Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?

The application deadlines are June 15 for the Fall Semester; October 15 for the Spring Semester; March 15 for the Summer Session.

What are the admissions requirements?

To view the admissions requirements, please visit Graduate Admissions.

What if I do not have 18 hours of undergraduate History?

In some cases closely related Humanities or Social Science courses might count towards the 18 hour minimum. In the absence of this requirement, admission may be granted on a conditional basis. If an applicant does not have 18 undergraduate hours that can be applied, they can apply as a non-degree student and take 1-2 courses in the program. Confer with the Graduate Chair or the Online Program Coordinator if you have questions.

What if my GPA is under 3.25?

If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.25 GRE scores must be submitted. If you have a MA in another field and that GPA is above 3.25 then the GRE can be waived with the Graduate Chair's permission.

I graduated from college many years ago and am unable to get letters from my former professors. What should I do?

You can apply as a non-degree student and take one or two history graduate courses. This will allow you to request letters of recommendation from UNK professors.

Do I have to take the GRE?

Only if undergraduate GPA is under 3.25.

What should I submit for a writing sample?

The department prefers to see a research paper produced in a history course. Research papers in other fields will suffice if you do not have a history paper. If you have nothing to submit then you should apply as a non-degree student and take one course in the program. This will allow you to produce a graduate-level writing sample.

What is a letter of intent?

This is your chance to tell the graduate committee anything that may not be apparent in your application or transcripts, including but not limited to information about your background, education, career goals, occupation, and why you want to pursue a graduate degree in history. 

Can I take courses before being admitted to the program?

Yes, you can apply as a non-degree student and take up to 12 hours of coursework that can be transferred into the MA program upon admission. 

Where do I have my transcripts sent?

Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions
FDHL 2131
2504 9th Avenue
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE 68849

How do I apply?

To apply, please visit Graduate Admissions.

Is this program accredited?

Yes, UNK’s MA program is accredited by the North Central Association.

Is a thesis required?

No, students can purse the 36-hour non-thesis option.

Can I do the thesis option if I am an online student?

Yes, online students can pursue the thesis option. Those who want to pursue the thesis option must take HIST 894 Introduction to Thesis and apply to the graduate committee for approval.

How do I qualify for the thesis option once I am admitted into the program?

All students enter the program as non-thesis students. The first step for those wishing to pursue the thesis option is to complete HIST 894 Introduction to Thesis, which can be taken after completing 12 hours of coursework including HIST 801 & HIST 803. A 3.5 GPA is also required to take this course. In this course students will seek approval to pursue the thesis option. 

How many courses can I take in a semester?

Students who work full time usually take 1-2 courses per semester. Full time students take 2-3 courses each term.

How long do courses run?

Fall and Spring semester courses run 16 weeks. Summer semester courses run 8 weeks.

Does the History Department offer graduate assistantships?

The History Department has a limited number of graduate assistantships available for on campus students.

Are online students eligible for financial aid?

Yes, students admitted to the MA program qualify for financial aid. Students must be half-time (4 hours) to qualify for federal student loans.

What is the time limit to finish the MA degree?

Students have 10 years to finish the program.

What is the comprehensive exam?

Students completing the non-thesis option will be required to take comprehensive examinations, which tests students over courses completed during the program, within nine months following the completion of coursework with a 3.0 GPA. 

Do I have to enroll in courses every semester?

No, you can take up to two years off before having to reapply for admission.

Can students begin and finish courses at their own leisure?

No, the courses are not independent studies. They run on the same schedule as the on campus courses and require weekly readings, discussions, and writing assignments with the goal of recreating the traditional graduate school environment.

How do online courses operate?

While each professor designs their courses individually, most courses follow a general format of a weekly reading (usually a book or several articles), online discussion with other students, and a writing assignment. You can expect to read the equivalent of 10-15 books for each course and write approximately 45-60 pages of analytical essays.

What is the first course of the program that students should take?

Students should begin the program by taking HIST 801 America Interpreted, an introductory graduate readings course in American historiography. The class examines the leading schools of historical opinion from the founding of American society through the modern era.