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Graduate History Coursework and Classes Overview

Higher Education Articles November 13, 2015

Career opportunities in teaching, research, or scholarship may be available to history graduate students. Students can find the right choices for specialization and study for these interests and goals through graduate history programs.

Information on Graduate History Coursework and Classes

Schools offer both master’s and doctoral degree programs in history, while a core coursework is in both levels of programs, students are allowed a specialization of their choice for their research and dissertation. Coursework may cover diverse topics such as women’s history, American history, the history of work, slavery and race, popular cultures worldwide, and Middle East history. Enrollees in some schools are required to become proficient in one or more foreign languages either before enrolling in a graduate history program or before the end of the program.

In this article, we take a look at some common courses studied by history students:

Course in History of Modern Europe

Major historical events, from the Napoleonic era onward, are surveyed in this class. Students examine topic areas such as industrialism, national and cultural revolutions, and the World Wars. Those specializing in modern history or European history may benefit from this course.

Course in Historical Research Methods

This course is often early in the graduate program. Courses include introductions to philosophies, theories, and techniques pertinent to the conduct of historical research. Lectures are available to students who locate documents, evaluate findings and prepare written reports while honing their skills.

Course in Modern American Political History

Students who attend this class gain a broad overview of major political movements in the 20th century in the United States. Courses cover the New Deal, the Progressive Era, the Great Society and McCarthyism. Students also learn about social welfare, civil rights, political conservatism, and the women’s movement.

Course in The American Civil War

The causes of the Civil War are explored, in addition to post-war reunification efforts and major battles between the South and North. The course also includes an introduction to major political, military, and civilian figures of the period. Participants learn about the far-reaching political, social, and economic effects of the Civil War.

Course in The Middle Ages

The emphasis of coursework is on major social, political, economic and cultural changes that transpired between the sixth and 15th centuries. Major figures like Charlemagne are in lectures. Additionally, the coursework discusses the Crusades and the role of the Church during this period. This course may be useful to individuals who pursue a concentration in European history.

Course in Women’s History

Students examine major philosophies and theories related to women’s history. In addition to various movements related to women and their role in politics, society, the arts, and economics, courses cover individual women of note.

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