History and Classical Studies
About History and Classical Studies
The Department of History and Classical Studies has particular strengths in:
- Canadian history;
- British and European history;
- East Asian history;
- the history of medicine;
- the history of science;
and newer fields such as:
- the history of gender and sexuality;
- the history of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds;
- global history.
The Department offers interdisciplinary options in developmental studies and women’s studies at the M.A. level. Both M.A. and Ph.D. students can also write their thesis or research paper on the History of Medicine. The Department is composed of 40 full-time faculty members as well as a strong complement of visiting professors, faculty lecturers, and postdoctoral fellows. This array of dedicated teachers and scholars supports high-quality instruction and research across the periods of history and regions of the globe. Our professors have won many prizes for their books and articles, and their ongoing investigations are supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the FRQSC, CFI, the Killam Trusts, and the Mellon Foundation. The Department is home to a number of major collaborative research projects, all of which also include students. Among these are the Montreal History Group; the Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC); Quelques arpents de neige, an environmental history group; and the French Atlantic History Group.
Classics was among the first disciplines taught at McGill College. Our students benefit from the resources of closely related disciplines and draw on the academic expertise of scholars from various backgrounds. Many awards and prizes are available for students who excel in the classroom, and both undergraduates and graduates can join professors on study tours and field projects. Students can also become members of the Classics Students Association and publish their work in the McGill Journal of Classical Studies, aptly titled Hirundo—Latin for “swallow,” like the martlets found on the McGill coat-of-arms, ever soaring in search of knowledge.
We offer prospective students the chance to study with leading scholars in a variety of fields.
Refer to the Department of History and Classical Studies website for detailed regulations and information.
Degrees in History
The M.A. (Non-Thesis) program is normally completed in three terms, or one calendar year (Fall, Winter, and Summer). Candidates for the M.A. degree follow an individual program approved by the Department. The M.A. in History offers advanced training in the scholarly discipline of history in a variety of fields. The McGill History degree carries international prestige and cachet and contributes meaningfully to success on the job market. Careers pursued by our graduates, aside from those who have sought and found places on the faculties of colleges and universities, have included positions in the area of public history at museums and other public institutions, in libraries and archives, in the diplomatic and other branches of the civil service, and in a variety of NGOs.
|Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis) (45 credits)|
Students participate in courses and seminars that deepen their understanding of the problems, topics, and issues confronting professional historians. Preparation of a thesis provides an opportunity for the preparation of a sustained project under close supervision.
|Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis): Development Studies (45 credits)|
The Development Studies Option (DSO) is a cross-disciplinary program offered as an option within existing M.A. programs in the Departments of Geography, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Economics, and Sociology. This option is for master's students specializing in international development. Students enter through one of the participating departments and must meet the Department of History's M.A. requirements. Students admitted to this option participate in an interdisciplinary seminar in place of three history seminar credits and a variety of graduate-level courses on international development issues. The M.A. thesis must be on a topic relating to development studies, approved by the DSO coordinating committee.
|Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)|
This option provides students with cross-disciplinary specialization in feminist, women's, and gender studies. Students admitted to this option participate in an interdisciplinary seminar in place of three history seminar credits and write their thesis on a topic approved by the specific option's coordinating committee. The thesis must be on a topic centrally related to gender and/or women's studies.
|Master of Arts (M.A.) History of Medicine (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)|
The M.A. Degree in the History of Medicine does not have a thesis option. This non-thesis degree is normally completed in one year. Candidates for the M.A. degree follow an individual program approved by the Department. Students participate in courses and seminars that deepen their understanding of the problems, topics, and issues confronting professional historians. The curriculum is intended to provide students with a strong disciplinary competence in history and a distinctively interdisciplinary perspective. Candidates must have a background in either history (Honours B.A. in History, or equivalent) or a degree in one of the health professions.
|Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) History|
The Ph.D. in History is a professional degree program that prepares students for participation in the academy as historians. They gain competence in historical methods and good control over at least three fields of study. The dissertation is a work of primary research that makes a significant contribution to knowledge. Candidates in the field of Medical History will prepare the major field for the comprehensive examination with a member of the Department of Social Studies of Medicine and the two minor fields with members of the Department of History and Classical Studies. The thesis will normally be directed by the director of the major field. In all other respects, the same rules will apply to candidates in this area as apply to other Ph.D. students in History.
Degrees in Classics
|Master of Arts (M.A.) Classics (Thesis) (45 credits)|
The M.A. in Classics offers advanced training in the scholarly discipline of classical studies in a variety of fields. The thesis program emphasizes proficiency both in technical areas of the discipline, especially Greek and Latin language, and in critical reading, writing, and research skills. The McGill M.A. in Classics is designed to prepare students to enter doctoral programs and, eventually, an academic career in any of the related fields of classical studies. Graduates have also pursued successful careers in teaching, law, museum science, and branches of civil service. This program can be completed in one year, though it is normally completed in two years.
|Master of Arts (M.A.) Classics (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)|
The M.A. in Classics offers advanced training in the scholarly discipline of classical studies in a variety of fields. The non-thesis program aims to develop proficiency both in technical areas of the discipline, especially Greek and Latin language, and in critical reading, writing, and research skills to prepare students to enter doctoral programs in any of the related fields of classical studies. This option is designed for students who need to strengthen their proficiency in ancient languages and other aspects of classical studies and places greater emphasis on graduate coursework. This option is normally completed in two years.
History and Classical Studies Admission Requirements and Application Procedures
A minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.3 on 4.0 is required, as well as a minimum TOEFL score of 86 on the Internet-based test (iBT), with each component score no less than 20.
Master in History
- Normally, candidates are required to possess a B.A. (Honours) in History consisting of 60 credits in history. But students with other undergraduate history degrees (normally including serious research components) may be considered eligible.
- A minimum CGPA of 3.3 out of 4.0 (B+) in your undergraduate degree is required.
Applicants not satisfying these conditions but otherwise deemed worthy of serious consideration will be asked to register in a Qualifying program in which they will undertake advanced undergraduate work.
Master in History – Development Studies Option
Students have the same admission requirements as above.
Master in History – Gender and Women's Studies Option
Students have the same admission requirements as above.
Master in History of Medicine
Candidates must have a background in either History—B.A. (Honours) or equivalent—or a degree in one of the health professions with some background in history. Candidates with a willingness to do preparatory work in history are also encouraged to apply.
Ph.D. in History
Normally, an M.A. in History (Students choosing the field of History of Medicine normally enter with an M.A. in History of Medicine).
Master in Classics
Candidates are required to have a B.A. (Honours) in Classics or equivalent.
McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.
Refer to the Department of History and Classical Studies website for detailed information (www.mcgill.ca/history/graduate).
Application Dates and Deadlines
Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Department of History and Classical Studies and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.
|Application Opening Dates||Application Deadlines|
|All Applicants||Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange)||Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange)||Current McGill Students (any citizenship)|
|Fall Term:||Sept. 15||Jan. 15||Jan. 15||Jan. 15|
Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.