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Terminal MA Program

Our M.A. students complete nine graduate courses in close collaboration with department faculty. Students may specialize in 14 distinct subfields: Africa, Britain, Early Modern Europe, East Asia, Eastern Europe/Russia, History of Science, Medicine and Technology, Jewish History, Latin America, Medieval Europe, Modern Europe,  Ottoman Empire and Middle East, South Asia, Transnational, International, and Global History, and United States. Explore each field and their affiliates

Expectations and Degree Requirements

Terminal M.A. students must have a faculty advisor who approve their program of study. They submit their program proposal to Graduate Program Coordinator in their first quarter. They are expected to complete

  • 45 units or more (at least 35 of the 45 units must be listed as History courses) for a total minimum of 9 courses are required for the M.A.
  • 25 units or more in History courses must be at the graduate level (300 level or above), including one graduate research seminar (400-level, not directed research); 15 of these units must be within a single Ph.D. major field; a maximum of 10 units can be Directed Reading (399W) so long as it involves writing and is taken for a letter grade.
  • up to 10 units may be in non-History coursework (such as the study of a "difficult" foreign language). 

The department requires the completion of nine courses (totaling not less than 45 units) of graduate work. Seven courses of this work must be Department of History courses. Of the seven, one must be a seminar and four must be either graduate colloquia or graduate seminars. Directed reading may be counted for a maximum of 10 units. A candidate whose undergraduate training in history is deemed inadequate must complete nine courses of graduate work in the department. The department does not recognize for credit toward the M.A. degree any work that has not received the grade of 'A' or 'B.' M.A. students who take undergraduate courses should expect to fulfill requirements appropriate to graduate study, at the discretion of the instructor. University requirements for the M.A. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of the Stanford bulletin.

How to Apply

Admission to the History Graduate Programs are for Autumn quarter only.  Interested applicants can online at and submit the following documents: 

  • Statement of Purpose (included in Application)
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • A Copy of Official Transcripts from each University/College attended
    •  Transcripts are required from all prior college level schools attended for at least one year.  A scanned copy of the official transcript is submitted as part of the online application.  Please do not mail transcripts to the department.  We will ask only the admitted students to submit actual copies of official transcripts.
  • 1 Writing Sample on a historic topic (10-25 pages; sent via Stanford's online application system only)
  • The GRE exam is not required for the autumn 2023 admission cycle
  • TOEFL for all international applicants (whose primary language is not English) sent via ETS. Our University code is 4704.
  • Application fee $125 (subject to change)

Application deadline for Autumn 2023-24 is Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 11:59pm EST. This is a hard -not a postmark- deadline. 

All application material is available online. No information is sent via snail mail. Interested applicants are invited to view a Guide to Graduate Admissions at  Please also consider reviewing the Stanford School of Humanities &SciencesGuide on Getting into Grad School to explore which graduate program may best suit your interest, what graduate committees look for, and the benefits and challenges for pursuing a graduate degree. 

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Knight-Hennessy Scholars is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. The program awards up to 100 high-achieving students every year with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including the terminal Master's and PhD in History. To be considered, you must apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by October 12, 2022, 1:00pm PST and separately apply to the History department by December 6, 2022, 11:59pm EST .


Please contact Arthur Palmon ( Student Services Manager).