Graduate Degrees


The Graduate School minimum requirements for regular admission to the University is a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and 30th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants to History graduate programs are recommended to have a GPA of around 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and a score on the GRE of around the 60th percentile (A higher GRE score can offset a lower GPA). Students with a prior graduate degree may request a waiver. Decisions on a waiver will be made on a case-per-case basis by the Graduate Committee.

Applications may be obtained from the Graduate School. A completed application consists of:

  • Completed graduate study application form
  • Official copies of all college transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose
  • Official copy of GRE scores

Apply Here for your MA in History or Maritime Studies!

History Programs

The History Department offers two MA degree programs: a traditional 30 s.h. master's degree in History with concentrations in American, European, Military, Atlantic World, and Public History, and a 36 s.h. interdisciplinary master's degree in Maritime Studies.

MA History Graduate Catalog

*Application deadline: January 15** if applying for graduate assistantship. Consideration for admission will begin on April 1 and continue until the class is full. Interviews are encouraged for all applicants.

MA in Maritime Studies

MA Maritime Studies Graduate Catalog

*Application deadline: January 15** if applying for graduate assistantship. Consideration for admission will begin on April 1 and continue until the class is full. (Students admitted for fall semester only.) Interviews are encouraged for all applicants. Students expecting to dive must have open water SCUBA certification from a nationally recognized agency.

**For students taking the GRE in December, we will make every attempt to consider your most recent GRE scores, even if they arrive slightly after the stated deadline.

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The major written requirement for the MA Studies and MA Studies Maritime is a master's thesis. A thesis is an examination of a well-defined historical subject that relies chiefly on primary sources, published or unpublished, to form an argument. It should possess some degree of original thought on the topic, or in its approach to that topic.

The thesis should not be a compilation of detail or a simple narrative. Instead, it should pose an argument. It should be expository rather than descriptive. The typical M.A. thesis is about one hundred (100) pages in length.

Theses for students in the Program in Maritime Studies may differ from traditional MA theses because of their emphasis on archaeological methodology. Such theses, however, must incorporate relevant historical materials-including primary sources-in their evidential bases.

Departmental Agreement to Supervise Thesis Form

Graduate School Master's Pre-Thesis Approval Form

Required Forms Flowcharts for Advising and Writing a Thesis:

Student Required Documents Flowchart

Faculty Required Documents Flowchart

Foreign Language/Research Skills Requirement

Students in the M.A. Studies in History and M.A. Maritime Studies programs must fulfill the Department's research skills requirement by a) successful demonstration of reading knowledge in a foreign language (FORL 6000 satisfies this requirement); or b) successful completion of HIST 5950, 5951 (Introduction to Quantitative History/Directed Readings and Research in Quantitative History); or c) CSCI 5774 (Programming for Research). If HIST 5950, 5951 are used to satisfy the research skills requirement, they may not be counted toward the 30 s.h. (M.A.) or 36 s.h. (M.A. Maritime) requirement for the degree. Students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. program are strongly advised to fulfill the foreign language requirement.

Financial Assistance

Graduate assistantships are normally available for full-time students. A limited number of out of state tuition remissions are available for highly qualified out-of-state residents, thereby reducing tuition to the in-state level. In addition, the History Department annually awards a number of graduate scholarships on a competitive basis.


The History faculty is committed to helping students pursue meaningful career opportunities. Numerous students have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees in history, anthropology, and cultural resources management. Many MA Program graduates are currently teaching at the secondary and post secondary level. Maritime graduates have established a solid record of employment in maritime related activities including government agencies, museums, and private cultural resources management firms. Through the development of internship opportunities, networking with History graduates, and established working relationships with federal, state, and local government agencies, faculty assist students in identifying potential job opportunities. In addition the university's Office of Cooperative Education and the Office of Career Services develop and identify numerous internship and job opportunities in federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as opportunities in nonprofit organizations. East Carolina master's graduates are working in positions with the following organizations and have pursued doctoral degrees at the following institutions:

Federal Positions

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Park Service
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • United State Coast Guard

University Faculty Positions

  • East Carolina University
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of West Florida

Doctoral Studies

  • Carnegie-Melon University
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Flinders University
  • Kent State University
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Oxford University
  • Syracuse University
  • Union Institute
  • University of Bristol
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Idaho
  • University of London
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University of South Carolina
See graduate school page for more details