Graduate Admission Requirements

The normal requirement for admission to the M.A. program is an honours degree in History, with at least a 70% average. Although it is possible, and desirable, for fully qualified students to complete the Master's program in History in one calendar year (three terms in residence), some students choose a two-year program.

History graduates with a three-year degree, and honours graduates in fields other than History will be considered on the basis of their academic background and standing. They may be admitted in one of two categories:

Master's Qualifying Admission (M1)

An applicant who holds a three-year degree in the discipline to which s/he is applying, or a four-year degree in another discipline, may be admitted as a qualifying student, with a recommendation for advancement to the M2 level contingent upon completion of a prescribed set of qualifying courses, with a minimum grade as specified by the program.

Since qualifying students are not candidates for a degree, a qualifying student is not considered a graduate student.

Transitional Admission (M2)

An applicant who holds a four-year degree but not one in the discipline to which s/he is applying may be admitted to a Master's program as a transitional student. Transitional students are normally required to complete a program of no more than five specified undergraduate courses in addition to the graduate courses required for regular students. Upon completion of these extra courses, with a minimum grade as specified by the program, the student may continue in the Master's program as a regular student. 

An applicant who does not meet the minimum departmental program admission requirements, but who can present evidence of leadership, and/or substantial related work experience, may be considered for probationary admission upon the recommendation of the program with the status of Probationary Admission (M2)

Probationary Admission (M2)

Students who are accepted on probation will be required to satisfactorily complete a minimum of two specified graduate courses, in addition to any other admission requirements, before conditions are waived. During the probationary period, no other graduate courses may be taken. A student will not normally continue on probationary admission for more than two terms. 

Graduate credit will be given for the graduate courses after the conditions are waived. The final decision on probationary admission rests with the Faculty of Graduate Studies.


Preparing and Submitting your application to the program

Please note that you will be asked to supply the following materials with your formal application:

  • An undergraduate transcript
  • Two Confidential Reports; these are letters of recommendation, from the professors who know your academic work best
  • A one-page statement of purpose This is an outline of your historical interests: the place(s), time period(s) and theoretical and methodological approach(es) you find most interesting. If you already know what you hope to focus on in your research, this is the place to express your intention. The purpose of this statement is to help the faculty members who examine the application to know whether or not the program is appropriate to your interests.
  • A recent sample of your writing; normally a paper written for a senior undergraduate course.

Admissions due dates

  • Fall semester (Sept.): July 1st*
  • Winter semester (Jan.): September 15th

*Applicants who wish to be considered for Entrance Scholarship funding should apply by May 1st, to ensure full consideration for scholarships. Applications received after the July 1st deadline may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Ready to begin? Review the Graduate Studies Application instructions to proceed