College Of Humanities and Fine Arts

MA in History

The mission of the History Department’s Graduate Program is to serve the needs of students who intend to pursue doctoral studies at other institutions, teachers who wish to deepen their content knowledge, and those who simply seek a more advanced and specialized study of the past.

Going substantially beyond upper-division undergraduate coursework, the graduate program will provide students with in-depth knowledge about the origins and development of peoples in the past and perfect their ability to conduct advanced research and writing. 

Graduates of the MA program will be equipped to make significant and independent contributions to the field of history and will be prepared for successful professional careers as:

  • secondary teachers
  • college or university professors
  • journalists
  • lawyers
  • historians in government and private agencies

Comprehensive examinations and a thesis are the culminating activities of the MA in History. Learn more in the History Department's Graduate Student Manual (PDF).

Questions About Applying?

Contact the Graduate Coordinator
Learn about the classes, career paths, and research opportunities from the MA in History graduate coordinator.

Stephen Lewis

Requirements for Admission

  1. BA in History from an accredited college or university or a BA degree in another discipline with advance approval of the History Department’s Graduate Coordinator.

  2. An undergraduate grade point average that clearly indicates the ability to thrive in our program. 

Application Instructions


  • For fall admission, April 1
  • For spring admission, November 1

Application Steps and Materials

Students meeting the above requirements are invited to submit a graduate school application through Cal State Apply. All of the application materials below will be submitted through this online application.

  • Transcript(s)
  • Writing sample (essay, term paper or research paper)
  • Two letters of recommendation, ideally from professors who know you well
  • Statement of Purpose (roughly 500 words), which should address the following:

What's in a Statement of Purpose

  1. Your purpose in graduate study and why you believe Chico State is a good fit for your goals.
  2. Your preparation for study of history at the graduate level.
  3. Three subfields of history that interest you, chosen from the list below:

Subfields of History, Choose Three

US History to 1877

  • Prof. Michael Magliari
  • Prof. Robert Tinkler
  • Prof. Alisa Wade (currently not available for new thesis supervision)

US History since 1877

  • Prof. Gloria Lopez
  • Prof. Michael Magliari
  • Prof. Shawn Schwaller

Middle East/Islamic History
Prof. Najm al-Din Yousefi

Latin America
Prof. Steve Lewis

Prof. Jason Nice

Late Antiquity
Prof. Dallas DeForest 

East Asia
Prof. Sinwoo Lee (currently not available for new thesis supervision)

Exams and Thesis Approval

All incoming graduate students are automatically placed on the comprehensive exam track, which requires preparing for and passing exams in three historical subfields. Students may apply to the department’s Graduate Committee for approval to write a thesis after they have completed nine units in the program. The Graduate Committee will approve thesis applications based on project feasibility, the student’s relevant language training, and faculty workload and availability.


View History Graduate (MA) in the Course Catalog

Faculty Research Interests


Michael Magliari is conducting research on Indian slavery and unfree labor in California and the American Southwest during the Gold Rush and Civil War eras.


Robert Tinkler specializes in the history of the early American Republic, the Civil War and Reconstruction era, and the American South.


Alisa Wade is a historian of early America, with a focus on the intersections of the history of gender and capitalism in the eighteenth century. 


Gloria Lopez’s research addresses the role heritage and ethnic diversity played in the public memory of Los Angeles at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, the birthplace of the city.


Shawn Schwaller research interests include California history, race and ethnicity in the United States, social movements, public history, and American popular culture.


Najm al-Din Yousefi’s research addresses the intersection of knowledge and society in early Islamic history.


Stephen Lewis’s research explores Mexico’s “unscripted” revolutions since 1958, Long Sixties in Mexico, and the country’s democratic transition and consolidation.


Jason Nice produces History as Art, and has shown at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, the Chico State Humanities Center, and the 1078 Gallery in Chico.


Dallas DeForest completed his Ph.D. in History at The Ohio State University in 2013. He is focused on the material culture of the Roman world, historiography of Greek archaeology and modern Greek history.


Sinwoo Lee is a historian of Modern Korea and East Asia. Her current research explores Seoul’s urban transformation from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century within the East Asian and global contexts.