History (M.A.) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying or comprehensive examination
    ❱   Foreign language proficiency
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Thesis or seminar paper 
    ❱   Final oral examination/thesis defense

Research Specializations

    ❱   United States history
    ❱   African-American history
    ❱   African history
    ❱   African diaspora history
    ❱   Latin American & Caribbean history
    ❱   Public history

Research Areas & Interests 

Faculty Research Interests

A sampling of research interests

  • Citizenship and repatriation as it relates to displaced African people during the Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Women's history and cultural praxis
  • Pan-Africanism and the African diaspora
  • Africana women and their contributions to Hip Hop culture
  • Impact of image, representation, and perception of race and culture in the United States from the end of slavery through the early twentieth century
  • Historical and theological connections between the African Diaspora and the motherland
  • Collecting and preserving Black queer D.C. history
  • Black colonial resistance and Black Power movements
  • Toussaint, Christophe, and Louverture's networks in Great Britain, France, and the United States
  • Indexical meanings of the American flag and how various contemporary Black artists interpret it during the Civil Rights Movement and by comparison to the Black Lives Matter Movement
  • Intersections of nineteenth and twentieth century African-American intellectual, political, and religious history
  • The religious and political history of Liberia, which includes African American emigration, race and religion in the U.S., and the missionary impulses of the emerging black church
  • U.S. colored troops who served at the Union prisoner of war camp at Point Lookout, Maryland, during the American Civil War
  • The spiritual practice of Black women in the 20th century who engage in both Black American Christianity and traditional African spiritualities
  • Relevance of 'Global Africa' in the construction of the black international
  • Slavery, emancipation, and Black Power as a global phenomenon
  • Transnational political/social movements
  • Memorialization of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery
  • Public memory, heritage, visual culture, and the material culture of slavery
  • The long history of demands for reparations for slavery and colonialism
  • Transnational connections between African American and British abolitionist movements

Program of Study* 


HIST 200     Historiography (3 CR)

12 credits of Readings courses in a major field 


3 credits of a Seminar course in a major field (Thesis option) OR 6 credits of Seminar courses in a major field (Non-thesis option)


A sampling of elective courses by major subfield

United States History

HIST 175   Women in American Society since 1890

HIST 223   Jacksonian Era, Reform, and Sectionalism

HIST 227   U.S. Reform Movements

African-American History

HIST 324   Readings in Afro- American History

HIST 312   Afro-American Social Institutions and Culture

HIST 177   Afro-American History

African History

HIST 382   Colonialism in Africa

HIST 235   West Africa Since 1800

HIST 387   African Americans and Africa

African Diaspora History

HIST 173   Comparative Slavery in the Americas

HIST 193   Pan-Africanism

HIST 385   Readings in the African Diaspora

Latin American & Caribbean History

HIST 340   Race Relations in Latin America and the Caribbean

HIST 444   Seminar in the History of Afro-Latinos

HIST 241   History of the Caribbean II

Public History

HIST 403   Archives and Film

HIST 402   Museums and Archives

HIST 408   Historical Editing


*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, passed the qualifying or comprehensive examination and shown evidence of proficiency in a foreign language, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Workshop requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Graduate research or teaching assistantships may be available at the department level that provide tuition remission and/or a stipend during the academic year. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants).