Graduate Programs

M.A. in Atlantic History & Politics


The Kinder Institute and College of Arts & Science at the University of Missouri are pleased to invite applications for the 2025-26 M.A. cohort in Atlantic History & Politics. Applications are currently open, with rolling review beginning mid-January 2025, and ending mid-April. Students who wish to be considered for graderships, teaching assistantships, or other forms of funding must apply by the January review date. Questions can be directed to Interim M.A. Director and Kinder Institute Associate Teaching Professor of Constitutional Democracy and History Lily Santoro,

Click on “APPLY HERE” above to begin your application.

The M.A. will kick off across the Atlantic, at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, for a month of study in July. Students will then spend the academic year at the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, where they’ll immerse themselves in interdisciplinary graduate coursework in history, political science, and more. The course of study is flexible, with credit available for independent research projects, study abroad to South Africa, and internship work in research, public history, and academic programming.

Use the tabs below to find out more about the degree curriculum, the application process, and funding opportunities.

What Is Atlantic History & Politics?

The M.A.’s curriculum examines the connections and conflicts among the diverse peoples of the Atlantic basin, including the Americas, Africa, and Europe. The courses that students can apply to the degree likewise cover a broad sweep of time, from the dawn of European empires through the age of revolutions, into the more recent “American century.” The program situates the development of modern nation-states, including the United States, in relation to the broader exchange of ideas, goods, and power across the Atlantic world.

Graduates of the program will acquire an appreciation of the entanglements and conflicts that have defined the histories of the peoples in the greater Atlantic world. They also will leave the program with refined faculties of critical thinking, crisp writing skills, and verbal agility—traits coveted by employers in a range of professions.

Click HERE for a podcast overview of Atlantic History and Politics done by two of our recent graduates, Claire Smrt and Tyron Surmon.

Oxford Coursework

The M.A. begins with a 9-credit hour month of study at Oxford University in July. Students live and dine in graduate housing of Corpus Christi College, founded in 1517, and the classes, which will be delivered by British academics, are held at Corpus Christi and the Rothermere American Institute, the largest center for the study of the United States outside of North America. Additionally, there will be group excursions to sites of historical interest, such as Blenheim Palace, central London, and the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, while weekends are free for students to explore and travel.

While in Oxford, M.A. students will take three classes:

CNST DEM 8041: The Making of the Atlantic World, 1600-1800
CNST DEM 8042: The Atlantic World from the Age of Revolutions to the Age of Nation-States, 1760-1900
CNST DEM 8050: Britain and the World, which is comprised of guest lectures from Oxford faculty, excursions to sites of historical interest, and faculty-led discussion sessions.

Required MU Coursework

In total, students will take 21 credit hours of 7000-, 8000-, and 9000-level coursework at MU during the fall and spring semesters to complete the degree. Of those 21 hours, twelve come from required coursework, including the following three courses.

CNST DEM 8045: Advanced Seminar in Atlantic History and Politics, from the Age of Revolutions through the American Century
HIST 8480: Historiography
POL SC 9120: Voting and Elections, POL SC 9140: Political Institutions, POL SC 9175: The Evolution of State Legislatures, OR POL SC 9220: Public Law

The remaining three hours of required course credit will come from M.A. candidates enrolling in HIST 8060, a yearlong, three-credit hour course built around the Kinder Institute’s engaging program of colloquia, lectures, and academic conferences, which bring scholars with a wide range of specialties to campus to present their most recent research to the Kinder Institute community. Through HIST 8060, M.A. students will attend, actively participate in, and complete a series of assignments based on these talks.

All graduate courses, including these required ones, are usually largely assessed based on substantial research essays turned in at the end of each semester. Note that a thesis can be undertaken but is not required for the M.A. in Atlantic History and Politics.

Elective Coursework (9 credit hours)

Students will fill their remaining 9 credit hours by enrolling in approved elective courses in multiple academic units across the College of Arts & Science, including the Departments of History, Political Science, Public Affairs, Black Studies, English, and other relevant departments. At least one of these courses must focus on topics outside of the United States and modern Britain.

Though offerings vary slightly year-to-year, elective course options frequently include seminars on the histories of Native Americans, Latin America, the French Revolution, political thought, de-colonization and twentieth-century Africa, the ancient world, slave resistance in the Caribbean, and the political history of modern Europe.

Up to three hours of credit can be earned by students who arrange their own internships or work placements. In the past, MU graduate students have secured internships at the State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia, the National Churchill Museum (Fulton, MO), the National World War I Museum (Kansas City), the Harry Truman Presidential Library (Independence, MO), and the Missouri State Government (Jefferson City). Three credit hours are also available to students wishing to undertake independent research on a topic of their choice, which can be especially useful to anyone considering PhDs or simply looking to develop their research and writing expertise.

Elective Study Abroad to University of the Western Cape, South Africa

In fulfilling elective requirements, M.A. students have the option to take HIST/BL_STU/CNST_DEM 7835: “Race and Politics in South Africa.” The course includes a study abroad component in Cape Town during Mizzou’s two-week intersession term in January, with projects and additional class meetings completed in Columbia during the spring semester. The abroad portion of the class will be taught on the campus of Mizzou’s partner institution in South Africa, University of the Western Cape. Mizzou faculty will lead this course, which will include discussion-based seminars, guest lectures from South African partners, and excursions.


Admissions Criteria and Materials

  1. A B.A. or equivalent degree from an accredited institution
  2. 3.0 or better GPA in last 60 hours of baccalaureate coursework
  3. International applicants must meet Mizzou requirements, including TOEFL score (see link)
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. Personal Statement of no more than 1,000 words explaining goals and expectations in graduate study
  6. A writing sample of between 5-20 pages that showcases the ability of the applicant to succeed in the M.A. program

Candidates can apply through the University of Missouri’s online application portal, which can be accessed here.

We have a number of Scholarships and Graderships available. For consideration for our competitive fully funded Fellowships, you must apply by the early application review date in mid-January. Please indicate on the application that you would like to be considered.

Tuition & Scholarships

The tuition and study abroad fees for the M.A. in Atlantic History and Politics, estimated based on prior years’ projections, are listed below. Merit and need-based scholarship are available from the Kinder Institute to cover study abroad costs. Additionally, a limited number of teaching assistantships, which carry a tuition waiver and stipend, are likely to be available. Please indicate on the application form if you would like to be considered for a teaching assistantship and/or a Kinder Institute scholarship.

Information about further opportunities for financial aid from the University of Missouri can be found here

Estimated Program Costs (in-state)

  • Tuition & Fees (30 credit hours) $15,732.40
  • Study Abroad Fee (room, meals, and excursions) $1,178.55
  • Flights to the UK for Study Abroad $1,000 (estimate)
  • Total: $17.910.95

Estimated Program Costs (out-of-state)

  • Tuition & Fees (30 credit hours) $37,350.40
  • Study Abroad Fee (room, meals, and excursions) $1,178,55
  • Flights to the UK for Study Abroad $1,000 (estimate)
  • Total: $39,528.95