Answering the question is difficult. The field of history is incredibly broad and diverse, and students study an amazing range of subjects in history graduate programs.
A broad answer is that you will likely study a subject that begins where your undergraduate program ended. Some history graduate students choose to focus their degree on something that piqued their curiosity during their undergraduate studies. Perhaps they had favorite class or a professor whose research focus interested them. Or maybe they completed a group project on a subject they found fascinating or wrote their senior paper on something they’re itching to know more about.
For students who are not sure what history topic they would like to explore as a graduate student it might be helpful to start exploring potential topics of focus by first understanding that there are three primary components of history: location, era, and subject:
Once you’ve considered location, era, and subject, you’ll want to consider what you want to do with your education. Do you want to teach? Research? Write? Share history with the public? Serve as a consultant to private or public organizations? Considering what you want to do with your education might help you determine how much education you need and what type of program would be best.
Overall, historians, no matter their specialization or focus, a History Graduate Program Curriculum may typically require courses in some common subjects including:
History Graduate Program Curriculum begin to be more specialized when students choose tracks such as national, transnational, or comparative history, and when they choose a thematic focus which commonly includes a particular location, era, and/or subject. Within their specializations or focuses, students might take history courses that use numerous other subjects, such as anthropology, sociology, political science, or economics, for example, as lenses. They might also take numerous courses with a primary focus on history.
In addition to coursework, students in history graduate programs might be required to complete a large research paper (thesis or dissertation), a comprehensive exam (oral or written), and a teaching, research, or archival fellowship or internship (depending on the degree and program).