The master's program aims to provide students with the opportunity to expand their undergraduate knowledge and to sharpen their critical, research and writing skills. This is done through intensive readings required for seminars, class discussions and research and historiographical papers. A range of seminars are offered every year covering most of the geographic and thematic areas of strength of the York program.
The York MA is designed as a one year program. Students in the Master's program are usually required to complete three full graduate courses between September and April and a Major Research Paper of approximately 50 to 75 pages between April and August.
Graduates with a four-year honours first degree from a recognized Canadian university or an Honours degree from another recognized university, and with at least a B+ average in the last two years of study are considered for admission as candidates for the M.A. degree.
Applicants without a History background should consult with the Graduate program in History.
Students lacking the necessary undergraduate preparation may qualify for admission as undergraduate Special Students in the Departments of History respectively of the Faculty of Arts, of Glendon College, or of Atkinson College at York University. Equivalent work at other universities is also considered if it appropriately supplements the background of the prospective applicant.
During the qualifying year, students are required to take courses to raise their qualifications to the minimum level required for admission as candidates. These courses are normally selected from undergraduate courses, on the advice of the program Director. The selection is made in the light of the student's interests and previous background. For such courses, students should consult the relevant undergraduate calendars. High grades in courses taken during a qualifying year are given full weight as a measure of undergraduate study when the student applies for admission as an M.A. degree candidate, but such grades do not ensure admission, since all decisions on admission are made on a competitive basis.