Graduate Programs

The MA/MS History Program at Texas A&M University-Commerce is designed for both full-time students and working professionals. All courses meet once a week in the evenings or online. The Program has three tracks to accommodate the various needs, interests, and goals of our students:

Track I, Thesis: prepares students for doctoral study in History

Track II, Non-Thesis: provides a well-rounded historical education

Track III, professional track: provides state-mandated qualifications to teach dual credit classes in History and Government.

In addition, the Master’s Program offers a concentration in Public History and certificates in Public History, World History, and the History of Christianity.

You do not need to decide right away which degree track you wish to pursue. You can make that decision in consultation with your faculty advisor after starting the program. Generally speaking, a thesis and an MA rather than a MS is preferred if you intend to pursue a Ph.D. in history.

Students have the opportunity to gain practical experience as graders and teachers of record working under the direction of the Department’s faculty.

Degree Programs

Certificate Programs

Course Descriptions



The MA (Master of Arts) and the MS (Master of Science) differ in a foreign language requirement. To pursue an MA, you need to meet one of the following conditions:

  • Completion of 12 undergraduate semester credit hours (approximately four courses) of a foreign language.
  • Completion of 6 graduate semester credit hours (approximately two courses) of a foreign language.
  • Demonstration of language proficiency through an exam coordinated through the Department of Literature and Languages.
  • Completion of 3 semester hours above elementary courses if the student presents 3 or 4 years of high school credit.
  • American Sign Language (ASL) is considered an acceptable foreign language. Students should consult with departmental Director of Graduate School regarding this requirement.


Prior to enrollment in thesis hours (HIST 518) or Research Literature and Techniques (HIST 595), all history graduate students must successfully complete the Department's graduate qualifying exam.  Degree-seeking graduate students should contact the graduate advisor for History, Dr. Sharon Kowalsky (, early on in their coursework to discuss the process for completing this requirement.


The program is primarily available via face-to-face courses that meet on our lovely campus located in Commerce, Texas, only an hour away from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Courses are also offered at our extended University facilities in both the Universities Center at Dallas-El Centro and the Metroplex Center in Mesquite. Each face-to-face course typically meets one day a week in the evenings during the Monday-Thursday timeframe. The department also offers a number of online courses each year. Up to 49% of the degree may be completed through online coursework.



The plan of study guarantees that all necessary courses for graduation will be offered over the two year period. You can complete the program in two years as a full-time student by taking three courses in each long semester, or two courses each long semester and two courses over the summer terms. Completion in fewer than two years is possible but not recommended.



Fall and Spring - Our fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long. Occasionally we offer flex-term courses in the fall and spring semesters that start four weeks later than the usual 16-week start date. Flex-term courses are 12 weeks long.

Summer - Summer is split into two terms, Summer I and Summer II, each five weeks long.

Minis - On occasion we offer mini-terms (August, May, and December) that are three weeks long.



You can pursue your 18 credit hours as a "nondegree" student without having to pursue a full graduate degree. However, please to keep the following in mind:

  • Nondegree students are not eligible for financial aid
  • International students may not be eligible for nondegree status
  • If you decide later to pursue the full master's degree in History, only four courses (12 credit hours) of your "nondegree" coursework can be transferred into the program.

For these reasons, the department recommends students pursue for the Track III (professional track) degree plan (which includes 18 credit hours each of political science and history) and/or a graduate certificate program (12 credit hours) 

More questions about earning your 18 credit hours? Visit


Check out our current 2018-2019 tuition and fees.

If you are a Texas resident, be sure to look at the base tuition column for Texas residents. The chart estimates cost based on credit hour enrollment per semester and should only be regarded as an estimate.

The average graduate student pursues 6 credit hours(approximately two courses) each semester. Students can pursue one course or even three courses in some semesters, but students interested in more than three courses a semester should consult with their academic advisor beforehand.

This chart does not include several fees, such as the Distance Learning Fee for online courses, and the Program Delivery Fee for off-campus courses. The Distance Learning Fee is a $50 per credit hour fee applied to each online course. If that course is 3 credit hours, as most are, it would be a $150 Distance Education Fee on top of the base rate. The Program Delivery Fee is a $10-20 per credit hour fee applied to each face-to-face course taken at one of our extended University locations (such as Dallas). If you take a 3sch course, it would be an additional $60 to take a face-to-face graduate course at the Dallas location rather than taking that face-to-face course on our main campus in Commerce, TX.  Learn more about these fees HERE.

  • [in]Tuition - Our plan to lock in your tuition and mandatory fees from registration to graduation.
  • Financial aid is available. At the graduate level, this primarily means student loans. Government grants (e.g. pell grants) are likely only available to undergraduate students.
    • Complete the FAFSA
    • Submit the FAFSA to our University using code 003565
  • Payment/Installment Plans are available in the fall and spring terms. Your balance will be split into four equal payments each term.
  • Students paying their balance with an international bank account can make payments through Flywire
  • Veterans and Military Services benefits
  • Graduate Assistantships may be available for those that can work/teach/study face-to-face in Commerce, TX.
  • Tuition and Leo Personal Loans - If the semester is approaching and you are still awaiting your financial aid, a tuition loan can help cover your balance while you wait for your financial aid to be disburse.
  • Be proactive on scholarship opportunities. In general, the scholarship portal is open six months prior to the fall terms. Between January and April (the spring term), scholarships are open for the next upcoming academic year with varying deadlines within that time frame. To be eligible to apply for scholarships, please work to be admitted to your desired graduate program before the scholarship cycle opens in the spring.


Questions about admissions? Contact

Printable application checklist 

Non-degree printable checklist

Requirements at a glance:

  • Application
  • Application Fee $50 domestic/$75 international
  • Official Bachelor’s Transcripts
  • GRE – Requirement may be waived*
  • Additional items required for international students

We do not have an application deadline. Students may start the program in the fall, spring, or summer.


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