The online graduate programs in History at Eastern Illinois University offer students a fully online format, flexibility, affordable tuition, close personal attention from faculty, and numerous opportunities for developing and practicing the skills of independent research, writing, and critical analysis.
Students gain essential preparation for doctoral work in history, teaching careers at the community college and secondary levels, archival and museum work, law school, government service, and many other professions. Recent graduates have gone on to leading Ph.D. programs or into successful careers in an array of fields requiring research skills, clear writing, creativity and critical thought.
The curriculum combines traditional subjects with innovative, thematic courses in social, cultural and women's history. Students study closely with a faculty whose scholarship is internationally recognized. The department annually awards graduate assistantships and fellowships to highly promising students.
Students in the Department of Master of Arts in History are able to engage in research early in their college career which results in meaningful research and outcomes, participation in professional conferences and publications, thus preparing them to move into their selective fields upon degree completion.
We are committed to working with students to defray expenses of our program. In particular, we offer promising students a number of graduate assistantships—providing tuition remission and a living stipend. Through the History Department and Graduate School, we also offer programs and financial awards to subsidize student research and travel to conferences. As the cost of graduate education everywhere soars, our history master’s degree program remains an exceptional value providing an equally exceptional educational experience.
One of the hallmarks of our graduate history program at EIU is the myriad of opportunities we offer to publish and showcase graduate research and writing. All students are encouraged to present a scholarly paper at an academic conference at least once as a sort of capstone of their graduate careers.
Alumni of our program teach and work in a variety of fields around the country—and around the world. Dr. Eva Pfanzelter (class of 1994), for instance, is now professor of History at the University of Innsbruck. A remarkable number of our students are now in History doctoral programs, including Western Michigan University, Cornell University, Iowa State, Purdue, Arizona State, and the University of Illinois-Chicago.
The Department of History offers the Masters of Arts degree with concentrations in American, Premodern World, and Modern World history. . Students may choose the thesis or non-thesis track to complete their M.A. degree. Click here for more information on this program.
In our program you will find all the scholarly rigor of a traditional MA in History, but with a schedule of coursework and plan of study that meet your professional needs. In developing the program, we consulted more than one hundred Illinois teachers to learn what kind of program would best serve you. Click here for more information on this program.
“When teaching history, one of my most gratifying occurrences is when our students have that “ah-ha” moment—a moment when they have discovered their critical voice in understanding historical moments. In my classes, I stress that students embrace their personal perspectives that speaks to their world-view. I challenge the consumer model of education my students have often inherited in high school and offer a participatory alternative. While this approach demands more of students, they quickly grasp the benefits in the acquisition of new skills, stronger relationships, and greater decision-making power. Getting students to participate by their general comments or asking relevant questions has been an important by-product of this model."
“I see the History classroom as the ideal forum for discussing questions often deemed difficult in thorough and respectful ways. I emphasize conceptual and process-driven approaches to the analysis of human pasts so students sharpen their ability to make connections between regions, across chronologies, and among communities often framed as distinct from one another. My approach to graduate education emphasizes practical skill building for a wide array of careers and critical thinking to develop solidarities with the potential to advance personal and collective liberation."
"A graduate classroom is a space where students explore the complexity of the past together. This is done through a close reading of texts and vigorous discussion. The graduate classroom belongs to students where they work together to breakdown complex ideas, debate the merits of a historical argument, and learn from one another’s perspectives. Through reading and discussion, we will come to better understand the past as well as the practice of history. That is the promise of a humanist education—to demonstrate that you are capable of learning new subjects of great complexity."
"Eastern's professors are excellent role models for those of us just entering the world of teaching in the college setting. Class topics are very interesting and presented in a relaxed setting, allowing for personal discussion and hands-on help in research." "Michael Sparks (2007), Assistant Professor of History, Ivy Tech, Indianapolis, IN.
"The time I spent in the graduate history program at EIU was valuable. The professors are dedicated and the class discussions engaging. I was challenged to think about history in a new way. The research skills that I learned greatly helped me with future studies and my current job. I highly recommend the program."Amanda Standerfer (1997), Director, Decatur Public Library
"History came alive for me, and I found myself thinking and discussing issues brought forth in classes long after class had ended, and even long after I graduated. I was supported but held to rigorous standards. I was guided but encouraged to think on my own two feet."Mary Barford (2006), PhD Candidate, Purdue University
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