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History (M.A.)

View PDF of History Admissions Checklist
Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

View PDF version of the History catalog description

Degree Offered:



Dr. John Van Sant


(205) 975-6520


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web site:


Carolyn A. Conley, Professor (History); British and Irish Political and Social History; History of Crime and Violence; Historiography

Robert G. Corley; Assistant Professor; Modern South, History of Birmingham

Colin J. Davis, Professor (History) and Chair of the Department; U.S. Labor, Women's Labor History, Social History.

Andrew T. Demshuk, Assistant Professor (History); Germany and Central Europe; Ethnic Cleansing and Forced Migration

Harriet E. Amos Doss, Associate Professor (History); U.S. Middle Period, Antebellum South, U.S. Social History

Glenn A. Feldman, Professor (History); Modern U.S., U.S. South: Politics, Economics, Race Relations, Religion, Labor and Class, Business Ethics, Historiography, Political Economy

Robert F. Jefferson, Associate Professor (History); African American History, 20th Century U.S.

Andrew W. Keitt, Associate Professor (History); Early Modern Europe, European Cultural and Intellectual, Iberian World

George O. Liber, Professor (History); Soviet, Post-Soviet, Russian, Eastern European, and Ukraine

Andre J. Millard, Professor (History); History of Technology, Economic and U.S. Cultural History

Stephen J. Miller, Associate Professor (History); France; Economic History

Raymond A. Mohl, Distinguished Professor (History); U.S. Urban, Social, and Ethnic History; Historiography

Pamela S. Murray, Professor (History); Latin America, National Period, Colombia; Women's History

Brian D. Steele, Associate Professor (History); Jefferson-Jackson, U.S. Social, Intellectual History

John E. Van Sant, Associate Professor (History); Japan, East Asia, World History

Walter D. Ward, Assistant Professor (History); Ancient World, Mediterranean, Islamic history

Emeritus Faculty

Virginia V. Hamilton, Professor and University Scholar Emerita (History); Twentieth-Century U.S., The South Since Reconstruction

Daniel R. Lesnick, Associate Professor Emeritus (History); Medieval and Renaissance History

Michael N. McConnell, Associate Professor Emeritus (History); Colonial America, Native Americans

Tennant S. McWilliams, Professor (History) and Dean Emeritus; Recent South, Modern United States, U.S. Foreign Affairs

James F. Tent, Professor and University Scholar Emeritus (History); Modern European History; Germany, Military History, Cold War

Samuel L. Webb, Associate Professor Emeritus (History); New South, Alabama, Legal and Constitutional history

Program Information

The history graduate program provides opportunities for students to learn the techniques of research and broaden their knowledge of historical literature. Students may choose Plan I, which includes writing a thesis based on original research using primary sources, or Plan II, which requires the completion of MA exams in three historical topics. All students are required to enroll in HY 601 (Historiography) and HY 602 (Historical Research and Writing) and must take at least 30 hours of their course work in graduate seminars. Each student must take a minimum of 9 hours of course work in U.S. history and 9 hours in non-U.S. history (e.g., European, Asian, Latin America, World).

Plan I (Thesis Plan)

HY 601


3 hours

HY 602

Research and Writing

3 hours

U.S. History

3 seminars

9 hours

Non-U.S. History

3 seminars

9 hours


2 courses

6 hours

Thesis Research

2 courses or equivalent

6 hours



36 hours

No foreign language study credits can be counted toward the degree requirements. Where foreign language requirements are appropriate, it is recommended that students satisfy these requirements before commencing thesis research.

Plan II: (Nonthesis Plan)

HY 601


3 hours

HY 602

Research and Writing

3 hours

U.S. History

3 seminars

9 hours

Non-U.S. History

3 seminars

9 hours


4 courses

12 hours



36 hours

Students interested in Teaching Certification for Public Schools should contact the School of Education.

Additional Information

Deadline for Entry Term(s):

Each semester

Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:

Six weeks before term begins

Number of Evaluation Forms Required:


Entrance Tests

GRE (TOEFL and TWE also required for international applicants whose native language is not English.)


Additional application for financial aid (fellowship or assistantship) is required by program

Graduate Catalog Description

For detailed information, contact Dr. John Van Sant, History Graduate Program Director, Department of History, HHB 360, 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1152.

Telephone 205-975-6520 or 205-934-5634

E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Course Descriptions

History (HY)

Courses are for 3 hours of credit unless otherwise indicated. All seminars except 601 and 602 may be taken more than once. Students may take no more than two Directed Readings courses (681) or internships (682).

601. Historiography. Seminar on various theoretical perspectives and methodologies of professional historians. What historians do, how they do it, and why.

602. Historical Research and Writing. Methods of historical research, including research in primary sources, and the distinctive characteristics of historical writing.

612. Seminar in Early America. Topics and issues in the history and historiography of Colonial North America, circa 1500-1775.

613. Seminar in the Civil War Period. Specialized themes and military, political, social and economic developments related to Civil War; particular emphasis on the South, 1860-1865.

614. Seminar in Recent American History. Topics in the politics of modern America.

621. Seminar in Southern History to 1877. Subjects ranging from the Antebellum through Reconstruction periods.

622. Seminar in Southern History Since 1877. Subjects pertaining to the New South era.

623. Seminar in Alabama History. Specific social, political, and economic aspects of Alabama history.

631. Seminar: Topics in American History. Historical topics of American history (e.g., conservatism, crime and punishment).

632. Seminar in U.S. Urban History. Topics in urban history.

633. Seminar in American Constitutional and Legal History. Study of major trends and cases in the history of American law, with special emphasis on the interpretation of the American constitution by the Supreme Court.

634. Seminar in American Foreign Relations. Selected topics related to American experience with foreign relations.

635. Seminar in American Social History. A reading and research seminar examining the history of the structure and power of social groups in America.

637. Seminar in U.S. Labor History. Development of labor force and movements in U.S. nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

638. Seminar in Civil Rights History. An analysis of history and historiography of Civil Rights Movement in America since the 19th century.

639. Seminar in Women's History. An analysis of the changing economic, political, and social roles of women.

641. Seminar in Latin American History. Issues in history of Latin America since the late 18th century: economic development, dependency and popular resistance, role of the Catholic Church, social revolution, and nationalism.

650. Seminar. Topics in European History.

651. Seminar in Pre-Modern History. Survey of the pre-modern world focusing on society, religion, and culture before 1500.

652. Seminar in the Renaissance. Special attention given to the new urban context of society, culture, politics, art, and religion.

653. Seminar in Modern Europe. Reformation to the present; major topics such as society and politics, warfare, religious trends, state building, and industrialization.

654. Seminar in British History. Focuses on a particular period or problem in British history. Reading and discussion of current publications on the topic.

655. Seminar in Russian/Soviet History. Analysis of primary sources and secondary works dealing with political and social history of Imperial Russia or Soviet Union and their successor states.

656. Seminar in French History. Seminar dealing with various periods and issues in the history of France.

671. Seminar in Asian History. Topics in Asian History.

672. Seminar: Topics in World History. Seminar in historical topics of world history.

673. Seminar in World Environmental History. Comparative examination of cultures and their relationship with the natural environment in a modern world context.

674. Seminar in Comparative History. Explores through reading and research varied issues in comparative history; revolution, war, slavery, labor, urbanization, industrialization, nationalism, democratization, and social and cultural topics.

675. Seminar in World Economic History

681. Directed Readings in History. Individually designed course of readings in various fields. May be repeated. Only two directed reading courses will count toward degree requirements for history majors. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 1, 2, 3, and 6 hours.

682. Internship in Public History. Individually designed program that places students in local historical museums and sites to gain professional experience in public history. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 1 to 3 hours.

683. Seminar in Public History. Explores the diverse approaches and methods of presenting history to public audiences, museums, historic sites, architectural preservation, documentary editing, and archival preservation.

693. Special Topics in History. Seminar exploring the historiography of a specialized topic in history.

694. Special Topics in History. Seminar exploring the historiography of a specialized topic in history.

698. Nonthesis Research. Individual research project. 3-6 hours.

699. Thesis Research. Research culminating in master's thesis in history. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy. 3-6 hours.