Application to the M.A. Program and for an Assistantship

Please note that there are separate applications for admission and for assistantships. Both applications require some of the same materials, but you need only send each item once. Make sure that your letters of recommendation primarily address your academic qualifications and not just your character or competence and reliability as an assistant. They should evaluate your previous graduate work.

See below for additional information concerning admission to the concentration in Ancient Egyptian History.



All students must meet the following Graduate School and departmental requirements. There are additional requirements for the admission of international students.

Applicants for the M.A. in history should have a minimum of 18 semester hours in undergraduate history with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale in all undergraduate history courses. The admissions committee may count non-history courses sufficiently similar in content or methodology to history courses as part of the 18 undergraduate hours. The committee may take notice of exemplary grades in the last undergraduate years following poor earlier performance. While we primarily look at grades in history courses, we also consider grades in other humanities courses and overall GPA.

In making our decisions on admission we consider multiple factors, including transcripts and GPA, the nature of your coursework, recommendations, your writing sample and statement, your MAT or GRE scores (particularly the GRE Verbal and Analytical Writing sections), and the compatibility of our program and faculty with your interests. You are not guaranteed admission if you meet all the quantitative requirements below, and in some cases we may decide to admit someone who does not meet all the quantitative requirements based upon their credentials as a whole.


· Fall Admissions: We begin evaluating applications for fall admissions on January 15. Students applying for assistantships MUST submit all application materials by January 15. Applications that arrive by the January 15 deadline will be given preferential treatment; however, those received between 15 January and July 15 will be considered for fall admission.

· Spring and Summer Admissions: The deadline for spring semester admission is November 15; applications for the summer semester should be received by April 15. Applications submitted by these deadlines will be given preferential treatment; however, whenever possible, we will evaluate late applications.

Materials to submit to the Graduate School: New students applying for the M.A. program must be admitted to the Graduate School. Please send items 1, 2, and 3 below directly to the Graduate School (not to the Department of History): Graduate Admissions, The University of Memphis, 200 Wilder Tower, Memphis, TN 38152. All college or university transcripts must come directly from the institutions and the GRE or MAT scores directly from the testing services.

1.  A completed Admission Application form with a non-refundable $50.00 (USD) application fee [$60.00 (USD) for international students]. Since this fee may change, you should check with the Graduate School before applying.

2.  Official transcripts from all colleges or universities that you have attended. It is not necessary to send transcripts from The University of Memphis, since these are already on file.

3.  Entrance Examination: We accept the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal and Analytical Writing sections or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores. We urge you to take the Graduate Record Examination, especially if you plan to work toward the Ph.D. degree. Test scores older than five years are not acceptable. We do not accept scores on MAT exams taken in less than two-month intervals.

You can contact the Testing Center, 111 and 112 John W. Brister Building, 901.678.2428, to arrange to take the MAT or to obtain a registration packet for the GRE. To take the GRE on campus by computer, call the E.T.S. Computer-based Testing Center, 901.678.1457. The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service; the Institution Code for The University of Memphis is 1459. See for more information.

Students who already have earned a master's degree or an equivalent degree from an accredited institution may request a waiver of the entrance examination.

Note that when the Graduate School informs you that your application is complete, it is referring only to the materials sent to the Graduate school.

Materials to submit to the Department of History: Please send items 4, 5, and 6 below directly to the Department of History, preferably by email attachment in docx, doc, rtf, or pdf format to our graduate secretary, Karen Jackett, at You should send paper documents to her at 219 Mitchell Hall, Memphis, TN 38152- 3450.

4. Two letters of recommendation evaluating your academic ability. You are free to send additional recommendations if you wish. We are primarily interested in recommendations from former or current professors, especially from upper-level history courses you have taken, who can address your potential to succeed in a graduate program of history. Letters of recommendation are confidential, so they must be sent directly from the professor. Letters of recommendation are acceptable as signed pdf email attachments only if they come from the recommender’s email account. They may also be sent via regular post directly from the recommenders.

5.  A writing sample, such as a paper from a course that demonstrates your ability to write and think about history. Please write your name and e-mail address at the top of the first page of your writing sample.

6.  A statement of purpose of at least 500 words. You should discuss your reasons for wanting to be in the history M.A. program, your major field(s) of interest (chosen from the list below), and anything else you can tell us about your interests in history. Note: We do not have official M.A. fields (except for Egyptology), so that if you are not an Egyptology student you will not choose an official field of study once you are in the program, nor will you have to take a particular number of credits in your major fields of interest. We ask you to write about your interests only to be able to evaluate your application better. If you do want to apply for the Egyptology concentration, please make this clear, since such applications are considered separately.

Fields Include: United States before 1877, United States after 1877, African American History, Egyptology (if you include this field, make it clear whether you want to apply for the concentration in Egyptology or simply are interested in it), Ancient World, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Europe, Early Modern Europe, Modern Europe, Latin America, Africa, China, Japan, South Asia, Russia, the Near East, Women and Gender, and Global History. In addition, tell us if you are particularly interested in any of the following: intellectual history, cultural history, social history, theory of history, political history, economic history, history of science, military history.

Please write your name and e-mail address at the top of the first page of your statement.

Three weeks after all the material has been sent to the department, whether for the application or the assistantship, please e-mail Karen Jackett to confirm that we have received your materials.

The Department of History's Admissions Committee reviews all applications before making a recommendation about admission to the Graduate School.

If you apply too late or do not yet meet all the requirements, you can still register for a time as a non-degree student (see the Graduate School’s provision for non-degree students).

All credentials become the property of the university, which will not forward or return them. We will maintain your credentials in an active file for at least one year.

If you are admitted, but do not register for the term for which you are admitted, or fail to register for every Fall and Spring term, the Graduate School will require you to fill out a short on-line readmissions application before beginning or resuming your study. Get the form at

Admission to Concentration in Ancient Egyptian History: (Note: "Concentration" refers to a specific program in this area. It does not imply that this is our only area of specialization.) In order to enter the M.A. program in Ancient Egyptian history, you must have the explicit approval of the Egyptology faculty. At present this consists of Dr. Peter Brand,, and Dr. Suzanne Onstine, If you are interested in the Egyptology concentration, you should write to Dr. Onstine, explaining your interest and background in Egyptology and related areas, such as other ancient history, ancient Near Eastern cultures, classics, archaeology, anthropology, or Middle East studies.

Although the department evaluates most applications for our M.A. program twice a year, the Egyptology faculty considers applicants only once a year following the January 15 application deadline for Fall admission. If you have taken at least one year of Middle Egyptian at the time of application, or there are extenuating circumstances, we may consider Spring admission.



M.A. students are eligible to apply only for grading assistantships. To apply for an assistantship for the following academic year, submit your assistantship application to the Department of History by January 15, using the same guidelines as for the admissions application above. Send unofficial transcripts and test scores to the department only if they have not arrived at the Graduate School. You may use the two letters of recommendation for admission for the assistantship as well, although you may wish to send additional letters addressing your suitability for an assistantship. We normally make decisions about graduate assistantships for the following academic year by April 1.

As full-time students, assistants at the M.A. level are expected to graduate within four Fall/Spring semesters. Those who do not do so may not be able to renew their assistantships.