Graduate Program


Tulane’s graduate program is highly selective. It is both small enough to ensure plenty of faculty-student engagement and large enough to allow students to pursue research within broad chronological, geographic and thematic fields. We encourage students to develop the widest possible range of methodological skills in dealing with historical sources. The faculty in the Department of History have broad teaching and research interests, with particularly strong major fields in United States history (especially the U.S. South), Latin American history; Modern Europe; and Europe from the medieval era to the Renaissance. In addition, minor fields are offered in a variety of geographic, transnational and thematic fields.

The city of New Orleans, where Tulane is located, offers varied research opportunities. With its unique French, African, and Spanish heritage and its successive waves of immigrants, New Orleans has been and remains a city with a remarkably rich and multi-layered past. Records of this past–scattered throughout the city–are a constant reminder of the complexity of the human condition even to those whose research interests lie elsewhere.


Below is a summary of the graduate degree requirements in History at Tulane University. For more complete details and other information, be sure to read the Graduate Student Handbook.

The History Department allows current Tulane undergraduate students and Tulane University staff to earn a M.A. degree through our 4+1 (undergraduates) or staff programs. We offer the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), students in this track may enter either with an M.A. or earn their M.A. in the process of earning their Ph.D.  The History Department does not offer a M.A. in History beyond those described above.  For more information about the various graduate programs please see below.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Students must earn their M.A. degree before being admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. Candidates working for the Ph.D. must complete the following program:

  • Obtain the M.A. degree with thesis, including required historiography and methodology courses: HIST 7001 “Seminar in Historical Practice” in the fall semester of their first year and HIST 7003 “Historiography and Methodology I”, before the start of their second year. HIST 7003 is normally taken as independent studies over the summer.
  • Complete at least a further twelve credits of course work, including HIST 7005 “Historiography and Methodology II” before the start of their third year. HIST 7005 is normally taken as independent studies over the summer.
  • Students must include in their course work at least three 7000-level seminars in addition to the required seminar HIST 7001 “Seminar in Historical Practice” (independent studies do not count as a seminar). Courses taken outside of the department of history require approval of your advisor. The course work can be divided into two or three fields.
  • Complete two required writing courses: HIST 7006 “Intermediate Historical Writing” normally taken over the summer before the second year and HIST 7007 “Advanced Historical Writing”, normally taken in the summer before the start of the third year.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in two languages (one language for students whose first field is United States or Britain from 1500).
  • Teach for one semester, in addition to 4 semesters of service as a teaching assistant or research assistant.
  • Complete HIST 7008 “Professional Development and Documentation”, leading to the successful compilation and defense of the portfolio.
  • Write an acceptable dissertation, and defend this in an oral examination.

Accelerated Master of Arts Program 
Open to Newcomb-Tulane students only.

This option, also termed the "4+1", is available only to Tulane undergraduates and will enable a student to obtain an M.A. in one year.

M.A. in History for Tulane University Employees 
Employees at Tulane University may use the employee tuition waiver system to take graduate level courses at in the Department of History to earn an M.A. degree, subject to the limitations and policies of this program. 
Download Information about the Tulane Employee M.A. Program