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Four Reasons to Choose VT


  • Graduate Assistantships with tuitionStudents assist faculty in the classroom and work on special research and public history project. Unique assistantships also available in the library’s Special Collections department, with the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, and as managing editors of the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Historical Review
  • Travel Grants to support student research and conference presentations
  • Scholarships for students interested in Civil War Studies or the history of Virginia

Tom Seabrook (sMA, 2015), graduate assistant with the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and holder of a VCCWS Scholarship.  As part of his assistantship, Tom developed the “Traveling Trunk” exhibit of Civil War artifacts and, dressed in costume, shared the exhibit with local school children.


  • 30 faculty members, whose specializations include–but are not limited to–U.S. history, public history, and world history
  • Graduate faculty work closely with individual students on student-designed research projects
  • 4-5 graduate courses offered by history faculty each semester
  • A majority of the faculty have been recognized by the university and the historical profession with awards for teaching and mentoring students and for outstanding research

Alison Vick (MA, 2013) with her thesis advisors, Professor Robert Stephens and Professor Heather Gumbert.  Alison is holding VT’s Preston Award, which she won for the best thesis in the humanities and social sciences.




20140820_122738Four concentrations for student specialization:

  • MA in History
  • MA in History with certificate in Public History
  • Dual Degree Program for aspiring K-12 teachers
  • Interdisciplinary MA in Area Studies for students with language skills in Spanish, French, or German
  • All students write original research projects, with options to submit as a traditional thesis or in a variety of non-traditional formats and media


Amanda Lilly (MA, 2015) putting her Public History training into action during her summuer internship at the Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Art Center in Christiansburg, VA.


Finishing with Career Training and Finding a Job


  • Program options allow students to plan a course of study with job skills in mind
  • Professional development opportunities
    • All students participate in organizing an annual research conference
    • Opportunities to build writing and presentation skills
    • Courses that incorporate training in digital skills
  • Internships for students interested in Public History
  • The MA as a pathway to PhD programs
    • Opportunities through two interdisciplinary doctoral programs at Virginia Tech
    • Graduates are competitive at other PhD granting institutions
  • A network of VT alumni with careers built on an MA in History

Rand Dotson (MA, 1997), speaking to graduate students at the 2014 Bertoti Conference about his career as Executive Editor at LSU Press.