Education, History Dept. Team Up for Joint Degree

Issue Date: 
December 3, 2007

New master’s combines graduate study in history with certification in secondary education

Pitt’s School of Education and the Department of History in the School of Arts and Sciences have joined to offer the Master of Arts in History Education (MAHE) degree, a new degree that combines graduate study in history with professional training and certification in secondary social studies education.

According to David Berman, education professor and coordinator of the Social Studies Education Program in the School of Education, the idea for the MAHE is to better prepare history and social studies teachers to begin their careers on a solid intellectual and pedagogical footing, adjust to changing curricular demands, and remain engaged in their profession.

The history department and education’s Social Studies Education Program developed the new degree program.

“As envisioned, the MAHE offers future teachers the opportunity to conduct graduate study in history to learn the craft of the historian, and to develop professional relations with faculty and peers,” said William Chase, Pitt professor of history. “Graduates not only earn their certification, but also get to experience the rigors of demanding disciplinary training.”

The two-year program requires students to take graduate-level history courses during the first year and courses in the School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Professional Year programs in the second year.

Program graduates will acquire the history expertise required for the Master of Arts in history. They will also earn the Instruction I certification in secondary social studies education that is required to teach history and social studies in Pennsylvania public schools.

In addition to the academic coursework needed to fulfill the MAHE degree requirements, students must pass the PRAXIS I General Knowledge test to be admitted to the program. They must also take the PRAXIS II Content Knowledge test, generally taken during the second summer of the program, to obtain the Internship Certification required for the internship field experience in the schools.

The MAHE provides stipends from participating school districts for their internship experience upon receipt of the Internship Certificate. During the second year of the program, students will serve an internship field experience in a local school district from September through June of the public school year.

Applications for admission to the MAHE can be found on the history department’s Web site at and on the School of Education Web site at The deadline for applications for the first year of the program is Jan. 15, 2008.