History Master’s Degree (M.Ed.), Non-licensure

Male student smiling as he talks in the classroom

Guide the next generation with wisdom and context from the past.

Build or advance your career with a master’s in history education. Our program offers a comprehensive exploration, focusing on enhancing your knowledge of historical events, fostering critical thinking through diverse interpretations, and refining your skills in historical research and analysis. Whether you're a seasoned scholar aiming for advanced credentials or an individual passionate about delving deeper into historical narratives, our program is tailored to meet your academic aspirations.

Students may also pursue the teacher licensure program for middle and secondary education (grades 5-12), which empowers you to become a creative, engaging, and innovative educator.

Program Highlights: History, M.Ed. (Non-licensure)

  • Advance your understanding of global history
  • Gain expertise in historical interpretation
  • Develop skills in research and evaluation

Become an expert in your field.

Gain the advanced knowledge and skill set you need to learn from the past and influence the future.

Advance your knowledge, skills, and career with a master’s in history.

  • A student wearing their graduation cap and gown smiles at the camera. 

    Diverse Coursework

    A non-licensure master's degree in history offers diverse coursework, including exploration of global history such as European, World, and American history. This broad education opens doors to various professional opportunities, allowing graduates to bring historical perspectives to various career fields.

  • Faculty member Dr. Erica Morin wearing green shirt standing in front of classroom in front of projection screen speaking.

    One-on-one attention  

    Experience personalized guidance and support from dedicated faculty who are committed to your academic and professional growth. In our non-licensure program, you'll receive individualized advising tailored to your goals and interests. Benefit from direct collaboration with faculty members, fostering a mentorship relationship where you can leverage their expertise and experience to enhance your learning journey.

  • Students sit at desks in a classroom setting.

    Independent Research

    Explore specialized areas of historical inquiry through our independent research component. Gain valuable research skills and contribute to the field of history through original scholarship under the guidance of experienced faculty mentors.

Program Details

Program Mission

The History graduate program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the past while teaching important skills, including research, writing, communication, source evaluation, critical thinking, and analysis that enable students to succeed in a wide variety of careers. The department believes that a historical perspective is valuable in nearly every profession.  

History provides the essential background for understanding the roots of social issues and current global problems to build a deeper understanding of our contemporary world by studying the past and present.  

The program's mission supports that of the university in many areas, including providing quality graduate education in history and cultivating academic excellence through curriculum that emphasizes scholarly writing and research. We provide training and the development of skills that can lead to graduates becoming responsible leaders in the greater community as well as engaged citizens.

Program Vision

The Westfield State University graduate programs strives to be the premier institution in the Northeast region for the study of History and History Education through its commitment to student engagement and success.

Learning Outcomes
  1. To increase students' knowledge of the facts related to historical developments, including the significance of important events, institutions, people, cultures, and ideas throughout the world.
  2. To provide students with familiarity with questions of interpretation and methods of study of major aspects of history.
  3. To help students develop expertise in historical research, question design, as well as evaluation of primary and secondary historical materials.

The graduate program at Westfield State provided me with an overwhelming amount of staff and faculty support. There was never a time that I felt like I was alone, and I knew that I could always find help and support whenever I needed it.

William MacKinnon, ‘17 B.A.,  ’22 M.Ed. history, non-licensure

Bring historical perspective to any professional setting.

History provides the essential background for understanding the roots of social issues, current global problems, and more. Your master’s in history education will allow you to build your career in areas such as:

  • Education 
  • Management 
  • Research, Law, and Activism
  • Administration
  • Museums/Archives
  • Historic Preservation
  • Politics/Government
  • Investment Counseling
  • Non-Profit Organizations
Poet Lisbeth White reads works from her latest collection in the Arno Maris Gallery in the Ely Campus Center.

Course Requirements

Program Description

The program is designed is to provide qualified students with the opportunity to pursue graduate-level training in American history. Students in this program may be teachers seeking an advanced degree, or others whose primary interest is in receiving a master's degree with a concentration in history. The academic goal of the program is three-fold:

  1. to increase the students' knowledge of the facts of American history,
  2. to provide the students with a familiarity with questions of interpretation of major aspects of American history,
  3. to help students develop expertise in historical research and evaluation.

This program does not lead to teaching licensure.

Admission Requirements

Admission decisions are made by the department's graduate committee, consisting of three specialists in American history, and one other elected member of the department with the approval of the Graduate Dean.

  1. Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  2. at least 18 semester credit hours in history or related humanities courses as assessed by graduate advisors.
  3. an overall cumulative average of 3.0 for the last 48 credits of undergraduate work.
  4. a cumulative average of 3.0 in history.
  5. Pre-admission consultation with program coordinator.
Program Requirements
  1. Completion of a total of 36 credits, of which 30 must be in history and six in education;
  2. Six graduate credits reflecting coursework appropriate to the degree may be transferred from other graduate-level institutions, at the discretion of the department's graduate committee;
  3. Satisfactory completion of a master's thesis, approved by the thesis director and with a thesis defense before the department's graduate committee (and other members of the department who may choose to attend). Only members of the graduate committee may participate in the actual vote to determine whether a student has passed the thesis defense.
Specific Requirements

a) History - 18 Credits

Completion of 18 graduate credits in history, which must include the following three-credit courses, or their equivalent in transfer credits:

HIST 0600   - Readings: America, 1600-1815 Credits: 3

HIST 0605   - Readings: America, 1815-1914 Credits: 3

HIST 0610   - Readings: America, 1914 to the Present Credits: 3

HIST 0615   - Readings: Modern Europe 1500-1789 Credits: 3

HIST 0620   - Readings: Modern Europe, 1789 to the Present Credits: 3

HIST 0640  - Topics in World History Credits: 3

Note: Students may take multiple sections of HIST 0640 provided the topic is different (e.g., Topics: Latin America, Topics: Middle East, Topics: Asia)

b) Independent Research - 6 Credits

Completion of 6 credits of independent research, selected from the following:

HIST 0625   - Researc United States Before 1815 Credits: 3

HIST 0630   - Researc United States 1815-1914 Credits: 3

HIST 0635   - Researc United States 1914 to Present Credits: 3

HIST 0645   - Researc European History Credits: 3

HIST 0655   - Researc World History Credits: 3

c) Research and Evaluation - 6 Credits

Research and evaluation, as evidenced by completion of six graduate credits as follows:

HIST 0698   - Thesis Research I Credits: 3

HIST 0699   - Thesis Research II Credits: 3

d) Education - 6 Credits

Completion of six graduate credits in Education, which must include: EDUC 0633   - Social Cultural Theories: Foundations of Education  and any graduate 600 level course offered by the Department of Education, taken with the approval of the Graduate Program Advisor.

Note: With the exception of the courses listed below, which will be directed study under the supervision of a thesis director, no directed study will be allowed as part of this program, and neither the department chairperson nor the graduate committee shall accept any courses as equivalent to any degree requirements.

HIST 0625   - Researc United States Before 1815 Credits: 3

HIST 0630   - Researc United States 1815-1914 Credits: 3

HIST 0635   - Researc United States 1914 to Present Credits: 3

HIST 0645   - Researc European History Credits: 3

HIST 0655   - Researc World History Credits: 3

HIST 0698   - Thesis Research I Credits: 3

HIST 0699   - Thesis Research II Credits: 3

Get big school features with small school advantages.

We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support. 

You’ll join fellow motivated graduate students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.

  • 87%

    of students receive financial aid

  • 100%+

    of faculty hold doctorates

  • Full-time

    and part-time options

Accessible faculty and personalized attention

The History and Philosophy Department graduate program includes 4 expert, tenured professors. You’ll receive one-on-one, specialized attention to help you succeed and meet your academic and professional preparation goals. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to work and study alongside your professors, giving you a unique first-hand learning experience.

History professor Dr. Aieta wearing blue and white plaid shirt standing in front of projection screen in classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admissions requirements for the program?

Prospective students should access the graduate application online at connect.westfield.ma.edu/apply/

The following material must be received for an application to be reviewed:

  • Completed graduate application and $50 application fee.
  • Official transcripts indicating a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. 
  • Three professional or academic recommendations. 
  • A statement of purpose about your professional goals, academic experience, work experience, and other factors that support your application.

Non-Licensure Program Admission requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • At least 18 semester credit hours in history or their equivalent as assessed by graduate advisors
  • An overall cumulative average of 3.0 for the last 48 credits of undergraduate work
  • A cumulative average of 3.0 in history courses
How much does Westfield State University cost?

Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost—with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more. 

Will I receive academic support?

Yes, students have a dedicated advisor – your compass through class choices and beyond. Beyond academics, your advisor becomes a mentor, guiding you on further education and career paths. We're not just about classes; we connect you to resources like the Banacos Center and the Reading & Writing Center. At every step, we're here to ensure your success is our priority.

Can I take a course without enrolling into the program?

Yes, students can take up to two courses (six credits) non-matriculated prior to matriculating into the program. Financial aid is not available for non-matriculated courses and cost can be found on our tuition and fees page. If you are interested in taking non-matriculated courses please contact the Registrar at registrar@westfield.ma.edu or 413-579-3200 for assistance.

For students interested in taking more than six credits non-matriculated and will not be applying the credits to a degree additional credits may be taken by completing the professional development waiver.

Do you offer graduate assistantships?

Yes, a limited number of graduate assistantships are available each year for graduate students. These opportunities are competitive and are awarded to students with excellent academic records who are enrolled in a graduate degree program.

This valuable opportunity can enhance your academic journey and provide valuable experience. Don't miss out on the chance to be part of this enriching program!

Learn more about graduate assistantships 

Is graduate housing available?

Discover graduate living at Welch Hall Apartments – your gateway to a vibrant community and tailored amenities. Choose from four-person apartments featuring single and premium single rooms, all inclusive of utilities and internet. Make connections by signing up as a group or embark on an individual adventure with like-minded roommates. Revel in the comfort of fully furnished apartments, boasting a well-equipped kitchen with a breakfast bar, cozy bathrooms, and inviting shared living spaces.

Your convenience is our priority – enjoy free laundry facilities on campus and parking at an affordable rate. Immerse yourself in academic pursuits with easy access to the campus library or prioritize your well-being at our fitness centers.

Whether you prefer cooking with your roommates or opting for a meal plan, relish access to an array of campus dining options, including late-night and takeaway choices. Elevate your graduate experience with Welch Hall Apartments – where living meets exceptional comfort and convenience.

For more information contact housing@westfield.ma.edu or 413-572-5402.

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History Master’s Degree (M.Ed.), Non-licensure