The graduate program in History at Eastern Illinois University offers students flexibility, small class sizes, 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 European, American, 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.
“History depends in part on the historians writing it. Teaching graduate students historiography has made me reflect that one of the joys of my life has been to seek out and talk with many historians, my own version of superheroes. I hope my own students will seek out and engage with historians here at Eastern Illinois and elsewhere, and, in so doing so, begin their own history of speaking with historians. (Of course another joy of being a historian is seeking out old stuff. Here is me with James the Duke of Monmouth – painted before he had his head chopped off for rebelling; I took the selfie at the National Portrait Gallery in London while on a research trip.)"
“I love teaching at EIU because I get to lead students on remarkable journeys in the ancient world in courses about Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Persia. I am also now the Graduate Coordinator and have enjoyed working with our talented graduate students, helping them grow into academic professionals. And of course I love talking about my research, in particular Roman engagement with Armenia and the Persian world, on which I am writing a book, as I did at a conference in Rome where this picture was taken: that’s me in front of the Pantheon."
"The history students at EIU share my historical imagination and passion for learning about the past. It is a pleasure to help them develop the skills they need to practice history—skills and an informed understanding of the world that carry them beyond their studies and into their lives as professionals and as citizens."
"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