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HSTRY-MA - History (MA)

History History MA - Master of Arts

Program Overview

Coterminal Master’s Program in History

The department each year admits a limited number of undergraduates for coterminal MA degree in History. Coterminal applications are accepted during autumn quarter for admission in spring quarter. Applicants are responsible for checking their compliance with university coterminal requirements listed in Coterminal Master’s Degrees.

The coterminal MA program cannot be declared in Axess.

University Coterminal Requirements

Coterminal master’s degree candidates are expected to complete all master’s degree requirements as described in this Bulletin. Coterminal Master’s Program describes university requirements for the coterminal master’s degree. Graduate Degrees describes university requirements for the master’s degree.

After accepting admission to this coterminal master’s degree program, students may request a transfer of courses from the undergraduate to the graduate career to satisfy the requirements for the master’s degree. Transferring courses to the graduate career requires review and approval of both the undergraduate and graduate programs on a case-by-case basis.

In this master’s program, courses taken during or after the first quarter of the sophomore year are eligible for consideration for transfer to the graduate career; the timing of the first graduate quarter is not a factor. No courses taken before the first quarter of the sophomore year may be used to meet master’s degree requirements.

Course transfers are not possible after the bachelor’s degree has been conferred.

The university requires that the graduate advisor be assigned in the student’s first graduate quarter even though the undergraduate career may still be open. The university also requires that the Master’s Degree Program Proposal be completed by the student and approved by the department by the end of the student’s first graduate quarter.

Terminal MA. Program

Applicants who do not wish to continue beyond the MA degree are admitted to this program at the discretion of the faculty in individual fields (U.S., modern Europe, and so on). Students admitted may not apply to enter the PhD program in History during work for the MA degree.

Admissions Information

Coterminal Master’s Program in History

Each year the department admits a limited number of undergraduates to its program leading to a coterminal BA and MA degree in History. Some students apply in their junior year and complete their MA studies in their fourth year at Stanford. Others apply in their senior year, planning their MA coursework for their fifth year at Stanford.

Applicants must meet the same general standards as those seeking admission to the MA program. The requirements are as follows:

  • Coterminal Application

  • Statement of Purpose

  • One copy of official transcripts (an official Stanford transcript is requested and submitted through the online application; DO NOT request an official paper transcript from the Registrar’s Office)

  • One writing sample on a Historical Topic (10-25 pages)

  • Three letters of recommendation (two must be from history faculty)

  • Preliminary Program Proposal 

  • Coterminal course transfer information

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test is not required

  • Application fee (to be billed by the university)

Students from departments other than History should have done sufficient work in History. Students should finish their undergraduate major by the program’s start. Conferral of the BA is restricted to the quarter after admission to the coterminal program. For instance, if admission is for spring quarter, the conferral of the BA must be for spring quarter or earlier.

Remember that courses cannot be “double-counted” towards both degrees. For more information about the Co-terminal Program, please refer to the Graduate Admission’s Coterminal Online Application webpage.

Please also consider reviewing the Stanford School of Humanities & Sciences’ Guide on Getting into Grad School to explore which graduate program may best suit your interest, what graduate committees look for, and the benefits and challenges of pursuing a graduate degree. 

Some students apply in their junior year and complete their MA studies in their fourth year at Stanford; others apply in their senior year, planning their MA coursework for their fifth year at Stanford. Senior-status applicants should closely track their completed units toward graduation. As soon as a coterm student reaches 180 units, they will be registered immediately with graduate status. Accordingly, such students will no longer have the option to “stop out” or to apply for PSO (Permit for Services Only) registration, as both are options restricted to undergraduates. Achieving graduate status may have other consequences, depending on each student’s unique situation. For this reason, seniors at the time of application are advised to meet with the Registrar to plan wisely.

Students applying for coterm admission must specify a field of study, select a faculty advisor, and have a 3.75 GPA in history courses (or the equivalent if they enter without a history major). Three letters of recommendation must be submitted (one from the current faculty advisor, one from the prospective MA advisor, and one other of the student’s choice) in addition to transcripts and the application form. The deadline for applying to the coterm program will be the same deadline date as the PhD/MA graduate program admissions.

The spring quarter 2023-24 application deadline is Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

Contact Arthur Palmon (Assistant Director of Student Services) for more information.

Terminal MA. Program

Admission to the History Graduate Programs is for autumn quarter only. Interested applicants can apply online at https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/applying and submit the following documents: 

  • Statement of Purpose (included in Application)

  • Three letters of recommendation

  • A copy of official transcripts from each university/college attended

    •  Transcripts are required from all prior college-level schools attended for at least one year; a scanned copy of the official transcript is submitted as part of the online application (Do not mail transcripts to the department. We will ask only the admitted students to submit actual copies of official transcripts)

  • One writing sample on a historical topic (10-25 pages; sent via Stanford’s online application system only)

  • The GRE is not required for the autumn 2023 admission cycle

  • TOEFL for all international applicants (whose primary language is not English) sent via ETS. Our university code is 4704.

  • Application fee $125 (subject to change)

    • Application Fee Waiver

    • The department is not able to provide fee waivers. Please see the link above for the available fee waivers and how to submit a request. Requests are due two weeks before the application deadline.

The application deadline for autumn 2024-25 is Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EST. This is a hard -not a postmark- deadline. 

All application material is available online. No information is sent via snail mail. Interested applicants are invited to view a Guide to Graduate Admissions. Also, consider reviewing the Stanford School of Humanities & Sciences’ Guide on Getting into Grad School to explore which graduate program may best suit your interest, what graduate committees look for, and the benefits and challenges of pursuing a graduate degree.