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History: MA, MS


The Department of History has been recognized by the American Historical Association as one of 12 outstanding history departments in the United States and Canada, selected for its “brilliant teaching and leadership.” The department's graduate program attracts students from across the United States and overseas. Because the department limits its entering class to approximately 12, every graduate student is important. Moreover, master’s-level students are not competing with doctoral students for the faculty’s time or for history-related work experiences.

The faculty members of the History Department have a broad array of specialties, so students can study a variety of time periods and geographic areas in history. In particular, the department has particular depth in the areas of environmental history, religious studies, and Western United States studies.

The MA degree requires students to gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages. The MS degree requires students to incorporate computer, social, or natural science into their research in lieu of a foreign language. A course plan will be developed for each student with their committee in their first year.

Graduates with a master’s degree in history can find careers in many venues, such as:

  • Historical societies
  • Museums
  • Publishing companies
  • Archives
  • Government agencies
  • High schools
  • Libraries

Many master's students go on to prestigious doctoral programs or have careers as writers.

Admissions Requirements

The Department of History strongly recommends that applicants have either an undergraduate major or minor in history or a closely related field.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on in the GRE
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation

International students have additional admissions requirements.

It is important that students be aware of the areas of expertise of the History Department faculty. If students wish to study a field not covered by faculty at USU, they may not be admitted to the program.

Admissions Deadlines

The department accepts new students each fall and has the following application deadline:

  • Fall semester – February 1
  • Applicants who submit applications after the February 1 deadline may still be admitted to the program; however, they will not be considered for financial assistance.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive the MS or MA by pursuing one of two options:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Financial Assistance

The History Department offers various types of graduate financial assistance:

The Western Historical Quarterly, published at USU, offers the S. George Ellsworth Editorial Fellowship and the Robert M. Utley Editorial Fellowship in alternating years. Nationally competitive, these fellowships are awarded to highly-qualified students who work as editorial assistants in the WHQ office where they are acquainted with all aspects of journal production. The award includes a stipend of $14,000 (including summer work), a nonresident tuition award, and medical insurance. Fellowship holders must enroll in USU's master's program in history and work 20 hours a week for the WHQ. These fellowships may be retained for a second year, depending upon satisfactory progress toward the master's degree and acceptable completion of editorial assignments. Additional funding is available if the fellow can begin work at the beginning of August. Applicants should send a letter of application and three letters of recommendation to the WHQ. Materials must be postmarked no later than February 1. Applicants will be notified in early April.

Send application and recommendations to:

Western Historical Quarterly 
0740 Old Main Hill 
Utah State University 
Logan, UT 84322-0740

Graduate assistantships are the primary financial assistance offered by the Department of History. Offered annually on a competitive basis, there are seven graduate assistantships each year for qualified students. These assistantships entail approximately 20 hours of work a week assisting the faculty in the introductory survey courses taught by the department. The award carries a stipend of $3,750 for one semester of work and $7,500 for two semesters and a nonresident tuition award. A GA must maintain a GPA of 3.0 and be enrolled as a full-time student to keep an assistantship and may hold graduate assistantships for a maximum of two years while enrolled in the master's program. Applications for graduate assistantships should be postmarked no later than February 1 for the next academic year.

Additional financial assistance: The department has a small number of Carr Graduate Fellowships which are usually awarded to supplement the stipend provided to graduate assistants and to support summer research travel. In addition, a $500 summer research award, the Charles and Elizabeth Peterson Thesis Award, is given on a competitive basis to a student working on the history of Utah or the West.

Additionally, the cost of living in Logan, Utah, is about 12% lower than the national average.

Philip Barlow, ThD, Harvard University
Area: Religious studies, American religion, Mormon history and culture
Office: MAIN 332
Phone: (435) 797-3406

Kyle Bulthius, PhD, University of California - Davis
Visiting Instructor
Area: Early American history, U.S. West, religious history, social and cultural history
Office: MAIN 323 F
Phone: (435) 797-1213

Shawn Clybor, PhD, Northwestern University
Visiting Instructor
Area: Modern eastern and central Europe, intellectual and cultural history
Office: MAIN 321 L
Phone: (435) 797-1106

Robert Cole, PhD, Claremont Graduate University
Area: Modern European history, England
Office: MAIN 321 K
Phone: (435) 797-1291

Denise Conover, PhD, Washington State University
Senior Lecturer
Area: American diplomatic history, U.S. military
Office: MAIN 321 J
Phone: (435) 797-0870

Christopher Conte, PhD, Michigan State University
Associate Professor
Area: Africa, world, and environmental history
Office: MAIN 323 G
Phone: (435) 797-1303

Lawrence Culver, PhD, University of California - Los Angeles
Associate Professor
Area: U.S. southwest borderlands, U.S. West, cultural, environmental, and urban history
Office: MAIN 321 H
Phone: (435) 797-3101

Mark Damen, PhD, University of Texas - Austin
Area: Ancient world, playwriting, theatre history, Latin and Greek
Office: MAIN 307
Phone: (435) 797-3786

Edward Glatfelter, PhD, Indiana University
Associate Professor
Area: Russia and East Asia
Office: MAIN 323 J
Phone: (435) 797-1196

Victoria Grieve, PhD, George Washington University
Assistant Professor
Area: Modern American cultural and intellectual history, art and culture of the West
Office: MAIN 321
Phone: (435) 797-0145

Kimberley Hernandez, PhD, University of California - Los Angeles
Visiting Instructor
Area: Labor and working-class history, urban history, American Southwest
Office: MAIN 323 I
Phone: (435) 797-3791

Norman Jones, PhD, Cambridge University
Department Head, Professor
Area: Renaissance-Reformation Europe, Tudor England, history of Christianity
Office: MAIN 323
Phone: (435) 797-1293

David Rich Lewis, PhD, University of Wisconsin
Area: American Indian, environmental, and Utah history
Office: MAIN 321 F
Phone: (435) 797-1299

Daniel McInerney, PhD, Purdue University
Area: American intellectual history, 19th century United States
Office: MAIN 323 H
Phone: (435) 797-1283

Colleen O’Neill, PhD, Rutgers University
Associate Professor
Area: American West, American Indian, labor, ethnic, women and gender
Office: MAIN 321 E
Phone: (435) 797-1297

Leonard Rosenband, PhD, Princeton University
Area: France, European economic and labor history
Office: MAIN 321 H
Phone: (435) 797-1296

James Sanders, PhD, University of Pittsburg
Associate Professor
Area: Latin America, Atlantic world
Office: MAIN 323 E
Phone: (435) 797-1294

Susan Shapiro, PhD, University of Texas - Austin
Associate Professor
Area: Ancient Western civilization, Latin and Greek, Greek intellectual history
Office: MAIN 323 D
Phone: (435) 797-2091

Francis Titchener, PhD, University of Texas - Austin
Area: Ancient Greece and Rome, Celtic Europe, Latin and Greek
Office: MAIN 310
Phone: (435) 797-1298

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Historical Association: The American Historical Association was founded in 1884 and was incorporated by Congress in 1889 to serve the broad field of history. It encompasses every historical period and geographical area and serves professional historians in all areas of employment.

Western History Association: The Western History Association is the professional organization focused on the history of the American West that publishes the journal Western Historical Quarterly, which is housed at USU.

Phi Alpha Theta: This professional society has a mission to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.

Labs, Centers, Research

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art: This museum collects, maintains, preserves, and regularly exhibits art in diverse media created primarily in the American West with an emphasis on modern and contemporary movements. Through exhibitions and education programs, the museum provides the campus and community with opportunities for growth, discovery, and scholarly research.

Special Collections and Archives: One of the most important centers for students’ historical research is housed within the Merrill-Cazier Library in the Special Collections and Archives division. The division is composed of seven distinct sections (art book collections, folklore, manuscripts, western and Mormon americana, photographs, preservation, and USU archives). Each section is assigned a specialist who is responsible for the care and use of the materials. In addition, the Merrill-Cazier Library provides extensive reference and database collections covering historical experience from the classical period through the present.


Christopher Conte
Associate Professor
Office: MAIN 323 G
Phone: (435) 797-1303

- History Department

- College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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