MA in History

Further your historical knowledge and improve your communication, writing and research skills in a vibrant and supportive environment. Participate in a variety of topical, methodological and research seminars, and create your own piece of historical scholarship to serve as the capstone to your studies. 

A combination of an advanced degree and professional skills are critical for success in today’s competitive job market. The Department of History helps you enhance your education with high-impact experiential learning and extracurricular activities to develop the skills that employers demand. We introduce you to new professional networks in the areas that interest you the most.

Infographic that says 10 skills employers want.

Be career ready.

  • Decide upon a major geographic area of historical study such as American history, modern European history, North and South Atlantic history, East Asian history, Latin American and Caribbean history or African history or choose a comparative focus or a more topically-oriented approach
  • Take part in small classes that dig into big questions, such as the history of conceptions of the human body, comparative slavery or the growth of urban centers
  • Find your niche and concentrate on mastering your own corner of historical inquiry from expert faculty

Employers often cite the skills profile of applicants as the most important factor in their recruitment and job offer decisions. 

Here is how we help you develop 10 critical skills for historians:

How much can you earn?

Bar graph titled, Salary: $107,000 high, $59,120 median annual wage, $29,000 low.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for historians was $59,120 in May 2017. The highest 10% earned more than $107,000.

What career is in your future?

* Corporate Librarian
* Information Specialist
* Attorney
* Librarian
* Archivist
* Consultant
* Content Strategist
* Education Director
* Exhibition Coordinator
* History Teacher
* Museum Conservator
* Research Director
* Social Studies Teacher 
* Campus Outreach Program Officer

From the writing comes the knowing

I now realize there’s a reciprocal relationship between what we think we know and what emerges on a blank page. We generally have some idea of what we’re going to write before we start the physical process, but as we are forced to express ourselves clearly and logically, we find our ideas refined and sometimes altered dramatically. “Wait,” we’ll often think, “that doesn’t make sense. Let’s try it another way.”

Erik R Seeman, Chair, Department of History

Where will you go from here?

Below are a few recent alumni who are making a difference in their profession and their communities. They're looking forward to helping you expand your professional network.

  • Tommy Buttaccio, MA ’16, MLIS ’16, Librarian, New York Public Library, New York City, NY
  • Alyssa McQuirns, MA ‘16, Museum Educator, Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, Pennsburg, PA
  • Bridget Pumm, MA ’15, Collections Assistant, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA
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