Graduate Program Description

Department Chair: Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Director of Graduate Studies: Catherine Jacquet

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 MAs and PhDs. There are currently about fifty students enrolled in the graduate program. LSU offers the MA and PhD degrees in US, British, European, and Latin American history. We also offer a flexible MA with a Content Knowledge Concentration. 

The thesis-option MA requires 30 semester hours of credit, including at least six hours of thesis credit, and a research thesis. The non-thesis MA (considered a terminal degree) requires 36 hours of course work and passing the MA 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 an MA degree in History and a Master’s of Library and Information Science degree simultaneously with the completion of 64 hours. A separate application to the School of Library and Information Science is necessary. MLIS program 

The PhD program requires a major field, a minor field, a general examination, and a dissertation. PhD candidates in European History must prove reading competency in two foreign languages. 

Research Resources

To support the research of the department’s graduate students, the University boasts an excellent library and many digital research 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 The holdings are especially rich in published and unpublished materials relating to the lower Mississippi Valley, the South, and the American Civil War and Reconstruction.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. LSU Libraries 


Students applying for entrance to the Graduate School must submit an application for admission. This must be submitted on-line ( The applicant must submit supporting materials that include 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. Those applying for the PhD program should include a portion of their Master’s thesis as a writing sample. For admission or advancement to the PhD program, an MA 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 following fall semester, completed applications must be submitted by JANUARY 15, although completed applications submitted after that date may also be considered if assistantships remain available. 

We recommend that students who are pursuing degrees in Area Studies Concentrations begin their course work in the fall semester. Students pursuing the Content Knowledge Concentration can begin their studies at the beginning of any semester.

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 $23,000, 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. We also offer a flexible MA in a Content Knowledge Concentration. For more information: Graduate Fields of Study and Faculty


Requirements for Graduate Degrees: