Graduate Admission: Master’s in History

PNW’s master’s degree in history offers two flexible ways to earn your graduate degree and advance your career.

Research and Write Original History

Purdue Northwest’s M.A. in History thesis option involves 11 500-level or 600-level classes, of which at least three 600-level research and writing seminars must be taken, concluding with HIST 698—MA Thesis.

Directed by a faculty member, the thesis is the student’s original research project. The thesis must follow the standards established by the graduate school, be approved by the three-member thesis committee and be presented in a thesis defense. Beyond the thesis defense, there are no comprehensive exams.

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Comprehensive Examinations

The non-thesis option for the master’s in history at Purdue Northwest consists of 33 credits of 500-level or 600-level courses. Of these, at least nine courses, or 27 credit hours, must be in history classes. The remaining two courses, or six hours, may be in history courses or could be in a related field of the student’s choice.

Of the nine history courses, at least four must be in 600-level research and writing seminars of the student’s choice. The remaining five classes may be either 500-level or 600-level classes of the student’s choice. Students are permitted ample opportunities to select those classes in which the student is interested.

The non-thesis students create a graduate examining committee as they completes the studies for the M.A.  Students’ studies culminate in written comprehensive exams covering the various courses completed.

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There are two avenues for admission to the history graduate program. The quickest way to get admitted and begin to take classes is post-baccalaureate admission.

Post-Baccalaureate Admission

A student may be admitted to the history graduate program at Purdue Northwest as a post-baccalaureate or temporary student by doing two things:

A post-baccalaureate student may take up to 12 hours of graduate course work, and these classes will count toward completion of the M.A. in History.

Regular Graduate Admission

Regular admission involves:

  • Completing an online application form
  • Submitting three letters of recommendation (these may be done online, if the recommender wishes). At least two of the letters should focus on the ability of the applicant to undertake graduate study
  • Paying the $60 graduate application fee
  • Submitting a 300 to 500-word statement on why the student wishes to undertake graduate study
  • Submitting two official transcripts of all previous collegiate work
  • Submitting the scores of the Graduate Record Examination if the student’s undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) is below a 3.0/4.0.

All of this must be submitted to the Department of History, Philosophy, Political Science and Economics. Once collected, these materials will be forwarded to the Graduate Office and to West Lafayette. Normally, applicants must have either an undergraduate major or minor in history (or equivalent). If not, there may be some prerequisites that the applicant will need to fulfill.

For more information, contact History Graduate Advisor Wendy St. Jean at