Welcome to the graduate history program at California State University, Fullerton! Our curriculum is intellectually stimulating, rigorous, and mindful of connecting the past to the present. We are recognized as one of the strongest M.A. programs in the region, and we are well-poised geographically to allow our students access to the numerous archives and university libraries in southern California. Our particular strengths are in enhancing and further preparing secondary educators in their fields as well as training students at our outstanding Center for Oral and Public History. We have also enjoyed great success sending students to history PhD programs. During the course of their studies, students can expect to master historical pedagogy, critical analysis of sources, research methods, and historical writing. This training readies our graduates for careers in teaching, government, business, law, journalism, social service, and research. We offer concentrations in Public/Oral/Digital History and Chicana/Chicano Studies.
We encourage our students to meet with our graduate advisor, Dr. Robert McLain, to get and stay "on track" toward graduation. To make an appointment with Dr. McLain, please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Rachael Amaro of at (657) 278-3475, via e-mail, or in person (Humanities Building 815 F).
University applications must be submitted online through Cal State Apply. Fall admission: application period begins October 1st and ends March 31 st. Spring admission: application period begins August 1st and ends October 31st.
In addition to the online application, the Department of History requires the following materials:
(1) an official copy of your transcripts to be send directly to:*
CSUF Admissions and Records
Fullerton, CA 92834-6900
*If you completed your undergraduate degree at CSUF, you do not have to send your transcripts to Admissions and Records.
(2) two letters of recommendation, on official letterhead, from professors who are familiar with your academic work;
(3) a statement of purpose; and
(4) your contact information, such as phone number, mailing address, and email-address
Items (2), (3) and (4) must be mailed directly to:
CSUF Department of History
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92834
For all froms regarding the gruaduate program through Graduate Studies, please view their page.
Here, you will find linked documents in PDF format that outline in more detail additional requirements and other information relevant for prospective and current graduate students.
Frequently Asked Application and Admission Questions
Is the M.A. in History right for me? The Master's program in History is best suited for individuals who:
(1) have or are working toward a social studies credential;
(2) are planning on pursuing a PhD after the Master's degree;
(3) would like to work in Oral/Public History, i.e. an archival or museum setting;
(4) are interested in their own personal accomplishment (often times this would be someone who is a non-traditional or "returning" student);
(5) would like to teach at the community-college level.
What are the cut-off dates to apply to the program? The cut-off dates provided by Admissions and Records are: March 1st for admission to the next fall semester, and October 1st for admission to the next spring semester.
Do I need to send transcripts to the History Department? No. Please send your transcripts to CSUF Admissions and Records. After your application and transcripts have been reviewed, a copy of your transcripts will be forwarded to the History Department. The graduate advisor will then make the final decision on your acceptance into the program.
Can I be admitted into the program even though I did not get my B.A. degree in History? Yes. You can be admitted on a provisional basis, which means you would have to take a certain number of units (deficiency courses) determined by the graduate advisor before you can start taking the actual graduate (500-level) courses.
Is the GRE required? No.
What are the GPA requirements? You should have at least a 3.0 GPA in your last 60 units of coursework and a 3.0 in your upper- division History courses or in the upper-division courses in your major.
Do I need letters of recommendation? Yes. You should submit two letters of recommendation on official letterhead. We strongly prefer letters of recommendation written by college or university faculty who are familiar with your academic work. If you have been out of school for several years we will consider letters of recommendation written by employers or others who are familiar with your work performance and/or academic potential. If you have received your bachelor's degree at California State University, Fullerton, you may submit two short memoranda of recommendation from appropriate faculty addressed to the History Department's graduate advisor.
Do I need a writing sample? Yes. In addition to the statement of purpose you submit with the CSUF graduate application, you should also submit a "Statement of Purpose" to the History Department which will serve as your writing sample in which you should discuss the following carefully and thoughtfully in 600-1,000 words, or about 2-4 pages:
(1) What are your goals in pursuing an M.A. degree at CSUF? Do you want to enhance existing social studies teaching credentials or work toward teaching at the community college level? Are you more interested in Public and Oral history where you would work in a museum or archival setting, or is this more of a personal goal that you hope to accomplish?
(2) What are your areas of interest geographically (U.S., European, Asian, World), chronologically (ancient, medieval, modern), and/or topically (women's history, military history, etc.)? How did you become interested in the field? You may want to mention books that have been especially influential in shaping your interests.
(3) Alert us of any anomalies in your record. For example, if your GPA is below a 3.0 you should explain why the graduate advisor should still consider your application. Alternately, let us know if you have any academic awards or honors. Also, if you have a relatively short essay that you wrote during your prior coursework you may also submit it, but this is by no means required.
What is the total number of units for the Master's degree in History?The Master’s Degree consists of thirty units or the equivalent of ten courses.* This includes four 400-level courses (12 units) and six 500-level courses (18 units) * Please see the question below regarding additional requirements which may increase the units needed to complete the program.
Are there any other requirements? Yes. There is a "cultural skills" requirement which calls for one of the following:
(1) an exam in a foreign language;
(2) Sociology 303 (Statistics for Humanities) for those who are working on a demographic project;
(3) coursework in Public History; or
(4) two courses in a cross-disciplinary field.
How long do I have to complete the program? University policy allows students 5 years (10 semesters) to complete degree requirements. However, the program is designed to be completed within 2 ½ years (5 semesters). Due to extenuating circumstances, an extension to the 5 year limit is possible.
Can I attend part-time or must I attend full-time? You may attend full-time or part-time. Full-time is nine units which consist of one 500-level and two 400-level courses. It is strongly recommended that you take no more than six units if you are working while attending school.
Do you offer courses in the evening? Yes. Our program is geared toward students who work full-time during the day so most of our 500- level courses are offered in the evening and many of our 400-level courses begin at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m.
Under immediate supervision, the Graduate Assistant (GA) provides a regular faculty member or the teaching staff with various professional and technical duties. Assigned tasks are generally associated with the subjects or programs in which the assistant is doing graduate work. Assistantships are great opportunities for students to connect with faculty and their peers while gaining transferable skills for their future endeavors. This work should not take precedence over the successful completion of the graduate degree program by the student in a timely manner. Listed below are some of the most common frequently asked questions.
Who am I able to be a GA for? Any tenured or tenure track (full time) faculty member who is teaching a large lecture course (99 or more students enrolled). The only exception to this is the chair of the department, who has the option of requesting a graduate assistant.
What are the academic qualifications required to be considered for a GA position? Graduate students who have reached classified status, meaning they have successfully completed a minimum of 12 units of graduate level coursework, are eligible to apply.
What is the difference between a GA position and a graduate history internship with a professor? Graduate Assistantships are paid positions in which the student does not earn any units.Internships require enrollment in HIST 596 and are unpaid. Teaching assistantships with faculty fall into this category.
What is the salary for holding a GA position? Salary varies by academic year based on the fiscal budget.
Is there a time limit for holding a GA position? There is a four (4) semester limit on graduate assistantships. This applies whether a GA position was held in consecutive semesters or not. We do not offer positions during Intersession or Summer.
What are some of the general duties for GAs? Job duties vary depending on the needs of the faculty who are able to utilize a graduate assistant. Some examples include, but are not limited to: attending course lectures, presenting lectures, holding office hours, proctoring exams, providing research assistance, and performing individual and/or group tutoring.
What are the work hours for GA and how flexible are they? Graduate assistant work hours vary. Expectations should be discussed with the faculty whom the student is interested in assisting prior to applying.
Are GA employment terms based on semester or academic year length? Graduate assistants are hired every semester (fall and spring only).
Do I need to be enrolled in courses in order to be a GA? Currently, positions are open to Department of History Masters of Arts students in good academic standing. There are no unit criteria.
How are GAs identified on a university level? Graduate assistants are identified as Unit 11 employees. Please see the Faculty Affairs and Records website for details.
Do GAs receive Faculty/staff parking permits? Currently, CSUF does not issue faculty/staff parking permits to graduate assistants.
Are there any work-related benefits given by the university to GAs? “Those employees excluded from health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits include Graduate Assistants and Instructional Student Assistants.” - UAW/CSU Collective Bargaining Agreement, Page 3, Article 23.
Where can I get an application? Graduate students who are eligible to apply may pick up an application from the Graduate Secretary in the Department of History main office, H-815F.