Master of Arts in History

Online Master of Arts in History Curriculum

Norwich’s history program curriculum is composed of six courses, each of which is delivered through our online classroom over 11 weeks for a total of 36 credit hours.

Our graduates can:

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with more than one historiographic tradition and the ability to synthesize different types of historical knowledge.
  • Apply a depth and breadth of subject matter expertise to current roles to become more knowledgeable teachers and public historians.
  • Conduct historical research through several resources such as course papers and theses.
American History Track

American History is designed to help you establish yourself as a complete historian through the systematic exploration of history in the United States.

  • Introduction to History and Historiography • MH510 6 credit hours

    This introductory course examines the development of history as a topic of study and trains you in the key disciplines of historiography and methodology. Historiography examines historical thought and research from the first works of history in the classical world to those of the present. You will explore historical methodology and informational literacy, the ways historians gather information and formulate hypotheses, the development of research methods including the use of primary and secondary sources, and the challenges of objectivity, selectivity, and bias in historical interpretation.

  • American Colonial, Revolutionary and Early National History • HI520 6 credit hours

    This course explores American history from the era of contact between native peoples and Europeans through the early 19th century. It is organized on a thematic rather than chronological basis and introduces you to the main themes and historiography of the period. Through discussions and readings, you will examine areas of early 17th- through early 19th-century American history and historiography.

  • 19th Century America • HI530 6 credit hours

    This course explores American history from the early national period to the eve of World War I. Like Course 2, it is organized on a thematic rather than chronological basis and introduces you to the major themes and historiographic debates of this period in U.S. history. Through discussions and readings, you will explore various areas of 19th-century American history and historiography.

  • 20th Century America • HI540 6 credit hours

    This course examines the major historical works and historiographical debates associated with the social, cultural, and political history of the U.S. from the Progressive Era to the end of the Cold War.

  • Directed Readings in History • HI550 6 credit hours

    This course is designed to help students gain a detailed, graduate-level understanding of specific areas or topics in American history or world history, and historiography that will prepare students for comprehensive examinations, capstone papers/thesis projects and for teaching.

  • Capstone Paper • MH562 6 credit hours

    Under the direction of a Norwich faculty member assigned by the program’s capstone director, you will research and write a capstone paper of approximately 50 pages. The paper must cite scholarly secondary sources as well as primary source documents and demonstrate your mastery of the historiography of your topic. The paper must contain a well-developed historical question and a compelling interpretation/argument in answer to the question posed. 

World History Track

World History is designed to give you the capability to examine world history to build a strong historical knowledge base.

  • Introduction to History and Historiography • MH510 6 credit hours

    This introductory course examines the development of history as a topic of study and trains you in the key disciplines of historiography and methodology. Historiography examines historical thought and research from the first works of history in the classical world to those of the present. You will explore historical methodology and informational literacy, the ways historians gather information and formulate hypotheses, the development of research methods including the use of primary and secondary sources, and the challenges of objectivity, selectivity, and bias in historical interpretation.

  • Hunter-Gatherer and Agrarian Eras to 1500 • HI526 6 credit hours

    This course examines the development of human civilization from our hunter-gatherer origins to the era of European discovery and colonization of the New World. Topics to be explored include the evolution of modern languages, the rise of empires, maritime exploration and trade, and the impact of religion on cultural development. You will also become familiar with major historiographic debates and historical themes and problems.

  • The Late Agrarian Era to 1800 • HI536 6 credit hours

    This course examines the development of human civilization from the late agrarian era to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. You will explore topics such as Europe’s rise to power, the colonization of America, military development, the Reformation and Counter Reformation, and key scientific advancements. In addition to studying the forces responsible for societal development between 1500 and 1800, major historiographic debates, themes, and problems will be assessed.

  • World History from 1800 to 1991 • HI546 6 credit hours

    This course examines the development of human civilization from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the 20th century. Topics to be explored include European revolutions, the workers’ movement and related schools of philosophy, the growth of the Ottoman Empire, World Wars I and II, and the rivalry between the U.S. and the USSR leading up to and during the Cold War. You will examine the forces shaping world history during this period in the context of major historiographic debates and historical themes.

  • Directed Readings in History • HI550 6 credit hours

    This course is designed to help students gain a detailed, graduate-level understanding of specific areas or topics in American history or world history, and historiography that will prepare students for comprehensive examinations, capstone papers/thesis projects and for teaching.

  • Capstone Paper • MH562 6 credit hours

    Under the direction of a Norwich faculty member assigned by the program’s capstone director, you will research and write a capstone paper of approximately 50 pages. The paper must cite scholarly secondary sources as well as primary source documents and demonstrate your mastery of the historiography of your topic. The paper must contain a well-developed historical question and a compelling interpretation/argument in answer to the question posed. 

Optional Master's Thesis

The optional master’s thesis is an original research project demonstrating your ability to conduct primary-source research and demonstrate mastery of the historiography germane to the research question. This option is recommended for those interested in continuing their studies in history at the doctoral level. The thesis must reflect graduate-level analysis, synthesis, and argument and make a compelling case for the argument's historical and historiographic significance. Students interested in this degree completion option must petition the Capstone/Thesis Director during the second semester. The petition must be accompanied by a thesis proposal and letters of recommendation from two faculty members of the Master of Arts in History or Master of Arts in Military History program.

The thesis option is, at minimum, a semester-long (22-week) project with accompanying sustaining and thesis fees.

Prerequisites: Approval of thesis petition and successful completion of the five previous core courses.
 

Residency

The final academic requirement for the history program is a residency at the beautiful and historic Norwich University campus in Vermont. Students have the opportunity to meet with fellow students, faculty, and program staff in both formal classroom and informal settings. Academic recognition ceremonies and commencement cap off the week, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Norwich covers the cost of all meals and accommodation on campus.