Master of Arts Degree Programs in History

The History Department offers four MA programs:

  • The first, a one-year Master of Arts in Comparative History, is best suited for students who have a relatively clear idea for a thesis topic. "Comparative History" is meant here in the broadest sense of thinking about one's particular project with consideration of similar developments in other geographic, imperial, or national contexts.
  • The second is a two-year MA degree in Comparative History. This program is for students who prefer a more flexible timeline for identifying and carrying out a research project and who may wish to pursue a significant study of research languages.
  • The third is the two-year "History in the Public Sphere" degree which is an Erasmus Mundus program in collaboration with partner universities in Tokyo, Japan; Lisbon, Portugal; Florence, Italy; and Paris, France. Students spend the first semester in Budapest, followed by a January workshop in Vienna, the second semester in Tokyo, and third and fourth semesters in Florence or Lisbon.
  • In the fourth degree program, interested students may also pursue the MATILDA European Master in Women's and Gender History, offered by CEU's departments of History and Gender Studies in collaboration with several other leading European universities (Vienna, Lyon, Nottingham, Sofia) within the EU Erasmus program.

Character of the programs

The Master's programs provide students the chance to explore a broad range of topics across a number of regions and historical periods. Our students write theses on global history, China and South Asia as well Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Key themes and strengths include religion, problems of modernization, political ideology, empires and imperial structures, nationhood and the nation state, and varieties of authoritarianism such as fascism and communism. In order to foster a critical spirit of inquiry, students receive solid training in methodology and theory.

Our MA programs are graduate programs. Students are expected to develop familiarity with, and experience in, the basic skills of independent research. Faculty members offer guidance, assistance, and supervision in students' own creative work and, naturally, information on fields which students may not have studied earlier.

Our MA programs are programs in comparative history. This does not imply that students are expected to work on topics that are per se comparative. It means, however, that they should strive to develop an ability to place their topics in a comparative perspective. In order to achieve this, they should participate in research discussions of several fields of scholarship besides their own specialization, primarily by selecting courses that point beyond the thematic, spatial and temporal boundaries of the subject of their theses. They should also take advantage of the interdisciplinary background of our faculty, and to a certain extent also of their peers, many of whom have been previously trained in a discipline other than history.

Continuing Studies

The department encourages its best graduates to continue their scholarly work at CEU or other universities. For many students, the MA in History counts as the first step in the PhD program.

Specializations and advanced certificate programs

Master's students may also pursue a number of specializations and advanced certificate programs within the department. These programs mark academic fields of particular relevance in which there is a coalescence of faculty strength between the History Department and other CEU units. The specializations and advanced certificate programs do not imply separate degrees: students who have successfully completed the requirements receive, together with the regular CEU MA degree, a certificate of attendance. You can find more information on the programs here.