Sep 23, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Public History (Accelerated)

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The Accelerated Graduate Degree Program (AGDP) in Public History allows students to begin accumulating credits towards completion of a master’s degree in Public History (MA-PH) while still enrolled as undergraduates. Undergraduate students admitted to the AGDP, with senior standing, may take up to 12 credit hours of designated 5000- and 6000-level courses for graduate credit. These designated courses may be used in completion of both the bachelor’s degree and the MA-PH degree.


Students will pay undergraduate tuition for AGDP eligible 5000- and 6000-level courses as undergraduates and the courses will be included in the flat tuition rate. On completion of the undergraduate degree, the student will be re-classified as a graduate student and then will pay graduate tuition rates.

Eligibility for application

This program is open to undergraduate students majoring in History. A student must have senior status and must have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours at Western Michigan University and declared a History major. Undergraduate students enrolled in the AGDP will be expected to meet graduate expectations in their graduate courses. Students who have already received their baccalaureate degrees are ineligible to apply for this program and retroactively claim credits toward the MA-PH degree.

Admission procedure

  1. As early as possible in the academic junior year, the potential AGDP student should contact the History director of undergraduate advisor to discuss the AGDP option and review requirements, timelines, and application procedures.
  2. Students must apply for admission to the graduate program with the Office of Admissions/graduate admissions and must submit the application materials specified in the following section on admission criteria (AGDP requires fewer materials than are required for the regular graduate admissions process).
  3. Upon acceptance into the AGDP, the student must meet together with the director of graduate studies and an undergraduate academic advisor to prepare an appropriate program of study that meets the requirements for the undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  4. A letter advising which graduate courses will be counted in both degrees will be sent to the student and to the registrar. A copy of this letter will also be included in the student’s graduate file.

Admission criteria

The student must meet the following AGDP admission criteria by the end of the Spring semester of the student’s academic junior year:

  • Senior status (at least 88 credit hours total, with at least 30 earned at WMU)
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and minimum 3.5 in History (based on 30 credit hours earned at WMU and at least 20 credit hours in a declared major in History).

The student must also submit the following materials to the History Department of Graduate Studies by April 1 of the Spring semester of the student’s academic junior year:

  • Two letters of recommendation from members of the WMU department of History, at least one of which must indicate willingness to serve as the student’s Supervising Professor
  • A brief statement of career objectives, academic and professional interests, and reasons for pursuing the MA-PH degree
  • A writing sample that demonstrates the student’ ability to work with historical sources, think analytically, and develop historical arguments

Requirements for continuing eligibility and graduation

  1. It is expected that the baccalaureate degree will be awarded within one calendar year after initial AGDP enrollment. Students not meeting this time constraint must re-apply to be admitted to the graduate program.
  2. In order to progress automatically into the graduate program, the student must achieve a grade of “B” or better in each of the graduate courses being counted for the undergraduate degree. Students who do not meet this requirement will have the grade earned applied to their undergraduate degree only and must apply for readmission into the graduate program. Students who complete the undergraduate degree including a “B” or above in the specified graduate courses will be admitted as graduate students (with the relevant graduate credit) in the next semester or session after receiving the bachelor’s degree.
  3. Once the student has been admitted to the graduate program, the student will be assigned a supervising professor, who will then be responsible for directing the student’s program of study. The MA degree in Public History requires 33 credit hours of course work.

Consideration for graduate funding

The predominant form of funding for History MA students comes through graduate assistantships (GA) appointments awarded by the department and administered through the Graduate College. In most cases History MA students with GA appointments serve as Teaching Assistants for undergraduate classed taught by History faculty members.

Students accepted for the AGDP do not automatically receive graduate funding.  Those who wish to be considered for funding for the graduate program should submit the following materials to the History Director of Graduate Studies by January 15 of the student’s academic senior year.

  • Letter requesting funding and indicating the student’s career objectives and academic and professional interests
  • Official GRE scores
  • At least two letters of recommendation from History faculty members, at least one of who taught the student in a 5000- or 6000-level History course during the Fall semester of the student’s academic senior year
  • A writing sample from a 5000- or 6000-level History course taken during the Fall semester of the student’s academic senior year


A student may at any time withdraw from the AGDP by informing the director of graduate studies in the Department of History in writing. A copy of the request to withdraw must be sent to the Graduate College and the Registrar’s Office.

Designated AGDP eligible History courses for the MA-PH

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