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Grad Program: European History

Basic Information

In studying European History, you’ll obviously learn about Europe’s past, but you’ll also learn how it affects the rest of the world’s present. You will be equipped with an area of expertise in which to work “in the past” by getting into archaeology, say, or giving lectures at a European museum, or work “in the present,” by focusing on culture and sociological trends, perhaps working for a government agency or school as an ESL counselor. Whether you want to restore Louis V armoires or work in Human Relations for an international corporation, a degree in European History will serve you well.

While studying history, you might break up learning objectives in two ways: strategies in dealing with information and acquisition of knowledge in the content area (like a seminar on Martin Luther or British political culture). You’ll master the thinking verbs: interpret, critique, judge, compare, integrate, and analyze. Problem-solving skills, the ability to see patterns, and understanding meaning are essential skills that employers in any field look favorably upon.

Degree Information

A master’s degree in history can take anywhere from two to five years. Some programs emphasize research, while others simply require a certain amount of credit. Depending on the nature of the program, some kind of research project, dissertation, or extensive paper is typically required for graduation. A departmental exam may also be required. Many schools will require its graduate students to teach an undergraduate course or two before they graduate.

A Ph.D. is another option and is usually necessary if you plan to teach at the university level. Ph.D. programs typically require a written dissertation and oral defense though exact requirements will vary by school.

Joint degree programs, such as a J.D./M.A. (law degree and master’s degree), are yet another option, though they are not available at all schools.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • Does the program have career-placement statistics? Do they offer career counseling?
  • What kinds of research options are available?
  • What specialties do the faculty have?
  • Are there quality courses offered beyond European history to round out your program?
  • Does the program offer any study abroad opportunities?

Ask an Educational Advisor