Noel Sucese and Katy Evans presenting at the 21st Annual Student History Conference

Ball State’s master of arts program in history will prepare you to enter a doctoral program or enter the workforce as a teacher, among other career options. This program is also useful if you are looking to professionalize your secondary school teaching license.

To best meet your academic and career goals, our program is divided into three options:

  • Option 1: Prepare for a PhD by adding a thesis to your coursework
  • Option 2: Prepare for a PhD and develop immediately employable skills by creating a digital project.
  • Option 3: For certified teachers, this option focuses on two specialized pedagogical courses and prepares you to offer advanced-placement and dual-credit courses at your high school.

What You Will Learn

Our curriculum will give you a strong background in:

  • American society
  • politics and culture
  • women’s history
  • other historical topics

What It’s Like to Pursue a Master of Arts in History at Ball State

Throughout your time here, you will have the opportunity to work alongside notable professors, conducting research with them and on your own.

They come from a variety of backgrounds with research interests spanning a wide breadth of areas.

Some students will have the opportunity to be a graduate assistant and work even more closely with some of our faculty.

Read Their Bios

Grounded in sound historical research methods, the field of public history also employs several additional historical methodologies including oral history and digital history. By the time you graduate, you will have experience in these methodologies as well as opportunities to write for and communicate with a public audience.  

As a student, you can do research with us the day you set foot at Ball State.

Bracken Library has more than 2.3 million volumes of books, musical scores, archival records, and other information for you to search.

Plus, you will have access to the state-of-the-art technology and amazing primary resources held in the University's Archives and Special Collections and Digital Media Repository, GIS Research and Map Collection, and the Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment. 

Learn More about Our Libraries

Bracken Library

Public History students can take advantage of wonderful public history resources on campus such as the Archives and Special Collections and the David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA), within the city of Muncie such as Minnetrista and the Delaware County Historical Society, and regionally such as Conner Prairie, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Fort Wayne History Center, Indiana Historical Society, Indiana State Museum sites, Wabash County Historical Society, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Indiana Landmarks, and many (many) more.

Program Requirements

You will complete 33 credits of courses in historical research, historiography, and courses in American, European, and/or world history.

If you intend to continue your education after getting your master's, you must complete a thesis. You will have the opportunity to defend your thesis, which is great practice for a doctoral program. However, students working toward a terminal degree in history can write a thesis or complete six credits of coursework in lieu of a thesis.


Total: 33

  • 27 credits of core courses and directed electives
  • 6 credits in one of five concentrations:
    • thesis concentration
    • general concentration
    • digital concentration
    • history teaching concentration
    • ethnohistory concentration


A few of the classes you will take include:

  • HIST 612 Seminar in Historiography and Research Methods
  • directed electives
  • 6 credits in your chosen concentration

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Graduate Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Master of Arts in History?

The master of arts (MA) in history may serve a terminal degree or as a prelude to an additional graduate degree. In addition, the degree may be used to professionalize the standard secondary school teaching license. Students with an MA in history may go on to pursue careers in:

  • community colleges or universities
  • museums
  • private corporations
  • public agencies
  • private individual or small firms
  • private nonprofit organizations

Paying for Your Education

Department Graduate Assistantships

A graduate assistantship is an excellent opportunity to gain meaningful professional experience while helping cover the costs of your degree. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing this degree? Then you will need to meet our admissions criteria and apply.

More Information

If you would like to learn more about this program or about Ball State Graduate School in general, please complete our online form to request more information. Or, if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.

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