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Applying to the History Graduate Program

Minimum Requirements:

3.0 undergraduate GPA

At least 21 credits of history undergraduate classes (a history minor) with a 3.2 GPA in history classes.

Exceptions: We do make exceptions to these requirements on a case by case basis. Perhaps you attended college decades ago. Perhaps you have undergraduate classes in German Studies (some may be close to history classes). Perhaps you have had something published. Try to make your case. We do look at applications closely and do not immediately dismiss applications based upon some strict bureaucratic guideline.

Please note:   We only admit students in the fall semesters.  This is because we want to see closely knit cohorts of grad students taking the required classes (there are a few) together and in the proper sequence.  This is all designed for you to have a better experience in grad school and — if attending full time – to complete the program in two years.

There are three Due Dates:   January 15 and April 15 — and May 15 for the ONLINE Educator Track

The January 15th is for those who wish to be considered for in person Graduate Assistantships (AKA Teaching Assistants).  Please see our page on Funding, Graduate Assistants, & Grants for more information. Please inquire with me (the Graduate Coordinator) about deadlines if you have a question or doubt.    

Also Please Note: We no longer require the GRE exam.

Actually Applying

While filling out this application you may ask yourself why they (not us in the history department) made it more complex than it needed to be. That is a natural response to a document that is more complex than it needed to be.

Go to the Boise State Graduate College page and fill out the Graduate College Application. That application will take you through a number of steps beginning with setting up an account (I pretended to be a student and applied and so I know it could be easier).  When you reach Academic History be sure to get this done properly or it can significantly delay your application.  Following that you will choose your Program — History MA.  Next is the Program Requirements.   Here you will upload your Application Letter and your Writing Sample.  Continuing from there you will get to the Recommendations page where you provide information on those who will send recommendation letters on your behalf.  After that is some more blah blah and then your electronic signature.  At some point the University asks you to pay something.  I’m sorry about that.  It’s too much — all applications are — everywhere.

Do not panic, there is always a way to get help with this overly complex process.

The Following are the details of the Application Letter, Writing Sample, and Recommendation letters  [I have added some hints as to what would be best]

  1. Application Letter —  Please state which Track you desire, Academic, Public, or ONLNE Educator.   Describe your reason for attaining a graduate degree in history. What are your specific history related goals, and what are the areas of historical interest that you would like to research? Your area of historical interest might require research in a language other than English. If so please explain your proficiency in that language. Explain anything that might cause concern in your transcripts. Be as direct and detailed as you can and clearly say what you want to say.
  2. A writing sample — Often the best writing sample is a research paper you did in an upper division undergraduate history class. If you had a capstone class — a senior seminar — or something like that then that might be your best bet. But choose a paper that showcases your research skills with primary sources and a good argument you that you made. It should show citations.  It should probably be at least ten pages.  You certainly could (and maybe should) revise it before submitting it to us.
  3. Two letters of recommendation — These letters should be from academics or those can can professionally speak to your academic history.  Secondary Education teachers applying to the ONLINE Educator Track could also submit one of their two letters from their Principle or Superintendent. The people submitted to supply your recommendation letters will receive an email link to upload a letter. They do not send it by old fashioned mail to the graduate college.

Good Luck, and we hope to hear from you.  Please Note Again: We no longer require the GRE exam.