Master of Arts (MA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Learn from internationally recognized scholars in a program with excellent student-to-supervisor ratios. Departmental expertise is wide-ranging; our historians are specialists in histories of Africa, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Students learn valuable skills in argumentative writing, critical thinking, public speaking, and grant proposal writing. After a year of seminar course work, students complete a research thesis. Typically, students base their theses in archival research within Canada and abroad. While many students go on to train at the PhD level, others move into research consulting and public history, or use their skills to transition into professions such as teaching, law, or the public service.

A specialization in History and Philosophy of Science is offered in cooperation with the Department of Philosophy.

Completing this program

  • Core Course: Historiography and the Theories of History.
  • Additional Courses: Topics may include Canada, Europe, Latin America, United States, science, intellectual history, political history and more.
  • Breadth: Students must take one seminar course in a field unrelated to the student's research interests.
  • History and Philosophy of Science: Students in this specialization may, with departmental approval, take Philosophy courses to fulfill course requirements for the degree.
  • Language: Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of a second language related to the major field of study prior to the oral thesis defence.
  • Thesis: Students are required to submit and defend an original thesis.



Historical research consulting, teaching, public history, government research analysis, civil service and diplomacy, professional writing and editing.

A master’s degree in history will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

20 months; four years maximum


Supervisor required in an interim capacity prior to program start. Upon acceptance into the program, students are assigned an interim supervisor who will normally become the permanent supervisor three months into the student's program. Supervisors must be assigned within 6 months of the first registration.

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Lyndsay Campbell

    Lyndsay Campbell

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. image of profile holder

    Beau Cleland

    Seeking Students
    Empire and Non-State Violence in North America
  3. George Colpitts

    George Colpitts

    Accepting Inquiries
    Environmental History, Canadian History, Western Canada, Indigenous People, Cultural Exchange and the Fur Trade, Fur, Modernity and Industrialized relations, Treaty Trade, the State, and Business History
  4. Petra Dolata

    Petra Dolata

    Accepting Inquiries
    Energy History, International History, Diplomatic History
  5. Alexander Hill

    Alexander Hill

    Accepting Inquiries
    Soviet military history, The Second World War, Soviet military and naval policy, The Soviet Union and southern Africa
  6. Nancy Janovicek

    Nancy Janovicek

    Accepting Inquiries
    Twentieth Century Canada, Canadian Women's and Gender History, Oral History
  7. Amelia Kiddle

    Amelia Kiddle

    Accepting Inquiries
    Latin America
  8. profile

    Courtnay Konshuh

    Accepting Inquiries
    Early Medieval Europe ca 600-1000, Early Medieval England, Early Medieval North Sea
  9. Hendrik Kraay

    Hendrik Kraay

    Accepting Inquiries
    History of Brazil, Civic Rituals, Popular Festivals, Military Institutions, Slavery, Race, Popular Politics, Latin American History, History of Newspapers and Periodicals in Nineteenth-Century Brazil
  10. Placeholder Profile Image

    Ken MacMillan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Early Modern England, circa 1500-1700, English Empire and Atlantic World, circa 1575-1750, Crime and Criminal Justice in Early Modern England, Early Modern International Law and Diplomacy

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.4 on a four-point scale or equivalent over the final 60 units of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Normally, a four-year undergraduate program with honours or a major in history.

Work samples

A historical research paper - honours-thesis chapter is particularly invited.


A statement of research interest which outlines, as specifically as possible, the area of history in which you intend to concentrate and the anticipated thesis topic (500-750 words).

A curriculum vitae.

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of History

Social Sciences Building, Room 656
618 Campus Place NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website