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School of Humanities

Graduate History Application

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Application Deadlines

Master of Arts in History

June 1 for fall admission; November 1 for spring admission, Students seeking an assistantship must meet the February 10st deadline for assistantships (for the following fall semester).

The History program does not admit M.A. students for the summer semester.  We HIGHLY encourage applicants for the full-time M.A. to apply to start in the fall semester because of the required sequence of classes.  Full-time M.A. students who start the program in a spring term will see their graduation significantly delayed because they will not be able to complete the required HIS 710/711 sequence until the second year of their program.  Students wishing to study for the M.A. part-time can start the program in either semester.

Master of Science in History

Applications for the Masters of Science degree programs are accepted anytime, although the graduate admissions committee needs about two months to make a decision. MS applications are evaluated as soon as all materials are received for consideration of enrollment the next semester.

Ph.D. in History

 February 10 for fall admission

The History graduate program only admits Ph.D. students into the fall semester.

Application Requirements

Application for any History graduate program is accomplished entirely online.  Applicants will complete the application, pay the application fee, and submit all materials electronically. Students will also submit email addresses for three references that will provide letters of recommendation directly through the portal via an email invitation. 

Applicants should accumulate all materials for submission before starting the process (although the application system will allow applicants to save their submission along the way and complete it later).  

The History graduate program requires these elements for all of its Graduate Applications:

  • A completed online application
  • The application fee
  • GRE scores (must be taken within five (5) years of the application)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Three letters of recommendation (Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals who can best speak to your ability to perform in a History graduate program, preferably professors who have significant knowledge of your content knowledge in History, writing ability, capability in making historical arguments and using evidence, and capacity to actively participate in intellectual discussions and debates.)
  • A personal statement (Personal Statements should indicate your interest in the program, your academic background as it pertains to your ability to excel in a History graduate program, your career goals, and why you have chosen to apply to Southern Miss, including any specific programs/areas of study you are interested in or any specific faculty members you would like to work with if accepted. The statement should be approximately two to three double-spaced pages in length.) 
  •  A writing sample (Writing samples are typically an undergraduate research paper or a chapter from a Master thesis.  Ideally, the writing sample should not exceed twenty-five pages in length.  The writing sample should highlight your ability to make a historical argument and use primary and secondary evidence to support it.  You should submit a “clean” copy without any instructor comments.)

All materials MUST be submitted through the online application system. Apply here.

Funding and Assistantships

The Graduate History Program offers several competitive assistantships for both M.A. and Ph.D. students.  The deadline to apply is February 10 for the following fall semester (the application for admission must be complete by February 10 to be considered for an assistantship). First time applicants should indicate on their application and in their statement of purpose that they wish to be considered for an assistantship. 

Students on assistantships who are working on their M.A. usually serve as a grader in a section of World Civilizations I/II, a tutor in the History Lab, or an assistant to a faculty member.  At the Ph.D. level, students may serve as a grader, a faculty assistant, or teach their own sections of History 101 or 102. Other types of assistantship may also be assigned.  Assistants work no more than twenty (20) hours a week; they receive a stipend, full tuition waiver (in-state or out-of-state if necessary) and basic health insurance (with a student co-pay each pay period).

In addition to the normal graduate assistantships, the Center for the Study of the Gulf South and the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society offers several fellowships on a competitive basis to augment assistantship funding:

Baird Fellowship

The Center for the Study of the Gulf South awards the Baird Fellowship ($1500) to an outstanding graduate student at the Master’s or Doctoral level who is working on an aspect of Southern history in Southern Miss’s graduate history program. Awarded annually, the Baird Fellow may use the $1,500 for reimbursement of expenses related to conference or research travel, as well as research expenses such as photocopying, books (including textbooks) and technology purchases (computer hardware and software). 

Colonel W. Wayde Benson (USMC ret.) Fellowship 

The Dale Center for the Study of War and Society is also pleased to offer several Colonel W. Wayde Benson (USMC ret.) Fellowships every academic year, which offer a stipend to exceptional students specializing in the field of War & Society in Southern Miss's graduate history program. Stipends are available to newly admitted and current graduate students on assistantships, and are announced each summer.

The Dale Center Graduate Fellowship

The Dale Center Graduate Fellowship is a twelve-month assistantship issued to a graduate student in the history department. Beyond planning for regular events, this graduate assistant will also be responsible for a myriad of other tasks throughout the year, including managing the Dale Center’s digital presence and creating marketing materials.

Margaret Boone Dale Fellowship for Research in Women and War

The Margaret Boone Dale Fellowship supports the research of a War & Society graduate student working on a project that addresses issues examining women in war, families in war, or war and gender.  Fellowship recipients are selected by the Faculty Fellows of the Dale Center.

 Lamar Powell Graduate War & Society Scholarship

The Lamar Powell Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduate assistant in the History Department who has served above and beyond the call of duty assisting the endeavors of the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society.  The award recipient is selected each year by the Faculty Fellows of the Dale Center.

 Frequently Asked Questions 

You must inform the Graduate Studies Coordinator in writing of your desire to be considered for an assistantship no later than February 10 for the following academic year.  Your application for admission must also be complete by February 10.  In addition to informing the Graduate Coordinator of your interest in an assistantship, you should be sure to check the box on the graduate application that indicates such an interest.

We do not have an established minimum score, although higher scores are obviously better than lower ones.  We value the Verbal and the Analytical Writing sections of the GRE most, with relatively little attention paid to the Quantitative section (unless the applicant intends to do quantitative research for the degree). We do not use the GRE as the sole benchmark of the worth of an application. The Graduate Admissions Committee takes all application materials (recommendation letters, transcripts and GPA, writing sample, statement of purpose, fit with program, GRE scores, etc.) into consideration when it makes admission and funding decisions.  

The History graduate program's minimum GPA for admission into our Masters’ degree programs is a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  Please remember this is a minimum and the Graduate Admissions Committee usually expects to see a high undergraduate GPA, especially in History courses.  The program’s minimum GPA for the Ph.D. program is a 3.5 on graduate History courses.  According to the Graduate Bulletin, applicants with lower GPAs (at least a 2.75) may be considered for Conditional Admission.  While extremely rare, the History Department may consider such individuals for Conditional Admission if there is other overwhelming evidence (GRE scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) of the possibility of success in graduate coursework and research.  

No, though you should have a good idea of what geographical area and time period of history you wish to study.
Normally, applicants to our Masters programs are expected to have undergraduate major or minor in History, although in some extraordinary cases preparation in a closely related field such as political science or anthropology may suffice, if the applicant also has some background in upper-division History classes.  Students who lack a sufficient background in History may want to take a series of fundamental undergraduate courses before applying to the program (contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator for more information).  Upon successful completion of such courses, the student would be considered for conditional admission into a Masters program via the normal application process.    
No.  You must complete the M.A. degree in History (with a Master’s thesis) in order to be admitted into the Ph.D. program.  In rare cases, a closely related M.A. degree (with thesis or substantial project) such as anthropology or political science may suffice if the applicant has a significant undergraduate background in History (usually at least a History major or minor).  
The program does not offer, and has no plans to offer, graduate courses on-line or though distance education.
For more information, contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Heather Stur, at Heather.SturFREEMississippi.

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