Individuals can earn American history degrees at the master's and doctoral levels. Some programs offer graduate degrees in history with specializations in the American discipline.
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Coursework for American History Programs
Candidates in American history graduate programs can expect general coursework in topics such as the American educational system and specific eras of history, such as the Civil War. The following are a few courses that may be found in the curriculum.
American Educational System
Graduate programs in American history can include classes on the American educational system. Some courses may cover how the educational system evolved from the colonial era to modern day. Other courses may focus on the relationship between democracy and the educational system or how curriculum is created.
Urban America History
Students may take classes that focus on America's cities and the surrounding suburban areas. These classes can examine the various political and cultural trends that affect and shape these areas. Students will gain an understanding of how the United States began as a network of small towns and developed into the more complex, urban society it is today. Topics covered could include lack of adequate housing and healthcare, disparities between economic classes, and racial differences.
Gender and Women's Studies
Courses on gender or women's studies will explore how the differences between men and women affected areas such as politics, social constructs, and even the economy throughout American history. Some graduate program may offer such courses as a seminar. Students may complete a research paper as part of these courses.
General Qualifying Examination
Some graduate programs in American history may require students to pass a general qualifying examination. Such an examination will illustrate students' comprehension of the material they learned and requires them to use their analytical thinking skills. Some programs may have classes specifically designed to prepare students for their qualifying examination.
Nineteenth Century American History
Students could take courses that focus on the nineteenth century in American history. Some programs may offer broad courses that focus on several topics of study, such as the Industrial Revolution, the institution of slavery, and the Civil War and reconstruction period. Other programs will offer courses that focus on a specific area of the nineteenth century, like the Civil War or the age of enterprise in America.
American History Graduate Program Admissions Information
Graduate programs in American history usually require that potential students have a bachelor's degree. Students may need a minimum grade point average, such as a 3.0, for some programs. In some cases, they may also need a minimum number of undergraduate credits in history, along with good marks in those courses. Some programs may stipulate specific GRE scores in order to apply.
Typically, potential students will need to complete an online application for American history graduate programs. The application process for most programs also involves providing documents such as a resume, personal statement, writing sample, recommendation letters, and official or unofficial undergraduate transcripts.
Individuals wishing to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in American history should posses a bachelor's degree for admittance into most programs. Coursework for these programs will prepare graduates for careers in a variety of fields, including academia, government, museums, and the corporate sector.