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How to apply

Applicants who wish to enter the history master’s program must seek admission through the School of Graduate Studies. The online application can be found at here

The Department of History strongly recommends that students have either an undergraduate major or minor in history, or a closely related field. Students are anticipated to enter during the fall semester, but will be considered for admissions for spring semester on a case by case basis. The deadline for Fall semester applications is January 1. Applications that do not meet the deadline will not be considered for university or departmental financial assistance. Please contact Dr. James Sanders at james.sanders@usu.edu with any questions.

Admission Requirements

When you apply on the School of Graduate Studies website, you will be asked to submit:

1)  An undergraduate transcript. The School of Graduate Studies expects that you will have a minimum 3.0 GPA over the last 60 hours of your undergraduate work. A 3.5 GPA in history courses is highly recommended.
2)  Due to Covid-19, the GRE is optional for those applying for admission for Fall 2021. For those choosing to submit their GRE scores, applicants must have a minimum GRE score at or above the 40th percentile on the verbal section and should have a score at or above the 40th percentile on the quantitative portion of the exam. The department expects applicants to have a minimum written score of 4.5. Minimal scores and GPA's are usually not competitive for admission to our program and for consideration for assistantships or fellowships.
3)  Three letters of recommendation
4)  A Statement of Purpose that describes why you want to earn a graduate degree and the experiences and qualifications that make you a strong candidate for advanced study (500-word limit).
5)  You will also have the option of submitting a writing sample. The writing sample should be a paper or essay that displays your historical analytical and research skills, especially use of primary sources and interpretation of secondary sources.  It is usually a paper written for an undergraduate class, between 10 and 30 pages (but no more than 40 pages, please).

Application Review
An admissions committee of history faculty members ranks the applications based upon a careful assessment of each application’s strengths and weaknesses. The committee gives preference to applicants whose scholarly interests match our faculty strengths. Applicants should therefore contact departmental professors with whom they wish to work prior to the review period. Based upon the committee’s ranking, students will receive offers of acceptance and university or departmental funding beginning in early March.

Foreign Language
Advanced work in history entails the analysis of original documents. Depending upon your field of concentration, this may require the knowledge of one or more languages in addition to what you have already studied. Your supervisory committee may stipulate that you initiate the study of a language as a part of your graduate program, even though the hours of language study will not count toward the 30 credits required for the master's degree.

Collectively, members of the history faculty at Utah State use more than two dozen languages in their research.  You should be aware that even for students in fields where the research materials are largely in English doctoral programs in the U.S. require a knowledge of one or more languages.