Department of History

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Department of History

133 Albert W. Brown Building
(585) 395-2377

Chairperson and Associate Professor: Jennifer M. Lloyd, PhD, University of Rochester; 2007-2008 Presidential Fellows: Carl Almer, MA, University of California-Irvine; Carl Davila, PhD, Yale University; Distinguished Teaching Professors: Arden Bucholz, PhD, University of Chicago; Owen S. Ireland, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; Professors: W. Bruce Leslie, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; Salahuddin Malik, PhD, McGill University; Associate Professors: John P. Daly, PhD, Rice University; Kathleen S. Kutolowski, PhD, University of Rochester; Anne S. Macpherson, PhD, University of Wisconsin; Morag Martin, PhD, University of California-Irvine; Paul B. Moyer, PhD, The College of William and Mary; Kenneth P. O'Brien, PhD, Northwestern University; Alison M. Parker, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; James Spiller, PhD, University of Wisconsin; Wanda E. Wakefield, PhD, SUNY Buffalo; Assistant Professors: Katherine Clark, PhD, Indiana University; Takashi Nishiyama, PhD, The Ohio State University; Meredith Roman, PhD, Michigan State University; Jose Torre, PhD, SUNY Binghamton.

For more than a quarter century the Department of History has offered high quality and rigorous graduate training in history to a diverse student body, including secondary school teachers seeking certification or advanced training; those committed to museum, archival and records management careers; PhD aspirants; and mid-life career changers from a variety of professions. Their one common feature has been a love of history and a desire to study it intensively.

Admission to the Program
There are two ways to begin graduate study in history:

  1. Students may sample a course or two on a non-matriculated basis. Students should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History before registering to help ensure that the courses selected match the student's needs and background.
  2. Students may apply for admission to the MA in History as a matriculated degree candidate.

The Admissions Process:
Application forms can be obtained by calling the Office of Graduate Admissions at (585) 395-5465; sending a request by mail to the Office of Graduate Admissions at SUNY Brockport, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, NY 14420; or by e-mailing Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further information, or visit for details on the application deadlines for this program.

Students must submit the following credentials to the Office of Graduate Admissions as part of the self-managed application packet:

  1. Official transcripts of all college work, both graduate and undergraduate. Students may transfer up to 12 graduate credits of course work from other institutions with the approval of the Graduate Committee.
  2. Two letters of recommendation from college or university instructors or others qualified to evaluate the student's likely success as a graduate student in history.
  3. A sample of the student's writing (usually a term paper or other research project).

OPTIONAL: The department encourages but does not require scores from the Graduate Record Examination.

Criteria for Admission:
In assessing these materials, the Graduate Committee in the Department of History will consider the following:

  1. Intellectual ability: In general, at least a B average in previous college course work is expected.
  2. Background in history: An undergraduate major in history is helpful, but not required. Students without a history major should have the equivalent of a minor field (15-18 credits) in history and/or other disciplines in the humanities or social sciences.
  3. Writing, research and analytical skills.
  4. A passion for the study of history and an ability to articulate how the MA program fits with the student's personal and career plans.


General Requirements:

  1. The MA in History is a 33-credit degree program.
  2. Up to 12 credits of graduate course work with a grade of 'B' or better may be transferred from other institutions with the approval of the Graduate Committee. Courses presented for transfer credit must have been taken within the past five years.
  3. Students must have at least a 'B' average in their graduate course work to be eligible for graduation. Those with GPAs below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation in keeping with the College's graduate probation policy. Two semesters with GPAs below 3.0 may result in academic dismissal.
  4. All courses must carry graduate credit (500 or above). At least half of the courses must be at the 600 level or above.
  5. Degree requirements must be completed within five years of the date of matriculation.

The MA Curriculum:

  1. HST 600 Introduction to Historical Studies. (3 credits): Acquaints students at the beginning of their MA work with the major approaches to historical inquiry practiced in recent and contemporary scholarship.
  2. The Major Field (18 credits): Students will choose between two tracks to complete a major field. Each track involves several reading seminars, a research experience and electives.

Course Number Course Name Credits
A. American History
HST 614 Reading Seminar in Early America 3
HST 615 Reading Seminar in Modern America 3
HST 691 Research in American History 3
HST XXX Elective in American History 3
HST XXX Elective in American History 3
HST XXX Elective in American History 3
B. World History Credits
HST 64X Regional Seminar 3
HST 64X Regional Seminar 3
HST 695 Research in World History 3
HST XXX Elective in World History 3
HST XXX Elective in World History 3
HST XXX Elective in World History 3

NOTE: Regional Seminars on Europe, Africa, East Asia, Latin America and others rotate from semester to semester. The Reading Seminars in American History may also be used to satisfy World History requirements by advisement.

  • The Minor Field (9 credits): Students may construct a minor field in a variety of ways. A selection of courses in world or American history constitutes the most common option. Public history (including museum studies, archive and record management, and local history) is an area the graduate program is developing. Students may also take up to nine credits in graduate courses outside of history and apply them to an interdisciplinary minor field, such as women's studies. Some students interested in teaching have built a minor field in education.
  • The Capstone Experience: Students may choose one of two options:
    1. HST 700 Historical Integration (3 credits): A semester-long individualized experience designed to integrate a student's graduate studies. Normally results in an essay of 30/50 pages and an oral defense of the essay.
    2. HST 701 Master's Thesis (3 credits): Designed to meet the needs of those students who wish to focus their graduate studies more heavily toward research by writing a master's thesis. The thesis must be connected to broad historical trends and reflect a knowledge of recent historiography. Successful completion of the thesis, including an oral examination, is required for graduation for those choosing this option.

    1. HST 710 College Teaching Practicum: Provides an opportunity to assist one of the faculty members in teaching at the introductory undergraduate level. Requires reading in the literature on current teaching practice and course development, and involves participation in every aspect of college-level teaching lecturing, leading discussions, preparing and evaluating exams and papers, tutoring students out of class and more. Normally culminates in a pedagogical essay reflecting on the teaching experience.
    2. Internships: The department maintains relationships with a number of area institutions, particularly museums.
    3. Overseas Study: A few graduate students have pursued a portion of their program in foreign universities. The program is pleased to accept applicable work as transfer credit.


    The department offers a limited number of assistantships and fellowships. Please contact the Program Director for details.

    Students who would like a copy of the Master of Arts in History Program Handbook and other information about the program should write or call:

    Director of Graduate Studies
    Department of History
    SUNY College at Brockport
    350 New Campus Drive
    Brockport, New York 14420-2956
    Telephone: (585) 395-2377


    HST 501 American History: Topics (A). Provides an overview of selected topics in American history for teachers and nonspecialists interested in acquiring, updating or refreshing basic understanding. Topics vary yearly. May be repeated for credit. 3 Cr. Summer

    HST 503 Graduate Internship (A). Entails field experience in an archive, museum, historical society or other institution that can provide a professionally valuable period of training closely related to the student’s academic program. Arranged through the Graduate Committee. 1-3 Cr.

    HST 504 Topics in World History (A). Considers the development of world history during the 20th century and introduces the study of several of its separate civilizations, such as India, China, Islam, Europe, Africa and America and topics such as gender, ecology, demography and war. 3 Cr.

    HST 507 American Environmental History (A). Examines the changing relationship between people and the natural environment over the course of American history. Focuses on how agriculture, resource extraction, nature conservation, industrial production, and urbanization and suburbanization created opportunities for and limitations on American economic and social activity. 3 Cr.

    HST 511 History of New York State (A). Explores New York state history from the hegemony of the Iroquois to today, including New York as a microcosm of national experience, cultural pluralism, economic development and politics. 3 Cr.

    HST 515 Natives and Newcomers (A). Prerequisites: HST 211 and HST 390. Provides an in-depth exploration of the context and consequences of the Indian-European contact in early North America (c.1400-1840). Topics include the nature of pre-contact Indian and European cultures; the impact of European disease, plants and animals on Native peoples; and the encounter of Indian and European cosmologies, economics and methods of warfare. Considers how Indian-European contact transformed constructs of gender, ethnicity and race. 3 Cr.

    HST 516 Colonial North America (A). Examines the history of North America from the advent of European expansion to the collapse of Europe’s North American empires (c. 1400-1800). Focuses on cultural encounters and exchange between Indian, European and African peoples; European methods of colonization; the struggle for imperial domination in North America; and the evolution of colonial societies with particular emphasis on Britain’s North American colonies. 3 Cr.

    HST 517 The American Revolution (A). Covers the socio-political dimensions of American history from the beginning of the Revolution through the creation of the new nation, the Constitution, the emergence of national-level politics. 3 Cr.

    HST 518 The Early Republic (A). Examines in depth the young American nation from 1800 to 1848, the ages of Jefferson and Jackson. Focuses on the market revolution and the transforming social and political changes that followed in its wake and prepared the way for Civil War. 3 Cr.

    HST 519 Civil War and Reconstruction (A). Provides an intensive study of the Civil War era (1848-1877). Surveys the breakdown of the American institutions that led to the Civil War, followed by an examination of the war itself and its controversial aftermath in the Reconstruction era. 3 Cr.

    HST 520 America from its Centennial to Pearl Harbor (A). Examines the period of dramatic change unleashed by America’s precipitous transformation from a rural, agrarian, Protestant society into an urban-industrial giant reshaped by immigration. Explores the impact of these forces on the American economy, family life, religion, politics, education and international role. Culminates with the Great Depression leading into the New Deal and WWII. 3 Cr.

    HST 521 America Since 1929 (A). Uses the Depression as a watershed and then examines American society to the present. Features political change from Roosevelt to Reagan, foreign policy from Pearl Harbor to the present, and the evolution of popular culture since the 1920s. Also gives attention to economic and social developments. 3 Cr. Spring

    HST 522 History of American Education (A). Builds on the recognition that Americans have long placed education at the center of national life, expecting it to cure social problems, shape cultural identities, and promote both individual mobility and social cohesiveness. Examines the evolution of American schools and educational beliefs within the context of social, cultural, political and economic change, and places American education into an international perspective. 3 Cr.

    HST 524 The United States and the World (A). Focuses on the late 19th century, when the United States burst on the international scene, quickly becoming the most influential society in history. Examines that dramatic trajectory through America’s cultural, diplomatic, economics, educational and political relations with other societies. Explores the impact of America on other societies and their impact on American society. 3 Cr.

    HST 526 American Cultural History 1865-Present (A). Examines the emergence of modern American culture between the late 19th and early 21st centuries. Focuses on how nationalism and war, race and gender, industrial production and consumption, science and technology, and mass education and entertainment affected the way Americans identified themselves and made sense of their world. 3 Cr.

    HST 529 American Women: History and Theory (A). Cross-listed as WMS 529. A reading seminar. Investigates how women’s history is constructed as social and cultural history with an emphasis on class, and how the discipline interacts with cultural studies in analyzing representations of women in popular culture, biography, and visual media. 3 Cr.

    HST 534 Modern Caribbean History: Puerto Rico/Cuba Since 1898 (A). As an advanced course, covers the French, Spanish and British Caribbean since the Haitian Revolution of the 1790s. Investigates how slavery and abolition, colonialism and nationalism, social and cultural movements, racism and dependency have forged this fascinating and paradoxical region. Considers questions of identity, especially for Afro-Caribbean women and men, in comparative framework. 3 Cr.

    HST 538 Women and Gender in Latin American History (A). Cross-listed as WMS 538. Examines at an advanced level the diversity of Latin-American and Caribbean women’s experiences from Iberian conquest to the 20th century. Analyzes the gender dynamics of colonial, national, dictatorial, and revolutionary states, economies, and cultures, as well as the importance of women’s movements and feminism. Discusses Latina history in the US and Latin-American and Caribbean masculinity in historical perspective. 3 Cr.

    HST 541 World War I (A). Covers military aspects of the Great War (1914-18), including the causes of the war, the German offensive, the Western and Eastern Fronts, sea battles, technology and warfare, the entry of the United States, the disintegration of Czarist Russia, and the movements for peace. 3 Cr.

    HST 544 Medieval Women (A). Prerequisites: HST 101 and HST 390. Studies European Middle Ages, ca. 500-1500, particularly as women experienced them. Examines the perceptions medieval society fostered about gender; analyzes factors such as social class, work and professional status, legal structures and sexuality, and compares/contrasts their effect on women’s and men’s lives. 3 Cr.

    HST 545 The High Middle Ages (A). A study of the European experience from the First Crusade to the Black Plague, the general crises of the mid-14th century and the new institutions of a rapidly expanding European culture. 3 Cr.

    HST 547 Revolutions and Revolutionaries in the Modern World (A). Investigates the critical role revolutions and revolutionaries have played in shaping the modern world from the late 18th through the 20th century. Using a comparative framework, it interrogates definitions and theories of revolution, explores who historically is attracted to revolutions, examines the historical processes which have converged to realize revolutions, and questions the types of societies, cultures and leaders revolutions have produced. 3 Cr.

    HST 548 The French Revolution (A). Considers the revolution’s origins in the Old Regime and the Enlightenment before examining its political and cultural development as well as its immediate aftermath in the Napoleonic era and its influence on Europe in the 19th century. 3 Cr.

    HST 552 Religion in American Civilization (A). Historical analysis of the role of religious ideas and movements as they have influenced and shaped the American experience and in turn been influenced by unique features of American life. 3 Cr.

    HST 560 Modern Africa (A). Surveys major patterns of pre-colonial Africa; examines the colonial experience and African struggles for independence; and explores the problem of “development” in post-colonial African states. 3 Cr.

    HST 562 Business, Technology and Culture in Modern Japan (A). Explores how and why Japan, a late-comer to modernization at the turn of the 20th century, emerged as an industrial power and the world’s second-richest nation after 1945. Focuses on the historical development of business, technology, and culture in Japan from 1600 to 2000, giving particular attention to the interplay between technology transfer, ideology, and corporate culture. 3 Cr.

    HST 567 Modern South Asia (A). Surveys the background of South Asian nations under European colonialism and the movement to independence. Also examines the post-independence problems of the area and the contemporary impact of these nations on the world. 3 Cr.

    HST 570 Consumerism in Europe and the World, 1600-Present (A). Introduces students to the theory and history of consumerism in Europe, America and globally. Requires that students read novels, monographs and articles pertaining to the history of shopping, advertising, fashion, globalization, cultural dissemination and effects on workers. 3 Cr.

    HST 587 Asian Survey (A). Surveys Asian cultures through films, slides, lectures, and textbooks. Using a chronological and regional approach, focuses on the unity and diversity of the peoples and cultures of China, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. 3 Cr.

    HST 595 Women, Gender and Class, 1920-1940 (A). Cross-listed as WMS 595. Examines and analyzes US women’s experiences in terms of gender, class and work. Introduces theories of women’s and gender history and of gender and class analysis. Uses a seminar format and expects committed student participation. 3 Cr.

    HST 599 Independent Study in History (A). Arranged in consultation with the instructor-sponsor prior to registration. 1-3 Cr. Every Semester

    HST 600 Introduction to Historical Study (A). Explores the nature of historical knowledge and the means whereby that knowledge is achieved. Stresses the development and execution of a simple research design. Introduces students to modern historical scholarship. Should be taken early in a student’s MA program. 3 Cr. Fall

    HST 601 Topics in American History (A). Provides a thematic approach to American history with specific topics changing each semester. May be repeated for credit. 3 Cr.

    HST 602 Topics in World History (A). Provides a thematic approach to world history with specific topics changing each semester. May be repeated for credit. 3 Cr.

    HST 614 Reading Seminar in Early America (A). A broad reading course in early American history that examines writings from the colonial beginnings through Reconstruction. Acquaints students with the principal literature and major recent interpretations of the field. Requires students to read, interpret and synthesize a variety of readings in social, political, economic and intellectual history. 3 Cr.

    HST 615 Reading Seminar in Modern America (A). Examines writings on American history since Reconstruction. Students learn to analyze historical scholarship through readings and seminar discussions. Requires a concluding essay to help students develop a synthetic overview. 3 Cr.

    HST 643 Regional Seminar: Modern Europe (A). Introduces students to the study of modern Europe within the framework of world history, focusing on trans-regional connections or encounters and on large-scale comparative analysis. 3 Cr.

    HST 644 Regional Seminar: Latin America (A). Examines key themes in Latin American history with a focus on the post-1800 period. May include topics such as economic dependency, race and gender relations, state-building and popular movements. Places the region in a comparative and transatlantic context. 3 Cr.

    HST 645 Seminar: East Asia (A). Examines the history of the Sinocentric world, Southeast Asia and Central Asia (Tibet, Xinjiang and contiguous Turkic-Muslim areas). Entails two segments: a) selected readings on a discrete, specific historical issue or development, and b) a critique and overview of significant English language works in Asian history. 3 Cr.

    HST 646 Regional Seminar: Africa (A). Examines a series of themes or topics that cast Africa’s historical experience in a larger world historical and comparative framework. Includes topics such as state-building, Islam in Africa, slavery and slave trades, the colonial experience, race relations and nationalism. 3 Cr.

    HST 648 Regional Seminar: Medieval Europe (A). Examines key themes of medieval European history in seminar format. 3 Cr.

    HST 691 Research in American History (A). An individualized research experience. Allows students to develop skills in original scholarly research in American history and to explore the methods and resources appropriate for a selected area of investigation. Themes vary with the student and instructor. 3 Cr. Every Semester

    HST 695 Research in World History (A). Offers an individualized research experience in which a student and a faculty member examine a topic of mutual interest and one in which the student has developed some expertise. Normally scheduled at the end of the student’s program. 3 Cr. Every Semester

    HST 699 Independent Study in History (A). Arranged in consultation with the instructor-sponsor prior to registration. 3 Cr. Every Semester

    HST 700 Historical Integration (A). Entails individualized integrative experience culminating in an extended interpretive essay and an oral examination. 3 Cr. Every Semester

    HST 701 Masters Thesis (A). Allows students to undertake a scholarly research, composition and writing project with the assistance of a faculty advisor. May be completed in one or two semesters as a two-step research and writing project. Two readers must approve each submitted thesis. The original and one copy should be submitted to Drake Memorial Library, and one copy should be submitted to the Department of History, all unbound. 3 Cr. Every Semester

    HST 710 College Teaching Practicum (B). Provides the mature graduate student in his or her second or third semester with extensive reading in the literature on current teaching practices, audio-visual material utilization, curriculum design, and experience in all aspects of collegiate-level teaching at the introductory level: lecturing; small-group discussion; and the preparation, administration and evaluation of written assignments and exams. Culminates with a report containing a pedagogical essay by the student, a description of the teaching experience, and the instructor’s evaluation of both the pedagogical essay and the teaching experience. 3 Cr. Every Semester

    Last Updated 11/20/18

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