Department of History

Varner Hall, Room 416
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-3510
fax: (248) 370-3528

Selected History M.A. Alumni

Moureen Coulter
M.A., History, Oakland University
Ph.D., History, Indiana University
Currently Book Review Editor for the American Historical Review

Garry J. Gilbert
B.A., M.A., History, Oakland University
Former president of Michigan Associated Press Editors Association; currently director of Journalism program at OU

Craig Korpela
M.A., History, Oakland University
Ph.D., Western Michigan University
Currently Assistant Professor of History at Olivet College

Jennifer Laam
M.A., History, Oakland University
Currently Development Research Analyst, University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif.

Stephen Livesay
M.A., History, Oakland University
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Currently president of Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn.

Elizabeth Millwood
M.A., History, Oakland University
Currently Outreach Coordinator with the Southern Oral History Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Master of Arts in History

The Master of Arts degree in history may serve as a terminal degree or as a bridge to more advanced study. It is designed to accommodate both full- and part-time students. In addition to a complete daytime schedule, late afternoon and evening courses also are available.

Of the numerous excellent M.A. theses completed in recent years, the following are particularly good examples of the quality of research produced by our M.A. students:

  • Ann-Marie Wambeke, "Faculty Confrontation and Consensus: The University of Michigan Teach-In and Its Aftermath."  Winner of OU's 2011 Outstanding Thesis Award. 
  • Jennifer Laam, "Flirting With Power: Women and Political Identity in the Early Republic."  Winner of OU's 2009 Outstanding Thesis Award.
  • Merry Ellen Scofield, "The Fatigues of His Table: The Politics of Presidential Dining During the Jefferson Administration," published in the Journal of the Early Republic 26:3 (Fall 2006): 449-469.


Admission to the Master of Arts program in history is selective. The department will consider applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in history from an accredited institution, although the department reserves the right to waive the requirement of a history degree for students with outstanding undergraduate records. In addition, the applicant's credentials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, must give evidence of academic distinction. Of the letters of recommendation, at least one should be from a current or former professor of the applicant.

The application materials also must include a detailed statement of purpose or justification for entering the graduate program and an academic writing sample (preferably a history research paper). A GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate history courses and a GPA of 3.2 in all undergraduate work will ordinarily be considered the minimum standards for admission.

Students of superior promise but with deficient preparation may be admitted on condition of completing additional undergraduate history courses or earning grades of 3.5 or above in each of the first two graduate history courses. The department reserves the right to waive any of its requirements in exceptional circumstances with the concurrence of the vice provost for Research and Graduate Study.

Students may be admitted at four different times: fall semester, winter semester, summer sessions I or II.

A guide to the Department of History's MA Program can be accessed here:

History MA Guidelines