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Early Modern European History Graduate Programs

Feb 15, 2019

Aspiring historians and educators can pursue a master's or doctoral degree in history with a focus in early modern European history. Compare and contrast the program levels and their requirements, and find out about common admission standards.

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Early modern European history is usually offered as one of several specialization or research areas for graduate history degree programs. These master's and doctoral level programs usually place an emphasis on research and teaching skills. Learn more about each degree program and its specific requirements below.

Master of Arts vs. Doctor of Philosophy in Early Modern European History

Master of Arts in Early Modern European History

Students can pursue a terminal Master of Arts (MA) in History and choose to major in or focus their electives and research on early modern European history. Students in these programs may participate in history seminars, topical colloquia, conferences and workshops in early modern European history, and programs often allow students to gain teaching experience. These degree programs typically require around 30 credit hours and a final research thesis or comprehensive exam in place of a thesis. Coursework varies according to students' interests, but they can take courses in areas such as historiography, research in history and readings in modern European history and language. Graduates of these degree programs can choose to pursue study at the doctoral level or work as historians or teachers.

Doctor of Philosophy in Early Modern European History

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in History programs with a specialization in early modern European history are also available and are ideally completed in about five years when taken full time. However, some programs allow for part-time study. Students are typically required to complete coursework, comprehensive exams, language requirements in at least one or two foreign languages and a dissertation. Students often receive funding in these programs through fellowships or research and teaching assistantships and are likely to participate in seminars, conferences, workshops and other learning experiences similar to those in a master's degree program. Students might also complete core coursework that's similar to what's found in master's degree programs before pursuing electives and research in a wide range of topics, such as the Ottoman Empire, the Protestant Reformation and the history of specific countries, like France and Germany. Graduates of these degree programs can pursue advanced research positions, historian positions or tenure-track positions in higher education.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students applying to master's or doctoral degree programs in early modern European history need to have at least a bachelor's degree. Since these degree programs may be small or provide funding for their students, admission is often competitive. Some programs require the GRE, while other programs do not. Others already expect reading knowledge in at least one foreign language. Students are likely to need to submit their transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a writing sample. Some programs also ask to see students' research experience and have students identify their specific areas of interest.

Students can pursue an MA or PhD in History and focus their research and studies on early modern European history at several different institutions. Students in these programs usually need to complete a culminating project and participate in courses, seminars and colloquia. A knowledge of one or two foreign languages is also required.

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