Master of Arts Program in History (Public History Concentration) / Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies

Course Requirements (30 credit hours required)

  • H501 Historical Methodology (3 credit hours)
  • H542 Introduction to Public History (3 credit hours)
  • H650 Colloquium in US History (3 credit hours)
  • H565 Introduction to Digital Public History (3 credit hours)
  • H750 Seminar in US History (3 credit hours) [Rotating topics]
  • H750 Seminar in US History (3 credit hours) [Rotating topics]
  • H543 Practicum in Public History (4 credit hours) [Internships]
  • H505 Professional Development for Historians (2 credit hours)
  • H548/MSTD548 Historic or Museum Administration (3 credit hours)
  • MSTD (3 credit hours) course that also counts as a history elective
  • MSTD (3 credit hours) course
  • MSTD (3 credit hours) course
  • MSTD (3 credit hours) course

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale and a minimum grade point average of a 3.3 (B+) on a 4.0 scale in the student’s undergraduate major. Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • All undergraduate coursework transcripts. A copy of each transcript may be sent initially, but official transcripts are required before enrolling in the program.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample

Further information about each Admissions Requirements

  • An undergraduate major in History is not required, but applicants without such a background may be required to take additional coursework in history at the undergraduate level as a condition for acceptance in the program. If you have been out of school for a long time, or have a low undergraduate GPA, think about taking history courses at IU Indianapolis either the Undergraduate Non-Degree or Graduate Non-Degree programs. Courses taken through the Undergraduate Non-Degree program will not count toward an M.A. in history, while those taken Graduate Non-Degree program may count with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Office. Taking non-degree classes is a good way for you to get a sense of what advanced history courses are like as well as for us to get to know each other and for you to strengthen your application. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies if any of these situations apply to you to discuss your application.
  • If you are interested in pursuing graduate work in European History, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • The three letters of recommendation should be from individuals familiar with your academic abilities and potential. Each recommender should submit their letter online (follow the directions in the online application for how to add your recommenders). If for some reason, a recommender cannot submit their letter online, they must send a hard copy letter directly to the address below. If you are unsure about waiving your right to see the letter, talk with your recommenders about what they advise. We would advise that you get letters of recommendation from people who can speak most directly to your ability to do graduate work in history. Try to have at least two letters from history professors or professors who have taught you in upper-level liberal arts courses.
  • A 300-500 word Personal Statement regarding your current professional goals, plans for your career, and reasons for selecting IU Indianapolis and your chosen field of study must be included. Your statement should explain how your skills, experience, ideas, and goals make you a great fit for our program and our program the right place for you to achieve those goals. Avoid phrases and ideas that could be interpreted as trite or cliché as well as broad generalizations; be concrete, specific, direct. We want to learn about your experiences doing history and to see you thinking like a historian. If you have any potential weak spots in your application, briefly explain them. Similarly, identify positive things (like awards or publications) that set you apart. We recommend that you have someone (ideally a professor who knows you well) work with you to revise your Personal Statement. YOU MUST indicate in the first paragraph of this statement your intended area of concentration: Public History, U.S. History, Dual Degree (with Department of Library and Information Science or the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy)
  • Writing Sample: Your writing sample should demonstrate your ability to explore and interpret history using primary and secondary sources. Your writing sample should be no more than 30 pages in length, double-spaced.

Optional Elements of a Graduate Application in History

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores from the general exam are optional. (ETS school code #1325). The History Program does not require GRE scores as part of the admissions process. We recognize that the cost and structure of this standardized test can deter qualified applicants from pursuing graduate work or gaining admission to graduate programs in our field. If you decide to take the GRE, please know that we pay the most attention to the scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Writing portions of the exam.
  • You may include a resumé or cv to provide an overview of your record. Submitting GRE scores is optional. If you decide to take them, allow time to schedule and study for the GRE. It takes at least a month for your scores to get to the department.
  • Demonstration of Foreign Language Skills. There is no foreign language requirement for the degree. However, those students who will incorporate foreign language documents and scholarship in their graduate work will be expected to translate non-English sources. Students considering the possibility of going on for a Ph.D. should recognize that competence in at least one and sometimes two foreign languages is often a requirement in history doctoral programs.

Information about Museum Studies Graduate Certificate

In order to complete the certificate while simultaneously completing the M.A. in History (Public History concentration), students must apply and be admitted to both the History MA program and Museum Studies Graduate Certificate program and complete the requirements for both the degree and the certificate. Students should consult with advisors in both programs to establish their program plan to follow the approved course of study within both programs. The certificate must be awarded before or at the same time as the master’s degree in History. Certificates are only awarded in the months of May, August and December.

The following courses fulfill requirements in both programs:

  • Taking HIST H543 Internship: Practicum in Public History when focused on museums (4 cr.) counts as an equivalent for MSTD A508
  • Taking HIST H548 Historic Administration/Museum Administration (3 cr.) counts as an equivalent for MSTD A548
  • Taking HIST H542 Public History (4 cr.) may count as an equivalent for MSTD A503
  • Any HIST H547 Special Topics in Public History (3 cr.) classes are approved electives for the museum studies graduate certificate curriculum

For further information, please contact:

History Department Graduate Program
(317) 274-1182

Additional information about international admissions can be obtained from the Office of International Affairs.