University of Manitoba - Faculty of Arts - History - Graduate Program
Graduate Program


History is, of course, the study of the past. It is the attempt to understand the culture and society of both the distant past, such as Medieval Europe, and the recent past, such as 1970s Canada. We hope to learn from this pursuit how people, individually and collectively, lived and thought. This study tells us something about our origins and who we are. History helps us to understand our "roots" and those of other people and other cultures.

Historical study is a useful preparation for a variety of careers. Opportunities vary according to the level of study achieved but graduates may find positions in teaching, journalism, industry, archives and the public sector. History is also a valuable preparation for further University study, for example Law, Business and Management.


The history department at the University of Manitoba offers two postgraduate programs:

the Pre-M.A. program
the Ph.D. program

The University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg jointly offer:

the Joint Master's program (Courses and thesis direction are offered at both institutions and students graduating from the program will receive a joint parchment.)

The administration of the Pre-M.A. and Ph.D. programs is supervised by the Chair of the Graduate Executive Committee, assisted by members of the departmental Graduate Executive Committee. A Joint Discipline Committee, composed of representatives of the two institutions, conducts the Joint Master's program. A list of Faculty Areas of Specialization indicates who, in both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg's departments of history, could be a possible supervisor or advisor to potential students.

Part time study at the Pre-M.A. and M.A. level is permissible. Pre-M.A. students in history can register in as little as a single course during a full academic session. A few honours and graduate courses are offered in the evening session. The 4000-level courses at the University of Winnipeg can be included in a Pre-M.A. program; 9000-level courses at the University of Winnipeg can be included in a Ph.D. program.


All graduate students in History are required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of a second language, relative to the candidate’s research program. Candidates who major in Canadian History must display a reading knowledge of French and English.

To satisfy the language requirements, students must either:

  1. pass a language competency test by way of a translation exam; or
  2. complete an introductory language course and obtain a grade of B or better.

Translation Exam

Texts for translation are chosen by the History Department but the examinations are conducted by the faculty in the language departments of the University of Manitoba.

Examinations are usually held two times per year: September and April.
It is the responsibility of the student to check with the language departments about the requirements and scheduling of the examinations.

The candidate is given two hours to translate material with the aid of a dictionary and/or verb conjugation book.

The usual requirement for a Pass is about 400 words of reasonably well translated text.

The language departments are not looking for a professional translation but for an accurate one which shows understanding of the text.

Students are strongly urged to sit the language test at the first opportunity. In exceptional cases this requirement may be waived by the Joint Discipline Committee.

Introductory Language Course

Students may also meet the language requirement by taking an introductory language course stipulated by the Department of French, Spanish and Italian and attaining a grade of B in that course.

Students taking the language requirement in a language other than French should consult with the appropriate language department for regulations about introductory language requirements.