Admissions application deadlines

The History Department normally admits new graduate students on an annual basis.

  • The priority deadline for the STANDARD PROGRAM is January 15 for consideration for admission the following fall. Applications submitted between January 15 and March 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.
  • The application deadline for the PUBLIC HISTORY PROGRAM is February 1 for consideration for admission the following fall. Applications submitted between February 1 and March 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Interested students must file two separate and independent applications to be considered for admission, one to the Office of Graduate Studies (online) and another to the History Department office.


This year the graduate office is piloting a new digital admission process.  After applying online through CSU Mentor you will receive a letter to your new Saclink email account instructing you to submit all supplemental documents required by the department digitally at this site.  For the History Department, the supplemental documents that should be uploaded electronically are explained in detail below and include transcripts, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample. 

Because we do not want our admissions schedule to be held up by any possible glitches with this digital submission system during the pilot year, the History Department is requiring that all applicants ALSO submit all supplemental materials in hard copy to the department office by the listed deadline. 

The History Department also requires two letters of recommendation; however, these are meant to be confidential documents and thus are not to be uploaded digitally.  These letters must be submitted in sealed envelopes directly to the department office along with the remainder of your application materials. 

Admissions requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in any of the Standard and the Public History programs requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • an undergraduate major in History, OR a minimum of 27 semester units in History, or a closely related field, approved by the Graduate Coordinator. Fifteen of the units must be upper division and include one seminar from the HIST 192 series (or equivalent) and one seminar from HIST 197 series (or equivalent); and
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted and a minimum 3.25 GPA in History courses.

The GRE is not required for admission to any of the History graduate programs.

A foreign language is not a degree requirement; however, all students who plan to pursue further graduate study in history are encouraged to work on foreign language skills, since proficiency in two foreign languages is usually required in doctoral programs.

Applications and supporting documents

Students wishing to apply to any of the History M.A. programs must complete a History Department application and supply the following documentation to the department by the above deadline:

  1. One copy of all transcripts from all institutions of higher education you have attended (for the department application, these do not have to be official transcripts).
  2. Two formal letters of recommendation that attest to your qualifications and ability to complete a professional degree program in history. These letters should ideally come from university instructors, but if these are not available, another credible individual who can address your qualifications will be acceptable.  Please have each recommender place his/her letter in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal, and return it to you for submission with your application.
  3. One well-written, clear, and complete statement of purpose that attests to your qualifications and ability to complete a professional degree program in history. This statement should include your reasons for applying to the master’s program, your career objectives and an explanation of how the program will help you achieve them, your relevant professional training, experience, internships, or volunteer activities, and any non-academic skills, interests, and notable accomplishments that may be pertinent to your application.  While there is not a page limit on this statement, the department encourages statements of approximately 500 words.
  4. One academic writing sample. Our strong preference is for a history research paper that integrates primary and secondary source evidence. Please select a sample of 7 to 10 pages. You may give us a piece of a larger work.

You should collect ALL the above materials and submit them with your application.  If any documents are to arrive under separate cover, you must notify the Graduate Secretary in advance. 

Important! Applicants to all History M.A. programs must also submit an application to the university through the Office of Graduate Studies in addition to the department application.

Note for applicants from foreign countries: Students with foreign documents need to submit all documentation at least one month prior to the posted deadline. Transcripts from foreign institutions must be sent directly from the institution to the Graduate Office.  CSUS encourages foreign students to have their transcripts evaluated by World Education Services, which will speed up the process considerably.

Notification of decision:  After all applications have been received and processed, the History Department will conduct a review and recommend one of three courses of action to the Graduate Office for each applicant: admit, wait list, or deny admission. The History Department will notify all applicants of their status once a decision has been reached.  Official offers of admission are generated by the Graduate Office, based on departmental recommendations and space availability. Students who are offered admission will have a limited time to indicate their intent to enroll to the Graduate Office, or their offer will be rescinded and their admission slot offered to someone on the wait list.

Contact information:

If you have any questions, you may contact the department’s graduate secretary at the following address:

Ms. LoriAnn Rodriguez
Department of History
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6059

Telephone: (916) 278-6206