Graduate Program Description

Department Chair: Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Director of Graduate Studies: Alecia P. Long

Departmental Web Page:

Graduate School Web Page:


Degree Programs

Since its inception in 1913, LSU’s graduate program in History has graduated almost nine hundred M.A.s and Ph.D.s. There are currently about sixty students enrolled in the graduate program. LSU offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in US, British, European, and Latin American history. Students may also elect a minor field in Asian history.

The thesis-option M.A. requires 30 semester hours of credit, including at least six hours of thesis credit, and a research thesis. The non-thesis M.A. (considered a terminal degree) requires 36 hours of course work and passing the M.A. comprehensive examination. The department, in conjunction with the School of Library and Information Science, offers a dual degree program in which a student can earn a Master’s of Art degree in History and a Master’s of Library Science and Information degree simultaneously with the completion of 64 hours.  A separate application to the School of Library and Information Science is necessary.

The Ph.D. program requires a major field, a minor field, a general examination, and a dissertation. Ph.D. candidates in American and British history must prove reading competency in at least one foreign language. Candidates in all other concentrations must demonstrate proficiency in two.


Research Resources

To support the research of the department’s graduate students, the University boasts an excellent library and other resources. The LSU libraries contain nearly 3 million volumes, more than 4 million microform records, and a manuscript collection of more than 12 million items. The holdings are especially rich in published and unpublished materials relating to the lower Mississippi Valley, the South, and the American Civil War and Reconstruction.

The LSU library serves as a U.S. Regional Depository, belonging to the prestigious Association of Research Libraries, and subscribes to a wide array of on-line resources. LOUIS, a statewide academic on-line library, provides access to many more databases and most of the academic libraries within Louisiana. The library’s web page can be accessed at



Students applying for entrance to the Graduate School must submit an application for admission. This must be submitted on-line ( Students must submit their scores on the GRE; the minimum combined score required for application is 300. In addition, official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample of approximately 10-20 pages should be submitted online as supporting materials. Those applying for the Ph.D. program should include a portion of their Master’s thesis as a writing sample. For admission or advancement to the Ph.D. program, an M.A. in History is required. Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials. The entire application, including all supporting materials, must be submitted via the LSU Graduate School’s online application website ( Hard copies of official transcripts should be mailed directly to the Graduate School admissions office.

To be considered for fellowships and assistantships for the fall semester, completed applications must be submitted by JANUARY 15, although completed applications submitted after that date but before APRIL 1 may also be considered. The department does not accept applications for spring admission.


Financial Assistance

All completed applications for admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs received by January 15 will be considered for teaching assistantships currently valued at approximately $15,000, renewable for up to four years.  Students with assistantships also are exempt from tuition payments, although they must still pay required university fees. 


Graduate Fields of Study and Faculty 

The Department offers graduate degrees in Archives (joint master’s degree program in History and Library and Information Science); African history; Ancient World/Medieval and Early Modern Europe (up to 1650); Asia; Britain; Latin America; Modern European history, and United States history. For more information: Graduate Fields of Study and Faculty


Requirements for Graduate Degrees: