College of Arts & Sciences History

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USD offers South Dakota's only master's program in History.

Admission Requirements 

View our Graduate School page for Admission Requirements.

Options for an M.A. in History: 

  • Plan A (followed by students who intend to pursue a Ph.D.).
  • Plan B

Students in both plans must take a reading seminar and are limited to three hours of individual readings. Both plans require 50 percent of the course work to be 700 level. Consult the Graduate Catalog for specific requirements and procedures. Double majors may complete 18 hours in each major and four to six thesis hours in Plan A, or 24 hours in each major in Plan B. Other requirements remain as above.

View Graduate Student Handbook

J.D. Degree

Students already enrolled in the USD School of Law may pursue a joint M.A.- J.D. degree, applying nine hours of law courses to the master's degree in History. You may choose the thesis or non-thesis plan. For more information, contact the School of Law.


Classics courses are offered for graduate credit through the History Department and may be used for supporting course credit or as electives. Classic course work available to Graduate Students includes Classical Humanities, Greek and Latin.


Library holdings for graduate research are especially strong in regional, American Indian, and twentieth-century United States history. The Oral History Center contains over 5,500 tapes on American Indian and South Dakota history. 

Graduate Assistantships

The history department awards four graduate assistantships. Besides a stipend, these assistantships also carry a reduction of tuition to one-third the in-state rate. Visit the Graduate School for more information.

Please send applications to:

  • Dr. David Burrow, Graduate Advisor
    Department of History
    414 East Clark
    University of South Dakota
    Vermillion, S.D. 57069
    (605) 677-5387