Apr 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Historical Studies (HIST)

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DANIEL RITSCHEL,  Interim Graduate Program Director
DENISE MERINGOLO, Public History Track Director

Degree Offered

M.A. (Degree Types )



FROIDE, AMY, Ph.D., Duke University; Early modern Britain, early modern Europe, European women’s history 
RUBIN, ANNE SARAH, Ph.D., University of Virginia; Civil War, the U.S. South, 19th-century America 
SCOTT, MICHELLE R., Ph.D., Cornell University; 20th century America, African American history, civil rights, gender and women’s history, music culture 
VAPORIS, CONSTANTINE N., Ph.D., Princeton University; Japan, East Asia, women and gender in East Asia

Associate Professors

BOUTON, TERRY, Ph.D., Duke University; United States early republic, American Revolution 
CHAPIN, CHRISTY FORD, Ph.D., University of Virginia; U.S. political, economic, and business history 
MCDONOUGH, SUSAN A., Ph.D., Yale University; Medieval social history; medieval Jewish-Christian relations, gender and sexuality 
MERINGOLO, DENISE D, Ph.D., George Washington University; Public history and material culture, 20th-century women’s political history and feminist theory, critical race theory, U.S. social and cultural history, 1860 to the present 
MUSGROVE, GEORGE DEREK , Ph.D., NYU; U. S. history, post-1945 U. S. politics, black power, black electoral politics
OYEN, MEREDITH, Ph.D., Georgetown University; U.S. history and U.S. diplomatic history, history of East Asian-American 
RITSCHEL, DANIEL, D.Phil., Oxford University; Great Britain, economic and social policy, historiography

Assistant Professor

VANWYCK, BRIAN, Ph.D., Michigan State University; Modern Germany, Immigration, Turkish History
VOERKELIUS, MIRJAM, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Soviet Russia, History of Science, 
ZAIDI, NOOR, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Middle Eastern, Islamic World, Gender

Shady Grove Faculty

Senior Lecturer

NOLAN, ANDREW, Ph.D. University of Illinois; US 20th century, cultural and intellectual history; Constitutional
BLAIR, MELISSA, Ph. D. University of Delaware; Public History, Architectural History, Maryland

Program Description

The Master of Arts program in Historical Studies is designed to accommodate a variety of interests and career paths, including students who are considering going on for a Ph.D., those already engaged in K-12 teaching, and those who wish to enter the growing field of public history. The program is characterized by a core emphasis on academic training in historiographical methods and theory, current conceptual tools and techniques for organizing historical evidence, and primary research in a large number of subject/area specialties.

Department faculty focus their research and teaching in the following fields: United States history (all periods and several sub-areas including politics and public policy, social history, cultural history, economic/business history, and race relations/civil rights),  Women’s history, Pre-Modern European history (including the Middle Ages, and early modern England), Modern European history (with particular emphasis on Britain, Germany, and Russia), Middle Eastern, Immigration history, and Asian history, with particular emphasis on the history of China and Japan.

The program includes the option of a Public History track which offers an opportunity to explore the theory, scholarship, and practice of public history. Faculty specialize in community-based work in the fields of preservation, museum studies, and digital public history.

The Department schedules courses and events to suit full-time and part-time, evening students.

Program Admission Requirements

The admission requirements and procedures for the M.A. in Historical Studies program correspond to the requirements set forth by the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Applications, which should be submitted through the Graduate School, must include:

  • The graduate admissions application form,
  • A statement of academic goals and research interests which identifies the faculty members with whom you would most like to work,
  • A Resume’ or CV,
  • An undergraduate transcript,
  • A 5-10 page sample of their academic or professional writing that demonstrates their writing, research, and analytical skills, and
  • Three letters of recommendation that provide information about your potential as a scholar and your ability to engage in the academic work of history at the graduate level. (Candidates with questions or concerns regarding such letters are invited to consult with the Graduate Program Director well before the application deadline.).

The GRE is NOT required to apply to this program, though students are welcome to submit their results.

All applicants wishing to be considered for departmental funding (which may include a teaching or research assistantship, or any departmental funding not issued directly by the federal government) must check the relevant boxes under “Financial Assistance Information” in Section V of the application form.

The initial deadline for applications to the M.A. in Historical Studies program is February 15 of each year. Admissions will continue on a rolling basis until August.

Facilities and Special Resources

The Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery contains a collection of over 1 million print books and several hundred thousand ebooks. The history collection is particularly strong in U.S. history (including state and local history), British history and modern European history. UMBC library users have access to a rapid delivery system of materials from the massive collective resources of all the libraries in the University System of Maryland and Interlibrary Loan access to out-of-state library items. The Library has robust online collections, featuring over 300 databases, including America History and Life, JSTOR, Project Muse, and Academic Search Ultimate, and digital primary source collections of historic newspapers, photographs, correspondence, and manuscripts. UMBC users have access to a rapid delivery system of materials from the massive collective resources of all the libraries in the University System of Maryland and Interlibrary Loan access to library collections out of state. 

UMBC users can feel free to explore the library’s history resources via the History Research guide (https://lib.guides.umbc.edu/history)  and the Primary Source Collections guide (https://lib.guides.umbc.edu/primarysourcecoll). The AOK Library & Gallery has excellent archival holdings in their Special Collections on campus (https://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/index.php). In addition, the library and archival resources of the Baltimore-Washington area, which include the Library of Congress and the National Archives at College Park, are the largest in the world. 

For library research assistance, students are welcome to contact Erin Durham, the subject librarian for the History Department via email 
(edurham@umbc.edu) or by booking a research appointment: https://umbc.libcal.com/appointment/44235

Financial Assistance

The Department of History annually awards a limited number of assistantships to full-time students accepted into the M.A. in Historical Studies program. These confer tuition remission, a stipend of $16,972, and health insurance benefits. Both new applicants and continuing students in the Historical Studies program are eligible to apply.

To be considered for an assistantship, new applicants must check the relevant boxes under “Financial Assistance Information” in Section IV of the Graduate School application form, and submit it by the February 15 application deadline. Continuing students wishing to be considered for an assistantship must send (by the same deadline) a letter indicating their interest and qualifications to the Historical Studies Graduate Program Director.

The Graduate School has specific guidelines concerning assistantships. Among them are the requirement that only full-time students can serve as graduate assistants. To be considered full-time, a student must be registered for a minimum of nine credits in each Fall and Spring semester for the year under consideration. The credits that a student earns as a graduate assistant contribute to this nine credit requirement. So, a student who serves as a part-time GA (10 hours per week) is expected to register for six credits that lead toward his/her degree and GRAD 600 (three credits). Full-time GAs, who work up to 20 hours per week, should register for a minimum of four credits that lead toward his/her degree and GRAD 601 (five credits).

Once a student is awarded an assistantship by the Department, the Graduate Program Director will assign them to a supervisor. Students and their supervisor are encouraged to organize their work schedule in whatever manner is mutually agreeable, so long as it meets the guidelines laid out in the Graduate Assistant Handbook.


    Master of Arts



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