Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Major Williams contains offices for various departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. It was converted from a residence hall in the late 1990s. Entire building housed 352; contains 64,673 sq. ft. The building is named for Marine Maj. Lloyd W. Williams, class of 1907, alumnus hero of World War I, to which has been attributed one of the more famous statements of that war: "Retreat? Hell, no!..."
431, Mail Code: 0117 Blacksburg VA 24061
Major Williams Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MA
MA Degree in History
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Feb 01
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Major Williams Hall

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Department Chair : Brett Shadle
Graduate Program Director : Matthew Heaton (Director of Graduate Studies)
Professors: Mark Barrow; Laura Belmonte; Arthur Ekirch; Edward Ewing; Richard Hirsh; Brett Shadle; Peter Wallenstein
Associate Professors: Danna Agmon; Glenn Bugh; Samuel Cook; Nicholas Copeland; Carmen Gitre; Heather Gumbert; Dennis Halpin; Matthew Heaton; Melanie Kiechle; Marian Mollin; Paul Quigley; Helen Schneider; Robert Stephens; Daniel Thorp; LaDale Winling; Anna Zeide
Assistant Professors: Amanda Demmer; Edward Gitre; Rachel Midura; Edward Polanco; Jessica Taylor
Robertson Professor of Civil War Studies: Paul Quigley
Professor of Practice: Christina Hey

M.A. Program in History

The Master of Arts program in History provides talented students with advanced training in the professional practice of historical research and pedagogy. The program serves three primary constituencies: students preparing for further graduate work at the doctoral level, those who wish to become secondary school educators, and those planning for careers in a range of public history fields (the program offers a specialized Graduate Certificate in Public History). By preparing broadly-trained practitioners who have research expertise in a chosen field of specialization, the MA in History also offers an excellent foundation for careers in public relations, journalism, law, and public service. Quite apart from its vocational promise, History is a foundational discipline in the humanities, and the serious study of the past is a source of intellectual enrichment and a lifelong endeavor.

Applicants requesting a graduate assistantship should apply by February 1. The program also offers scholarships for students interested in Civil War studies through the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies  For more information about the graduate program and the application process,  please consult our website:

Affiliated Programs

The History MA serves as pivot or foundation for a number of interdisciplinary and co-curricular graduate programs at Virginia Tech:

History is an anchor department for the Master's Program in Material Culture and Public Humanities and  for the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) (, an interdisciplinary PhD program at Virginia Tech. Students with research interests informed by social or critical theory may apply for admission to the ASPECT program as they complete their MA in History.

The department also has strong curricular ties to the graduate program in Science and Technology Studies (STS) (, offered through the Department of Science and Technology in Society.

Graduate Student Organization
The History Graduate Student Association (HGSA) ( welcomes new graduate students to the Virginia Tech community each fall and sponsors a range of professional development activities for graduate students throughout the academic year. The HGSA hosts an annual graduate conference each spring.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
    • Paper
      • 600.0
    • Computer
      • 250.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0
The department offers a Master of Arts in History, which requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework.  Because research and writing are fundamental tenets of the discipline of history, students are expected to complete a major original research project as part of their plan of study.  Most students complete this requirement by developing a research portfolio. In some circumstances, students might substitute the portfolio for a longer thesis. For more information about policies and degree requirements contact

History Facilities Introduction

The History Department is located on the 4th floor of Major Williams Hall.
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