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HST-MA - History


Official Name of Program


Plan Code


Department(s) Sponsoring Program



Degree Designation

MA - Master of Arts



NYSED Program Code

34919 - HST-MA

CIP Code


The Irish playwright Oscar Wilde once wrote that, “Any fool can make history, but it takes genius to write it.” For students who wish to develop a genius for writing about the past, the Master's Degree in history at the College of Staten Island provides opportunities for personal growth and career development. The program meets the highest intellectual and professional standards of the historical discipline, offering training in the analytic and communications skills demanded by all the professions.

Whether graduate students are interested in the master’s degree to satisfy curiosity about the past, or as a preliminary step toward doctoral study, they will benefit from an explanation of the histories of Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America; they also will learn to recognize historical questions and to apply the methods historians have developed to analyze and describe critical human events.

The program is also suited to teachers in the social sciences with initial certification who wish to deepen their knowledge of history as they complete the master’s degree qualification demanded for professional certification. Careers in cultural institutions are also open to students with the professional training in historical research provided by the master’s program.

Graduates of the Master’s program in History at the College of Staten Island will acquire an overview of global history and a focus on a geographic area of specialization. The curriculum requires coursework distributed across four of the department’s five fields of concentration: History of Africa and the Middle East, History of Asia, History of Europe, History of Latin America and the Caribbean, and History of the United States. Students will explore one of these areas of concentration, and will complete a significant work of historical scholarship, a master’s thesis under the supervision of a thesis director. Students desiring recommendation for doctoral work will demonstrate competence in at least one foreign language.

History Retention Requirements

Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to be retained in a graduate program. Students will be able, but not required, to complete the MA Program in four semesters. Some students, particularly those who continue to work full-time while completing the degree, will find it difficult to complete all of the requirements in four semesters. This is normal in most history MA programs, and students should not be discouraged by the demanding pace of CSI's program.

History Probation and Dismissal

Probationary Admission to Program

In some cases (such as when a Probationary a student applies after the application closing date, with a lower-than-expected GPA, an undergraduate major other than History, or other issues), the MA committee may admit students to the program on a probationary basis. In these cases, the standing of the student will be re-evaluated by the committee at the end of the student's first semester in the program, at which point the probation may be lifted or the student will be informed that he or she may not continue in the program.

Dismissal from the Program

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to be retained in a graduate program at the College of Staten Island. When a student fails to maintain a 3.0 GPA  or, in the opinion of the MA Committee, violates the ethical standards of the historical profession by engaging in acts of academic dishonesty or other means, otherwise fails to perform to academic or professional expectations, or behaves in a manner that is manifestly disrespectful of other students, staff, faculty, or the general public, the MA Committee may elect to place that student on probation or to dismiss that student immediately from the MA Program and/or the Advanced Certificate in Public History Program. 

If a student is placed on probation, the probationary period will last for at least one semester. During that time, the MA Committee will determine whether the student has made satisfactory progress toward correcting the situation which has resulted in the probationary status. If the Committee determines that such progress exists, it may lift the probation and may also impose specific ongoing conditions on the academic and professional performance of the student. If the Committee determines that a student has not made adequate progress, it will terminate the student from the MA Program and/or the Advanced Certificate in Public History Program.

Double Counting Policy

Undergraduate students majoring in History at the College of Staten Island and satisfying the following criteria may be granted permission to take up to three CSI 700-level History graduate courses at undergraduate tuition to be counted toward their bachelor’s degree. These graduate courses may be used to substitute for one 300-level requirement in History designations, with two additional graduate courses counting as general electives, but not counting toward the major. Courses taken under this arrangement may also be applied toward completion of the MA in History degree. 


  1. Current enrollment in bachelor’s degree in History at the College of Staten Island and successful completion of three years of study with 75 or more earned credits.

  2. Cumulative GPA 3.3 or above.

  3. Permissions from the course instructor, the coordinator of the History MA program, and the History Department chairperson.