Students who are not seeking an MA degree, but who would like to take a History MA course can apply to be a "non-degree" student. Non-degree students will be allowed to register if courses are available and if they submit materials showing their ability to succeed at the Master’s level.
What is a non-degree student?
A non-degree student is a student who has not yet entered a degree-granting program at UMass Boston. A student might want to take a History MA course as a non-degree student for several reasons, including exploring our graduate program, building a record of success for a future application, taking a course not offered by other institutions, or for personal enrichment.
Am I eligible to take a class in the History MA Program as a non-degree student?
Students interested in the History MA program are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to the program. The Department admits a small number of well-qualified non-degree students into our classes each semester, if we have space available. Non-degree students may only take one History class per semester. Non-degree students must apply through the History department and also register with the university registrar. Go here for more information about how to register.
Application for Non-degree Status
To apply for non-degree status, please submit the following materials to the History Graduate Program Director no later than three weeks before the start of the semester:
- Non-Degree Application
- Writing Sample: Ideally, an applicant’s writing sample should be a paper written for a college class, preferably in History. The ideal length for the writing sample is between 5-10 double-spaced pages and the paper should have been written within the last five years. This should be an analytical paper that demonstrates an applicant’s skill at synthesizing primary and/or secondary sources, as well as presenting the applicant’s own interpretation and analysis of those sources. The History Department Graduate Committee will use the writing sample to determine whether an applicant’s writing skills are at a level that would guarantee success at the graduate level
- College Transcripts: You must provide transcripts from all colleges that you have attended.
- Statement of Purpose: The statement should be a minimum of 750 words. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the History Department and make the case for why you should be admitted into the program. Your statement should discuss your academic interests in specific detail.
I have been approved as a non-degree student. What do I do next?
Applications are approved by the GPD, as well as the course instructor, based on available seats in the course. Students will be advised of the department’s decision at least one week before the start of classes. You will receive notification of your approval from the History Dept. Office (via email or phone). You will be told: 1) the course in which you can enroll 2) the date after which you can enroll (typically 3 weeks before the semester begins), and 3) a course permission code that will allow you to register for the class.
Upon approval, non-degree students must also register with the university registrar. Go here for more information about how to register.
Can I use a non-degree course to apply to the History MA Program?
You can use non-degree coursework to build a record of success; your work can then become part of your application to our History MA Program. If you plan to apply to our program, please make an appointment to talk with the Graduate Program Director.