M.A. in History

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The Masters degree program in history is designed to train students in historical research, to gain familiarity with the methods of the discipline, to develop a broad foundation in the field, and to improve historical thinking. The program will also provide practical experience in research and research writing in accordance with academic norms, and will enable specialization in a field chosen by the student.
The program has two goals. The first is to expose students to the histories of a variety of cultures and societies, over different periods of time and geographic areas, and to the connections between them. The second is to enable an in-depth study of defined and focused areas of knowledge. Students will be exposed to the central debates surrounding issues of historic significance, and will develop the tools for formulating a critical and independent position on these issues.

Study Tracks

The program of study is offered in two study tracks:

  • Theoretical track for an M.A. without thesis (12 courses, at least 36 credits)

  • Research track for an M.A. with thesis (10 courses, at least 30 credits) The study program is detailed below.

There are three clusters of courses

  • Educational Policy and School Climate

  • Management

  • Teaching and Assessment

Admission Requirements

Applying for studies

The Admissions committee will process all applications.
Requirements are:

  • bachelor's and master's degree in any field with a GPA of at least 80, depending on the field of study.

  • In certain cases, depending on the area of undergraduate studies, students will be required to take supplementary courses.

Undergraduate students may apply for the Master's degree program in history once they have completed all but one advanced course and one seminar paper. The requirements must be completed and a certificate of entitlement to a first degree must be presented by the end of the semester in which the application was submitted. The Admissions Committee may occasionally take into account additional factors to those listed in the admission requirements.

Overseas Students

Study from abroad is possible, but students are required to participate in all course sessions, and to take an active part in them (through "Zoom", see below). Students from abroad may choose the thesis track only if they will be present in Israel for all the course sessions of "Thesis Writing Workshop" (see below).

Supplementary Studies

Holders of a bachelor's and master's degree in disciplines which are not directly related to the fields of study in the program, or who lack essential basic courses, will be required to complete supplementary studies of up to three courses: two regular B.A. courses and one advanced B.A. course (including a written pro-seminar paper).
The three supplementary courses and the extended draft must be successfully completed with an average score of at least 80. Students who have only one remaining supplementary course (or who require only one supplementary course) may simultaneously enroll in one course from the Master's degree program.
Students must contact the program advisor prior to writing the expanded draft in the advanced course.
Supplementary courses are listed below, and will be determined by the Admissions Committee according to the transcripts submitted by the applicant: Regular supplementary courses:
(6-credit intermediate courses)
Rome: Imperialism and Imperia (10473)
The Beginnings of Europe: Western Europe in the Early Middle Ages (10436)

Jewish Communities of the Medieval Mediterranean (10817)

Early Modern Europe: 1350-1600 (10674)
Jews in an Era of Transition (10204)

The Culture of the Enlightenment in 18th Century Europe, I: France (10282)
The Culture of the Enlightenment in 18th Century Europe, II: Britain, Germany, Jewish Culture and Music (10463)

The French Revolution (10782)
The Roots of European Fascism: Changing Approaches (10784)
Introduction to the Modern History of the Middle East (10109)

Advanced supplementary courses:
(6-credit advanced courses)
The Rise and Fall of Regimes in Classical Greece (10306)
The Crusades: History and Historiography (10945)
Issues in the Study of Nationalism (10374)
Germany 1770-1830: From 'Kulturvolk' to National Culture (10513)
Individual Liberties and Constitutional Structure in a Federal Democracy: Continuity and Change in United States Government (10336)
Secularization in Modern Jewish Culture (10932)
Youth, Education and Politics in the Middle East (10510)

English Exemption

All students must prove proficiency in English.
Based on past experience, many students find it difficult to cope with English texts. In accordance with other universities, proof of English proficiency may be required for those students who completed their studies more than 10 years ago, studied for a degree which differs from a B.A. Or B.Sc., or who scored less than 134 in the Amirim / Psychometric Test, or who scored less than 234 in the AMIR test, or who did not pass the end-of-semester exam in the OUI English: advanced II course. The English exemption must be completed before commencing the program (or parallel to the supplementary courses).

Transferring from another Institution

The History Master's Degree Committee will recognize previous graduate courses in which the final grade was at least 80. The scope of recognition will not exceed 12 credits and no more than three courses to replace elective courses in sections B and C. For further details, see the section on Recognition of Studies in Another Academic Institution in the Regulations for Enrollment in Master's Degree Programs.

Programs of Study

A. Core courses for both tracks: 9 credits
 The following courses are required:


Anthropological and Sociological Approaches to Cultural Studies (14204)


Theories of Learning and Instruction (14003)
Theories and Approaches in Cultural Studies (14205)



History, Society and the Social Sciences I (12400)2


History, Society and the Social Sciences II (12401)3


Thesis-writing workshop (required for thesis track)4


B. Electives
For both tracks, one of the following areas of specialization should be chosen:


  • Multicultural history

  • History of Israel

  • History of Modern Middle East

Non-thesis track

At least 9 elective courses are required, of which at least 5 are in the chosen field (at least 27 credits). With special approval, students enroll in up to 2 advanced undergraduate courses in history (6 credits each) instead of 2 elective graduate courses (3 credits each), provided that the courses were not included in the undergraduate degree studies. Students taking advanced courses within the framework of graduate studies in history will earn 3/6 additional credits towards their degree.

Each year, a different selection of courses is offered.

Courses offered in 2017-2018 (all 3-credit courses)
Multicultural History
Multicultural Approaches in the History of Modern Jewish Thought (12402)       

Saints and Believers: Historical and Comparative Studies (12403)

Apostates and Converts: Religious Conversion in Monotheistic Faiths (12408)
History of Israel
Anti-Semitism, the European Nation-State and the Jews (12405)
Between Ashkenaz and Sepharad: Cultural History of Provencal Jewry in the Middle Ages (12404)
Saints and Believers: Historical and Comparative Studies (12403)

Apostates and Converts: Religious Conversion in Monotheistic Faiths (12408)
History of the Modern Middle East
The Palestinians in the Twentieth Century: Political, Social and Cultural Change (12406)
Saints and Believers: Historical and Comparative Studies (12403)
Muslim Societies on the Shores of the Red Sea: The Challenge of Globalization (12407)

C. Seminar papers and seminar courses

In the non-thesis track, three seminar papers must be submitted, two of which must be in the area of specialization.
In the thesis track, two papers must be submitted in the area of specialization. A seminar paper may be submitted for each course (except methodological and theoretical courses). Papers are written after completion of the courses. If more than one semester has passed since the course was taken, the academic coordinator of the program should be contacted in order to arrange registration for the thesis.


Important note:
At the beginning of each academic year (at the beginning of the registration period for the first semester), students must contact the program's advisors for in order to review their study programs.


Tutorial Sessions
Attendance at all seven tutorial sessions (per semester) is compulsory. The tutorials are held in Tel Aviv in the evenings. It is possible to participate in the sessions via Zoom, which facilitates distance learning. Those who are participating remotely are required to attend all sessions at the appointed time, to be seen and heard, and to fully participate.

Foreign language (course or exemption)
 All students in the research track (with thesis) in all disciplines are required to study a foreign language at the level of exemption, in addition to English. Please contact the admissions committee to determine the required language/s.
Students will study the foreign language at an Israeli university, and will pay the tuition for the course studied directly to the university of choice.
Those with proven knowledge in a second foreign language, or those who pass an exemption examination at one of the universities, will be exempt from the second foreign language requirement.
Students studying in the History of the Modern Middle East track are required to pass an exemption exam in Arabic5. As stated, the students in the research track of this discipline must also study a second language (in addition to the English and Arabic language exemption).
The exemption must be obtained by the time the Master's degree program has been completed. The exemption will appear on the transcript and in the degree certificate.


Final exam/Thesis
In the non-thesis track there is a final exam. Those who have successfully completed at least 8 courses may take the exam.
The exam includes reading selections (about 1,000 pages) to be agreed upon with the program staff in the chosen track. The reading sessions will be summarized with the advisor of their area of specialization.
The examination is a written test. It must be submitted up to one month after the list is compiled.


Application for the thesis track
All students begin the non-thesis track.
Candidates wishing to be accepted to the research track must apply to the Admissions Committee after successfully completing 4 courses (at least 2 required courses and 2 additional courses in the program) with a score of at least 80 in each course and writing a seminar paper with a grade of at least 85.
After admission to the thesis track, program faculty will assist students in locating a thesis advisor.
From the date of admission to the thesis track, a research proposal must be submitted within a year, and must be approved by the advisor. Students who do not meet these conditions will be automatically transferred to a non-thesis track.
The scope of the thesis is 80-100 pages. The thesis will be written under the guidance of a senior faculty member of the Open University, or of another university together with an OUI senior faculty member. The thesis will be judged by the advisor/s and additional reader(s), according to the decision of the master's degree committee. The time allotted for writing the thesis is two years from the day the proposal is approved.


Duration of Studies
The Master's degree in History must be completed within seven years from the beginning of the semester in which the first course was taken (not including supplementary courses).
Students who have not completed their studies within the specified period of time may, in exceptional cases, apply to the Graduate Studies Committee for an extension of the duration of their studies. The committee may require students to take additional courses that will be included in the master's degree program in lieu of courses already completed, or in addition to them.


Degree Eligibility

  • Complete supplementary courses (if required)

  • Successful completion of 12 courses in the non-thesis track, and 10 courses in the research track, according to the approved study program

  • Writing seminar papers (3 in the non-thesis track and 2 in the research track)

  • Successful completion of a final exam in the non-thesis track

  • Writing a thesis in the thesis track

Final Degree Grade
The final grade in the academic (non-research) track will be weighted as follows:

  • 50% average grade in courses

  • 30% seminar papers (10% per paper)

  • 20% final exam

The final grade in the research track will be weighted as follows:

  • 30% average grade in courses

  • 30% seminar papers (15% per paper)

  • 40% thesis grade


Contents of the program courses are subject to the Study Regulations for Master's Degree


The two parts of the course must be completed during the first two years of studies. In order to register for Part B of the course, the requirements of attendance at the meetings in Part A, and all other requirements of Part A, must be met.


Only students in the research track must participate in a thesis writing workshop. The course is not yet being offered.


Graduates of high school in Arabic or who took the 5 unit matriculation exam in Arabic, or graduates with a bachelor's degree from the Open University or other universities who received an Arabic-language exemption during their studies, will not be required to take the exemption exam in Arabic.
The "Exemption" grade for OUI students who started their studies before 2016 is the successful completion of the courses in Arabic Literature A-D ("Exemption").
"Exemption" for OUI students who commenced their studies after the 2016 semester is successful completion of courses in the Basics of Literary Arabic and the course History of the Middle East and its Cultures: Arabic Texts.