Graduate Program

The University of North CarAerial view of downtown Wilmington & Cape Fear Riverolina Wilmington is located in the southeastern part of the state on a beautifully landscaped 650-acre campus, with buildings of modified Georgian architecture. 
The city of Wilmington is situated on the east bank of the Cape Fear River. The state's major port, it has a metropolitan population of 150,000, several industries, rich local historical resources, and a developing cultural and artistic base. Ten miles from Wrightsville Beach and fifteen miles from Carolina Beach, the city's proximity to the ocean provides a delightful year-round climate and varied recreational activities. 


The University of North Carolina at Wilmington was founded in 1947 as Wilmington College, a locally supported and governed institution, to provide the youth and adults of New Hanover County and southeastern North Carolina with an opportunity for twoMorton Hall, where History Department is located. years of university parallel study, semiprofessional training and vocational-technical education at moderate expense. In 1963 Wilmington College became a four-year institution authorized to offer the bachelor's degree, and in 1969, renamed the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, it became a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system. 

Graduate studies were authorized at Wilmington in 1977; the Master of Arts program in History was inaugurated in August 1989.


“UNCW offers the Master of Arts in History, in either a thesis or non-thesis track, with specialization in United States, European, Global, and Public History.”

**UPDATE: The online M.A. program for professional history educators will enroll five new students who wish to begin their studies in Summer 2015. Applications will be accepted until March 15. New students will begin their studies with the on-campus summer institute to be held from June 22-26 at UNCW. They will continue regularly scheduled online coursework in August. For more information about the program follow this link.

The on-campus M.A. presents the opportunity to work with research-active faculty in small classes, independent studies and internships.  


The program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate study, 24 of which must be in history. A maximum of six semester hours may be transferred from another accredited institution, at the discretion of the History Graduate Committee. Transfer credits will be awarded only for grades of “B” or better. At least 24 hours of graduate study must be completed in residence.

A minimum of 24 semester hours, including thesis, must be earned in courses open only to graduate students. Students must complete HST 500, 12 hours in the area of concentration and nine hours of electives. Six hours must be completed in seminars. Students are limited to nine hours of cross-listed courses, six hours of directed studies and six hours of courses in other departments. Students must pass a written comprehensive examination that will be administered no earlier than during the final semester of enrollment in course work.

Students in the thesis track will present and defend and major written research paper grounded in primary source materials.

Students in the non-thesis track will take six additional hours of course work and must pass a written comprehensive examination at the end of their course work.

Students in the thesis track must pass a competency examination demonstrating satisfactory reading knowledge of a foreign language.

The program shall be completed within five years of the date of first registration for graduate study.


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