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

For all applications for Summer or Fall 2019 admissions in progress prior to March 7, 2019, please click here for special instructions. 

For all applications started after March 7, 2019, please read below BEFORE beginning the online application—you will find the link to the application at the bottom of this webpage.

Admission Requirements for the M. A. Program

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, 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.

There are additional requirements for the admission of international students.


Fall Admission: 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 Admission: The deadline for spring semester admission is November 15. Applications submitted by this deadline will be given preferential treatment; however, whenever possible, we will evaluate late applications.

Summer Admission: Applications for the summer semester should be received by April 15. Applications submitted by this deadline will be given preferential treatment; however, whenever possible, we will evaluate late applications.

The Online Application

The online application will request the following materials (instructions on uploading and sending information are in the application itself):

1. 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.

2. Two letters of recommendation evaluating your academic ability. 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. The online application will ask you for contact information for your recommenders. Your recommenders will receive emails with instructions on how they can upload their letters directly to the application system. Letters of recommendation are confidential.

3. 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.

4. 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. concentrations (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.

If you apply too late, do not yet meet all the requirements, wish to strengthen your application, or are not admitted, you can still register for a time as a non-degree student (see the Graduate School's provision for non-degree students).

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 indicate this on your application. More importantly, you need the explicit approval of the Egyptology faculty. At present this consists of Dr. Peter Brand, pbrand@memphis.edu, and Dr. Suzanne Onstine, sonstine@memphis.edu. 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. THIS CONCENTRATION IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO ON CAMPUS STUDENTS.

Although the department evaluates most applications for our M.A. program twice a year, the Egyptology faculty normally 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 for grading assistantships. To apply for an assistantship for the following academic year, you must submit all materials for your admission application by January 15 and indicate on the application that you would like to be considered for an assistantship. We normally make decisions about graduate assistantships for the following academic year by April 1.