Frequently Asked Questions

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M.A. in History

Do you accept applications for the M.A. from students interested in U.S. history and the history of technology?
Yes. While the majority of our students in these fields of interest are working towards the Ph.D., we welcome M.A. applicants in American history , History of Technology, and the history of the American South as well as in Public History, European and non-US histories. Applying for a M.A. in the first instance can be a good way to work out if graduate work in history is right for you. In addition, students whose background and credentials are insufficient to prove their readiness for the "direct track" Ph.D. are encouraged to consider applying for the M.A.. Applicants should consult with our GPO as to their best course of action in this regard. Often such students move directly from the M.A. into the Ph.D. transferring the sum of their M.A. coursework at Auburn towards the higher degree.

Ph.D. in History

Do you offer distance-based or online Ph.D. degrees?
The Department does not currently offer distance education courses at the graduate level and has no plans to do so in the immediate or foreseeable future. For us, the face-to-face component of graduate education that takes place around the seminar table simply can't be successfully replicated in an on-line environment. We have certain courses in our Public History Certificate that are offered electronically as part of an Archival Education Collaborative, but students take these courses on Auburn's campus in order that they can interact directly with students and professors participating in the learning consortium.
Can I do the Ph.D. degree in history part time?
Yes, you certainly can. During coursework, students working towards the degree typically take three to six classes per year, spread out over Auburn's three semesters. This allows students to proceed to preliminary examinations within six years of entering the degree program. While a number of our seminars are in the afternoon (typically from 1 to 4pm), we try to schedule mandatory courses after 4pm.

Public History

Do M.A. students concentrating on public history have to complete a thesis?
The M.A. in History with a Certificate in Public History requires the successful completion of a master’s thesis. Students typically defend their thesis in Spring or Summer semester of their second year.
Can I do public history as part of a Ph.D.?
Yes. We encourage students to take public history as a minor field. This expertise will increase your options when you are finishing your degree and entering the job market. Combining academic and public history will qualifying you for employment in a range of non-academic institutions (preservation offices, historical societies, federal agencies, consulting firms, libraries and archives) as well as opening up a broader range of academic teaching jobs. Having completed three courses for a minor field, we would encourage you to add one more course and complete an internship in order to receive a Certificate in Public History. Finally, many of our faculty are qualified and happy to advise students interested in writing dissertations which focus on issues and themes in public history.
What opportunities exist for Public History internships?
See the description of our Public History certificate.
What sort of careers are available for those interested in public history?
We have put together these two brief guides, one for archives and the other for public history (with links to other resources) for students considering these fields. See also this list of Public history resources prepared for our current students.

For more information

Last Updated: February 14, 2018