, but without neglecting the breadth that characterizes historical work at its best. In recognition of the fact that your interests and goals are varied, the program provides a choice of three concentrations, all of which lead to a Master of Arts degree. This program is approved by the Ohio Board of Regents.


Or you may may take a General History Curriculum This offers the widest choice of classes.


You have a choice of one of two tracks, course intensive or thesis, either of which will satisfy the requirements for the United States History and War and Society concentrations and for the General History Curriculum.

For more information, please contact:


Graduates of the Thesis track generally pursue a Ph.D. in History at another university. This degree can lead to an academic position at a college or university, an administrative position at a professional organization, or a position as a historian for a corporation or organization.

Graduates of the Course Intensive track are often already employed in secondary education and find that this degree enhances their teaching abilities and employment options.

Graduates of the Public History concentration pursue careers in museums, historical societies, federal, state and local archives, state and federal park services, corporations, universities and public programs in history education.

Real-World Experience

You will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience through internships during your graduate work. Students also recently participated in a living history encampment to commemorate the centennial of a group of Daytonians preparing to fight in World War I. Some institutions that have hosted Wright State graduate interns recently include:

  • National Museum of the United States Air Force
  • Air Force Institute of Technology
  • National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center
  • Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
  • Garst Museum
  • Clark County Historical Society
  • Preble County Historical Society
  • Armstrong Air and Space Museum
  • Columbus Museum of Art
  • Florida State Parks
  • Foxfire (GA)
  • Library of Congress 
  • National Park Service
  • Ohio History Connection
  • Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archeology (PA)
  • Philmont Chase Ranch Museum (AZ)
  • Wyoming State Parks

Success Stories

Bridget Federspiel works with both high school students and Wright State student veterans to interview U.S. veterans for the Library of Congress.
Sheila Skimmerhorn, the first student to register and complete her degree at what would become Wright State, kept a scrapbook of the university's early days.

Academics and Curriculum

View the Master of Arts in History program information and requirements in the Academic Catalog.


Public History

The Public History concentration is designed for you if you are primarily interested in a career in archival administration or museum management. It provides you with both theoretical and practical training in these areas.

United States History

The United States history concentration allows you to study our nation’s history in depth from the colonial period to the present.

War and Society

The history of war is more than just battles and generals. It’s also about cultures, societies, economies, and technologies. War is a universal human experience that changes us like nothing else. The War and Society program at Wright State covers it all—the causes, conduct, and consequences of war—with a wide selection of courses and genuine expertise that will benefit you personally and professionally.


Course Intensive Track

The course intensive track is intended primarily, but not exclusively, for you if you are not expecting to pursue doctoral studies. The curriculum consists entirely of coursework, with a lengthy final paper submitted at the end of the program. In lieu of a thesis, you will take two additional classes.

You must meet all requirements of the Graduate School. Besides the required HST 7000 (Historical Methods), you will take four additional seminars and six other history graduate classes at the 6000 level. You will complete a research paper prepared under the supervision of a professor during the final semester of enrollment. This paper, which can be an elaboration of a seminar paper, will demonstrate your ability to work with primary and secondary historical sources and to master academic writing, using notes and bibliography, according to departmental standards.

Summary of Courses Required

  • History Courses Numbered 7000-7460: 15 credit hours (minimum)
  • History Courses Numbered 6000-6870: 18 credit hours

Total: 33 credit hours

Thesis Track

The thesis track is intended primarily for you if you expect to continue graduate work beyond the master’s degree level or who need or desire the full range of professional experience, including intensive research and writing. It assures training in research techniques and the preparation of scholarly papers, culminating in the submission of a thesis. 

You must meet all requirements of the Graduate School and show a reading knowledge of a foreign language when deemed necessary for thesis research as determined by their thesis advisor. You will take HST 7000 (Historical Methods).  Near the end of your studies, and after submitting a prospectus approved by your thesis committee, you will register for 3-6 hours of HST 7950 (thesis). HST 7950 will conclude with an oral defense of the thesis before a panel of three professors, chaired by the thesis advisor. 

The thesis track can also be dedicated entirely to the concentration in War and Society.

Summary of Courses Required

  • HST 7000: Historical Methods (3 credit hours)
  • History Courses numbered 7000-7460: 12 credit hours (minimum)
  • History Courses numbered 6000-6870: 12 credit hours
  • History 7950: Thesis 3-6 credit hours

Total: 30-33 credit hours



Decisions regarding admission to the graduate program of the Department of History, continuation in the program, and dismissal from it are made by the department's Graduate Studies Committee. The candidate for admission must meet the requirements of the Graduate School, must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average as verified by official transcripts. A strong candidate will have substantial undergraduate course work in history or a major in the field. Please note that the Department of History does not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, each candidate shall submit a statement of goals, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. The one-page statement of goals should explain what draws the candidate to graduate school (specifying which track of the program the student intends to complete) and discuss his or her long-term career aspirations. The writing sample should be on a historical topic and include complete citations (usually the writing sample comes from an advanced undergraduate history course). All these items may be submitted through the online application except for the writing sample, which should be mailed to the Graduate School address.

Graduate School
E344 Student Union
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH 45435-0001

In special cases, a candidate with a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 may be admitted conditionally (visit the Graduate School website for details). Conditional status may be granted upon a favorable committee recommendation based on the candidate's application and an interview with the director of the graduate program. An applicant without adequate work in History may enter the program but may be required to take deficiency work as prescribed by the Graduate Studies Committee.

A graduate student in any college of the university may take up to three graduate history courses without prior approval of the Department of History. Any student desiring more than 9 credit hours of graduate history courses must secure the approval of a director of the graduate program.

New graduate students will be admitted in the Fall Semester of each year. Applications for those seeking financial aid and Graduate Assistantships should submit their entire applications by March 1. All other applications are due April 15.

How to Apply

Apply to the Graduate School.

Application deadlines for incoming students:

Application deadline for Graduate Assistantships (current students only):


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