MA Admissions

Georgetown’s MA Programs in History welcomes applications for matriculation in the Fall semester.  Admission is competitive–we admit between 24% and 34% of the applicant pool each year.

Questions about the application process can be referred to James Millward, Director of MA Programs, or Carolina Madinaveitia, Graduate Programs Manager.

Preferred Deadline: January 15 (decisions released by early March)
Second Deadline: April 1 (decisions released by late May/early June)

MAGIC does not have rolling admissions.

All applicants to the MAGIC program should have strong analytical, language, and writing skills. An undergraduate GPA above 3.3 is expected, and above 3.5 is encouraged.

All applications must be filed through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, rather than the History Department. Visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions website for the online application and additional information.

Please indicate on the application if you are applying for a joint program; joint program applicants must submit materials for both programs, and must be accepted by both programs in order to matriculate. 

Applications for MAGIC admission must include:

  • unofficial transcripts from any and all college and universities attended (see below for note on unofficial transcripts);
  • test scores from the GRE General Test (starting with the application for matriculation in Fall 2021, submission of GRE scores will be optional);
  • a statement (maximum 500 words) that outlines preparation, general goals, and a proposed program of study;
  • an analytical writing sample demonstrating engagement with a historical topic (15-25 pages);
  • three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should come from academic sources;
  • TOEFL/IELTS where applicable (see note below on language proficiency)
  • and a completed Supplemental Application (included automatically in general application).

A Note on LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education where English is the primary language of instruction.  All other applicants must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. International students who have been conferred degrees from accredited institutions where English is the primary language of instruction do not need to request a waiver of IELTS/TOEFL as part of the English proficiency confirmation process.

A Note on UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS: Per the Graduate School Admissions team, “an acceptable transcript upload is a copy of an official transcript produced by the institution. (We consider these uploaded transcripts to be “unofficial” as they are submitted by the applicant). This includes:
-Scanned copies of paper transcripts issued by the institution to the student
-Electronic transcripts issued by the institution to the student (not a download from your institution’s web portal)
-We do not accept screenshots or photos, and we do not accept downloads of the “student’s view” from your institution’s website.”

A Note on SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION MATERIALS: Applicants can submit their statement of purpose, writing sample, unofficial transcripts, and letters of recommendation via the online portal.  GRE and/or IELTS/TOEFL scores should be submitted directly to the Graduate School and not the History Department.  Please use code 5244 for submission of GRE and TOEFL scores. All materials must be submitted directly to the Graduate School, not the History Department. Submitting materials to the History Department directly slows down the processing of your application.

Current program costs can be found on the Office of Student Financial Services site. MAGIC students will pay the tuition and fees listed under “GRD.”  Please note: these totals assume that students take 12 credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters; however, the normative credit load for MAGIC is 9 credits per semester.  The best method to determine overall cost is to multiply per credit cost times 30, the number of required credits for the entire program. In addition, some students with acceptable transfer credits can take fewer credits in their second year, lowering overall costs.  MA students are not charged tuition for Georgetown language courses in the fall and spring semesters if they remain in good standing in these courses.

The History Department offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships. All MAGIC applicants are automatically considered for merit-based financial aid during the application process; top applicants in the pool will be offered aid packages in the form of partial tuition remission. The History Department is unable to provide living stipends, teaching assistantships and/or research assistantships to MAGIC students.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for external sources of funding concurrently with their applications to the program.  Unlike undergraduate admissions, where most applicants apply for admission first and then apply for aid, applications for national scholarships and graduate financial aid applications often have their deadlines at the same time or prior to program admission dates. 

For more information on grants, fellowships, internships, and other external funding opportunities, please visit the Graduate School’s page on Grant Finding and Writing Resources, the Office of Student Financial Services page on Outside Scholarships, and the Graduate Career Center. Students interested in more information on federal loans and grants should contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

Students are also able to find job opportunities on and off campus.

The Georgetown History Department reviews applications for the MA program and the PhD program separately. The committees are comprised of different members, and the method of assessing application is different. Students are welcome to apply to both programs, but should not assume that the application process or criteria is the same.

The MAGIC program is a two-year terminal MA degree which provides students the opportunity to expand their writing, research, language, and analytical skills in the discipline. MAGIC graduates have the opportunity to explore their interests in global history, and eventually go on to the professional world or pursue the PhD. Students admitted to MAGIC are not guaranteed admission to the Georgetown PhD program, although students who do continue their studies at Georgetown are able to transfer all MAGIC credits towards their History PhD degree. Many other PhD programs also allow graduates to secure advanced standing in their respective PhD programs with the MAGIC degree.

The PhD program is a seven-year course of study comprised of coursework, comprehensive exams, and writing a dissertation. At Georgetown, as in other top-tier programs, admission to the PhD program is extremely competitive–roughly 10 percent of applicants are accepted each year. All students who are admitted to the program are offered a funding package, the most common one being the 5-year package consisting of full tuition scholarship and stipend support. Approximately three quarters of our applicant pool already have or will soon receive an MA in History, Political Science, International Relations, or another field.

Applicants who have further questions regarding the differences between the two programs and application protocols should contact Carolina Madinaveitia, Graduate Programs Manager.