Prospective Student Information

For information about our NEW online, non-thesis M.A. designed for working history educators, and application deadline information, follow this link.

 Admissions requirements (submit to the graduate school):

  • Application for graduate admission (non-degree applications are not entertained)Sailing ship - HMS Resolution

  • Official transcripts of all college and graduate work (3.0 GPA required)

  • Officially reported scores on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative and analytical; verbal and quantitive sections should total to a score of 950)

  • Complete the History Questionnaire with the 250 word essay.
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two must be from academicians

  • Appropriate writing sample; research paper preferred

Deadline for fall admission: February 15.
New students in the M.A. program must begin their course work in the Fall semester.

The deadline for Fall admissions is February 15. Candidates must submit ALL of their application materials to the Graduate School office (NOT the History Department) by this date.

Applications may also be submitted by October 31 of the fall previous to the student’s matriculation at UNCW. Admissions decisions for these applications will be made by the end of the calendar year. Decisions concerning financial aid for students accepted in the fall will be made the following spring.

Online Application to the History Graduate Program.

Other forms from the Graduate School can be found at: Forms from Graduate School (DIS, thesis hours, Graduation Application, etc).

To review all the requirements for an M.A. in History, please see our Graduate Handbook


“Thesis Track

The program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate study, 24 of which must be in history. A maximum of six semester hours may be transferred from another accredited institution, at the discretion of the History Graduate Committee. Transfer credits will be awarded only for grades of “B” or better. At least 24 hours of graduate study must be completed in residence.

A minimum of 24 semester hours, including thesis, must be earned in courses open only to graduate students. Eighteen (18) hours must be completed in courses open ONLY to grad students. These DO NOT include 9 hours maximum in cross-listed with undergraduate courses). Also, 6 hours beyond HST 500 must be in graduate level seminars. One grad seminar must be in the students track (area of concentration). This means students have to complete/pass 6 hours of GRADUATE SEMINARS (not cross-listed classes, not colloquiums, not Directed Independent Studies [DIS], not internships, not thesis hours). DIS’s count toward concentration hours (if the subject matter matches the students’ track) but cross-listed seminars do NOT fulfill the required 6-hour GRADUATE SEMINAR requirement.

Students must complete HST 500, 12 hours in the area of concentration and nine hours of electives. Six hours must be completed in seminars. Students are limited to nine hours of cross-listed courses, six hours of directed studies and six hours of courses in other departments.

Students must pass a written comprehensive examination that will be administered no earlier than during the final semester of enrollment in course work.

Students in the thesis track will present and defend and major written research paper grounded in primary source materials.

Students must pass a competency examination demonstrating satisfactory reading knowledge of a foreign language.

The program shall be completed within five years of the date of first registration for graduate study.

Non-Thesis Track

The History Department also offers a non-thesis Master of Arts in History.  The non-thesis MA is designed for students who intend to use their degree to teach at the secondary- or community-college level.  The non-thesis MA provides specialization in US, European, and Global (Latin America, Asia, Middle East and Africa) history.

The non-thesis track requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate study, 24 of which must be in history.  A maximum of six semester hours may be transferred from another accredited institution, at the discretion of the History Graduate Committee.  Transfer credits will be awarded only for grades of “B” or better.  At least 24 hours of graduate study must be completed in residence.

Students must complete HST 500 (3) 12 hours in their area of concentration, and at least three hours each in fields outside of their specialization (3 hours each of US, European, Global or Public—depending on the student’s specialization—for a total of 9 hours).

Six hours of coursework must be completed in research seminars open only to graduate students. Students are limited to nine hours of research seminars and colloquia open to graduates and upper-level undergraduates (cross-listed courses), six hours of directed independent studies and six hours of courses in other departments.

Students must pass comprehensive examinations in their field, to be administered no earlier than the final semester of enrollment in course work.

The program will be completed within five years of the date of first registration for graduate study.”


Application:  Go to UNCW Graduate Page for online application. Please follow the online instructions. If you must submit paper copies of anything, please send them to the UNCW Graduate Program only. Do not send anything to the History Department. Please submit online all needed forms, as well as the History Questionairre, all undergraduate transcripts, 3 letters of reference (at least 2 from academics), writing sample, GRE scores. The scoring rubric for the GRE has changed. By the standards of the old system we required students to achieve a min of 950 on the total of your verbal and quantitative, 4/5 on essay. By the standards of the new system we require a total of 295 and a 4/5 on the essay.

Deadlines: February 15 for departmental financial aid and Teaching Assistantship consideration. April 15 for fall admission without TA and departmental scholarship consideration. October 15 for spring admission. It takes about 2 weeks for your application to be processed by the Graduate School. The History Graduate Committee will begin looking at applications and assigning departmental scholarship and TA positions on March 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. Click here for a Graduate Application form

Advising: Graduate Coordinator is the advisor of record for all students.  Meet the cooridator upon arrival and every semester for advising. The Graduate Coordinator normally holds advising session in the third week of August for the fall semster; and the first week of January for the spring semester. DO NOT register for classes before you have had an advising session with the Graduate Coordinator.

North Carolina Residency: All North Carolina graduate students must pay tuition. In-state residents pay in-state tuition; out-of-state residents pay out-of-state tuition. Please see the UNCW Graduate Handbook on the tuition costs. The Depatment of History has four (4) Tuition Remissions to in-state status for out-of-state graduate students. These are very competitive and all four are not open every year. You must be a Teaching Assistant to receive a Tuition Remission. And not all who ask will receive one. Out-of-state students can apply for North Carolina residency if they meet residency requirement. For more information on North Carolina Residency requirements, please click on the following link:
Requirement for North Carolina Residency.

Apply for TA positions and scholarships: Apply for Teaching Assistantship positions on application; in subsequent semesters, director will call for applications.  All students are considered for all departmental scholarships each year, no application necessary.  Other scholarships may be available through Alumni Association, etc.; check catalog.

Language and Comprehensive Exams: Take language exam as soon as possible; it is offered each semester early in the term.  Written comprehensives are to be taken during the last semester of coursework of the semester immediately thereafter.  Consult handbook.

Thesis (or Public History Project Report) Preparation: Identify committee members, file tentative title with graduate director.  Work closely with committee; adhere to submission deadlines; submit appropriate cover sheets. Attend thesis formatting workshop. Before your thesis can be accepted, its format must be approved by the Graduate School. An electronic Thesis Approval Format Sheet must be filed.    See the thesis manual.


Information on loans and non-UNCW grants and scholarships is available from the Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Services. See web page at:; or call 910-962-3177.

Teaching Assistantships:  The Department of History currently offers 14 teaching assistantships. Salary for Fall 2012 is Current salary is $10,500 per year (10 months of the academic year).  To be considered for an assistantship, make the appropriate d18th century hand carrieresignation on the application form.

Scholarships:  Through the UNCW graduate school, the History Department offers the Ty Rowell Scholarship, the Charles Green Scholarship, the Susan Goodman Stern Graduate Fellowship, Historic Wilmington Foundation Scholarship; Daughters of the American Revolution Scholarship; Hurston & Mora Scholarship; the Anna Kniffen Scholarship; and awards a limited number of small scholarships.  All registered students are considered for each scholarship. 

In addition, the department makes nominations to the graduate school for the McDowell Davis Scholarship, the Lackey Scholarship and the New Scholar Award.  For information about these and other scholarships, please contact the graduate school.

Internships: Public History Internships (paid and unpaid) and Federal Work Study positions in our Public History Lab


  As these change almost every year, please see Graduate Program tuition and fees.


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