History Student Resources

Education is just one aspect of launching an extraordinary career. Once student’s have mastered the material, they still must find the job they want, make the right connections, and sell their knowledge and experience.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The Department of History encourages undergraduates to engage in research, either by a short-term independent project or completion of a Senior Thesis. Many internships in history also involve significant research in a real-world setting.

Students interested in pursuing their own short-term independent research project (HISTORY 496) under the guidance of a faculty member and earn credit hours towards their degree should consult with undergraduate faculty mentor for details.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship

Participating in undergraduate research and creative scholarship not only helps students develop critical-thinking, artistic, experimental design, and presentation skills but, it can also open a world of endless possibilities. Students can take classes with a research focus, apply for research grants, and share their research at campus symposia, and earn recognition for their work.

Students interested in pursuing undergraduate research and creative scholarship should consult with their undergraduate faculty member for details before enrolling in HISTORY 499WI or HONORS 495J.  

Graduate Students

Additional forms for graduate students can be found on School of Graduate Studies webpage.

Program of Study (POS)

All Master of Arts in history students, regardless of emphasis, must have a Program of Study (POS) on file with the department and the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

  • The POS should act as a guiding document for both the student and advisor during each academic advising session. Regular review and updates of this document are essential to ensure that students are on tract in their selected program.
  • Students who are candidates for graduation must submit their final copy to the department at the beginning of the semester in which they plan to graduate.
    • Deadline of September 1st for students planning to graduate in December.
    • Deadline of February 1st for students planning to graduate in May.
    • Deadline of June 1st for students planning to graduate in summer.

All Interdisciplinary Ph.D. students must have an IPh.D. POS on file with the department and the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). The form can be found here.

Declare a Public History Emphasis

Any Master of Arts in history students interested in pursuing the Public History emphasis must have a Declaration of Major (DOM) on file with the department and School of Graduate Studies. Ideally, students will declare a Public History major during their first enrolled semester.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Other Graduate Funded Positions

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are designed to provide graduate students with meaningful teaching experience in preparation for a career in education or enhancing their professional degree. GTAs assist faculty in the preparation and teaching of courses; responsibilities include attending class lectures, teaching smaller breakout or discussion sessions, holding weekly office hours, and grading student performance within their breakout sessions. GTAs receive a stipend and up to nine (9) credit hours in tuition remission. Currently, the department employees four GTAs per academic year.

Prospective students are encouraged to submit their GTA application by March 1st for consideration for the upcoming academic year.

Additional Graduate Research or Graduate Assistant positions may appear throughout the academic year, at which time announcements will be sent out to active graduate students via their university issued email. Such announcements will include position details and instructions for how to apply. 

Students who are interested in an internship are encouraged to view the History Internships page for more information. 

Career Development

Whether interning with the National WWI Museum and Memorial, working for the Missouri Humanities Council, or creating award-winning documentaries in the Kemper Humanities Digital Laboratory, UMKC history students find success in a variety of workplaces. For our historians, success beyond academia is the expectation; not the exception.

As such, the Department of History is committed to preparing students for success in a broad range of fields by providing these initiatives.

  • Intensive training opportunities in career development
  • Networking events connecting our students with the cultural resource management community in the Kansas City region
  • A showcase for the talents of our students and graduates

Prizes and Awards

The Department of History awards two annual paper prizes for graduate students:

  • Louis Potts Best Graduate Regional History Prize – Awarded annually to the best original research paper on Midwestern history.
  • Carla Klausner Best Graduate Student Paper Prize – Awarded annually to the best original research paper.
  • The Captain Harry S. Truman Prize – Awarded annually to the best undergraduate or graduate student paper on a topic related to World War I (WWI).

Students are encouraged to submit their papers to the department by May 1st of each year for consideration. For more information regarding these scholarship opportunities please contact the Department

Other Funding Sources

Students are encouraged to seek external funding through internships, grants, and fellowships. Many local, state, and national historical organizations offer fellowships for graduate students, as well as travel grants to archives and presidential libraries.