History and Classical Studies

History and Classical Studies

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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.

M.A Degrees in History

The M.A. program is built around a 3-credit, co-taught Research Seminar, which is required of all incoming students, as well as complementary courses. A range of dedicated but rotating 600-level complementary courses will be offered each year, reflecting areas of interest among the Department’s faculty. Besides coursework, students will produce a thesis under the supervision of one or more faculty members. The program will significantly hone students’ skills in research, critical thinking, and analytical writing. It can be taken in preparation for a possible Ph.D. program or for a wide range of non-academic career options. The program is designed to be completed in one year, but may be extended into a second year. Students can earn their degree in History alone, or with an interdisciplinary concentrations in Gender and Women's Studies or in Development Studies. (In the case of the Development Studies concentration, acceptance in the History M.A. program does not automatically entail acceptance in the concentration.) With or without a concentration, the degree consists of 45 credits.

Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis) (45 credits)

The Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis) program provides a strong grounding either for further advanced studies in History (Ph.D.) or as a gateway to a variety of professions. The program consists of a required research seminar in the first semester, complementary courses that reflect the strengths of the McGill faculty in the Department of History and Classical Studies, and a thesis.

Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis): Development Studies (45 credits)

The Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis): Development Studies offers advanced training in the practice of History as an academic discipline, with an emphasis on international development. It aims to develop critical reading, writing and research skills through broad theoretical reflections on the field of history, specialized courses that include courses in Development Studies, and a thesis on a topic related to international development. The program is designed so that it can be completed in one year. In the case of the Development Studies concentration, acceptance in the History M.A. program does not automatically entail acceptance in the concentration.

Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)

The Master of Arts (M.A.) History (Thesis): Gender & Women’s Studies offers advanced training in the practice of History as an academic discipline, with an emphasis on feminist, women’s and gender studies. It aims to develop critical reading, writing and research skills through broad theoretical reflections on the field of history, specialized courses that include courses in Gender & Women’s Studies, and a thesis. The program is designed so that it can be completed in one year.

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.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2021-2022 (last updated Feb. 9, 2021).

History and Classical Studies Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

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

  1. 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.
  2. A minimum CGPA of 3.3 out of 4.0 (B+) in your undergraduate degree is required.

Master in History – Development Studies Option

Students have the same admission requirements as above. In the case of the Development Studies concentration, acceptance in the History M.A. program does not automatically entail acceptance in the concentration.

Master in History – Gender and Women's Studies Option

Students have the same admission requirements as above.

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.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Refer to the Department of History and Classical Studies website for detailed information (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 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
Winter Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Note: Applications for Winter or Summer term admission will not be considered.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2021-2022 (last updated Feb. 9, 2021).
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