Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
Graduate Students
Graduate Students
Graduate Catalog Home Graduate Catalog Archives

Graduate Catalog 2015-16


Want a Quick Overview?

Contact: Graduate Program Director

Department’s Home Page

Application Deadlines:
For domestic classified status, the deadline is February 1st. International students, please see the FAQs #16 for your deadline.


The Department of Historical Studies offers a program of study leading to the Master of Arts degree in history. A teaching field in history can also be taken as part of the Master of Science in Education degree in secondary education, offered by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education.

Graduate work in history contributes to students' personal enrichment, lifelong learning skills and recognition of their responsibilities as members of a society composed of many communities of memory. The graduate degree in history also serves as important preparation for the pursuit of a variety of career opportunities. In some cases, it is part of the preparation for entry into or continuation of a career in teaching in the secondary schools, community colleges, and universities. For other students, graduate training in history is helpful in cognate fields such as journalism, museum operations, and library science. Some students have used the graduate program as part of their preparation for work in the business community, the legal profession, or government.


Application for admission to the program should be made through Graduate Admissions, but inquiries about the program are welcomed by the department's chairperson or graduate program director. Admission to the graduate program in history requires at least a 3.0 (A=4.0) GPA and preparation in the discipline equivalent to at least an undergraduate minor (18 credit hours in history). All applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, an academic writing sample, and a one-page letter of intent directly to the department discussing their preparation for graduate study in history, their area(s) of historical interest and their career goals. All application materials are due by February 1st. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The department's graduate program committee will review application materials and make a final determination of admittance normally by the middle of February. Typically, applicants will be considered for entry only for Fall Semester. Admissions for Spring or Summer term may be arranged for exceptional circumstances. Applicants may petition the graduate program director to make those arrangements.


Both thesis and non-thesis plans of study are available. Students pursuing either the thesis or the non-thesis plan must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours. All students, whether pursuing the thesis or exam option plan, are required to take the Department of Historical Studies' year-long, core course, HIST 555 a,b. Students admitted to begin graduate work in the Fall are required to take the year-long sequence during their first year. HIST 555 a,b is designed as an introduction to the core debates and strategies that animate the contemporary discipline and practice of history. All students also must take HIST 556 (Graduate Seminar in Historical Research) in the spring of their first year.  (This course is repeatable once up to a maximum of 6 credit hours). Students may, with the approval of the graduate program director, apply up to 9 semester hours from related disciplines toward their credit hour requirements. Students may also apply to participate in an internship program that allows them to obtain practical experience in non-teaching career fields related to history. All students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign language (modern or classical) either by special examination or by completion of two years of college level study in a single language with an average of C or better. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree in history may pursue one of the two following plans of study:

Thesis Option

Students complete 33 hours of graduate credit, 6 of which represent the History and Theory Series (HIST 555 a,b); 3 are the Graduate Seminar in Historical Research (HIST 556) and 6 of which represent a well-conceived thesis on a topic chosen in consultation with a faculty advisory committee.  Enrollment in HIST 599 is required.  Students will prepare a “Research Plan” during the semester or summer immediately preceding their first HIST 599 class.  Students will present the Research Plan to the chair of his or her committee and will then distribute it to the rest of the committee.  It is strongly suggested that the entire committee and the student meet together to comment on the plan.  Students will not receive an instructor permit to register for HIST 599 until this process is complete.

Exam Option

This plan emphasizes breadth of historical understanding while not ignoring research techniques. Students concentrating in one primary and two complementary secondary areas of emphasis complete 33 hours of graduate credit, which includes completion of the History and Theory Series (HIST 555 a,b) (6 credit hours) and the Graduate Seminar in Historical Research (HIST 556) (3 credit hours).  Exam option students also enroll in 6 credit hours of Readings for Exams (HIST 598). Students must earn the grade of “B” or better in each course counting toward their graduate degree, with the exception of foreign languages.

Suggested areas of emphasis can include:

U.S. to 1877 Ancient Cultural History

U.S. since 1877 Medieval Europe African Diaspora

U.S. Economic History Early Modern Europe Gender History

African-American History Modern Europe Intellectual History

Middle Eastern History Asian History

The broad fields may be modified in consultation with the student's advisory committee. Before embarking on any area(s) of emphasis, a student should consult the appropriate faculty member(s). All exam option students are required to develop a portfolio of two research papers, written for different faculty while enrolled at SIUE, that reflect their primary, and one of their secondary fields of interest. All students are required to submit their portfolio to their examination committee a month before the scheduling of their written exams. In order for written examinations to be scheduled, the portfolio must first be approved by the student's committee.


Students who follow a thesis plan of study will be required to pass an oral defense of the thesis and related historical material and submit a final draft to the Gradaute School.

Upon completion of the course work, students pursuing the exam option must pass a written examination, at least three hours long, covering one principal and two secondary fields.  They are also required to take an oral examination based on their written exams, portfolio and related historical material.  The chairperson of the student's advisory committee will provide guidance to the student regarding the nature of the examination.  Such guidance will include a list of readings compiled by the advisory committee, which, in conjunction with the student's course work, will serve as the basis for the examination.  Exam option students intending to take examinations in the Spring Semester must declare their intention to take examinations by September 15th of the preceding Fall Semester; students intending to take examinations in the Fall Semester must declare their intention to do so by April 1st of the preceding Spring Semester.  Declaring their intention to take exams requires them to form an exam committee and, in consultation with their committee, establish reading lists for the exams.  Spring Semester written exams must be completed by April 1st and an oral examination based on the written exams and the portfolio must be held by April 15th.  Fall Semester written exams must be completed by November 15th and an oral examination based on the written exams and the portfolio must be held by December 5th.  Generally, master's exams will not be scheduled during the Summer Term.



The Museum Studies Certificate offers current and future museum professionals an opportunity to gain expertise that will aid in their career advancement. The curriculum combines active learning through exhibit development and internships, along with elective courses that focus on interpretation, administration, education, and the acquisition of disciplinary backgrounds. For most students this program provides education adequate for immediate entry into museum careers. In addition, current museum professionals will acquire new skills to broaden or enhance their expertise.

The program presents students with a foundation in theoretical and applied approaches to the interpretative, legal and ethical, community, and administrative challenges that confront museum employees. This sequence of courses is designed for students who have been admitted to a master's degree or are currently enrolled in a related master's program but who want the additional educational credentials to qualify for a certificate. The program may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.

The program's curriculum and faculty are interdisciplinary, representing the many, diverse areas of skill and expertise relevant to museum work. Students are encouraged to develop a specialization as they choose their elective courses, while also benefiting from the interdisciplinary nature of the museum studies program.


Applicants must have an earned BA or BS, have maintained a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average, and submit transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a letter of interest. The two letters of recommendation and the letter of interest are to be mailed directly to the department.


This program entails the completion of 21 hours of course work, including the following required and elective classes:

Required Courses (12 hours):

HIST 580 Foundations of Museum Studies (also cross-listed as ART 580)

ART 581 Management of Museum Collections

HIST 582 Practicum in Exhibit and Program Development (also cross-listed as ART 582)

HIST 590 Internships in Museology, or ART 498 Internship in the Arts, or PAPA 595 Public Administration Internship

Elective courses (9 hours, at least one at the 500-level): open to all graduate-level offerings. These may include the following:

ANTH 420 Museum Technology

ANTH 435 American Material Culture

ART 413 Digital Arts

ART 454 Curatorship: Exhibition Management and Design

HIST 447 Approaches to Oral History

HIST 470 Preserving the American Past

IT 450 Using Video for Instruction

IT 486 Web Design for Instruction

IT 510 Instructional Systems Design

IT 530 Managing Instructional Design

IT 580 Design of Interactive Learning Environments

IT 582 Development of Interactive Learning Environments

PAPA 579 Grantsmanship

PAPA 501 Public Organizations

PAPA 575 Nonprofit Leadership

Students must earn the grade of "B" or better in each course counting toward their post-baccalaureate certificate.


The student must successfully complete the program of study.


CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION with a specialization in


The Department of Historical Studies, in cooperation with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education, offers a history teaching field as part of the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree in curriculum and instruction. A jointly-advised program ordinarily including 15 hours in history will be designed, taking into account each student's background and interests. Throughout the program, the student must consult with the history graduate adviser before registering for any courses in history. Upon completion of the program, students must have accumulated at least 42 semester hours in history (graduate and undergraduate work combined). Thus, students admitted to the program with less than 27 hours of acceptable undergraduate work will be required to complete more than 15 graduate hours in history in order to satisfy degree requirements. A student must achieve a 3.0 (A=4.0) grade point average in the history teaching field as well as an overall average of 3. 0. For further information, see "Curriculum and Instruction" in another section of this chapter.


Faculty in the Department of Historical Studies participate with History Department faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in offering a cooperative program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in History. Prospective students may initiate application procedures at either campus and may enroll in courses at either or both campuses concurrently. The doctoral degree is conferred by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For application procedures, refer to the section on admission to cooperative doctoral programs in Chapter I of this catalog. For more detailed information, contact the department directly at either Carbondale or Edwardsville.

facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff googleplusoff tumblroff socialoff