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MA History Course, Admission, Syllabus, Subjects, Colleges, Jobs, Scope

MA or Master of Arts in History is a postgraduate degree of 2 years in the field of arts & humanities. This course can be pursued after completion of a bachelor's degree. MA History is the study of the past and the current interpretations of the past. It includes the stories and narratives of past societies, people, their culture, and events of different nations.

The MA History syllabus includes subjects like Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, World History, Indian government and politics, Literature, Economic History, Contemporary issues in international relations, etc. Candidates who want to pursue this course should have a bachelor's degree in history or any other related field with a good score. Admissions are also done through top entrance exams in some colleges.

Check the complete list of top MA colleges in India, giving admission through both merit and entrance exams.

The average fees charged for the course is around INR 500 - INR 2,000 for government colleges and INR 10,000 - INR 40,000 for private colleges.

The graduates can find jobs in government sectors in areas like museums, archaeological departments, academic institutes, etc. They can also work as a historian, museum curator, archivist, archaeologist, high school teacher, librarian, etc

The average salary of fresh graduates is expected to be around INR 3,71,000 per annum. For higher studies, the graduates can do a PhD in History or any other specialization course like political science, cultural studies, language studies, museum studies, etc.

Course Level Postgraduate
Full Form Master of Arts in History
Duration 2 year
Examination Type Semester-based
Eligibility Bachelor's degree in history with a minimum of 50% marks from a recognized university
Admission process Mostly Merit-based
Course Fees INR 500-2,000 (government colleges) INR 10,000-40,000 (private colleges)
Average Salary INR 3,71,000 per annum
Areas of employment Museums, archaeology department, academic institutes, etc
Job positions Historians, museum curators, archivists, archaeologists, high school teachers, etc.
  • It is a 2-year postgraduate program that deals with the study of the past, which includes the people, societies, events, and problems.
  • The program includes subjects like Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, World History, Indian government and politics, literature, economic history, Contemporary issues in international relations, etc.
  • The program is not just about the study of the past, but it also includes attempts to research, study, and explain the past. It is like the study of an ongoing conversation about the past and its meaning.
  • It also includes the study of great leaders and innovators, the individuals who have shaped history through their personalities, the strength of character, ambition, abilities, leadership, and creativity.
  • It also includes the study of great ideas and movements initiated by influential people, and how it influenced our societies and country politically, economically, and socially.
  • The course teaches us advanced critical skills and historical insights through pieces of evidence, concepts, and comparative frameworks.

Why MA History?

  • This course highlights the great achievements and disastrous errors of mankind. Therefore helping us to understand how things were and how we might approach to make a better future. With a better understanding, it can help to organize and manage our societies for the benefit of all.
  • It is an advanced course and could be beneficial for the career of the students who have done a BA in History 
  • It is a course that offers vast opportunities. Jobs in government sectors are quite high. The graduates can work as historians, museum curators, archivists, archaeologists, high school teachers, etc. 
  • The graduates will build strong writing, analytical thinking, and research skills, that will benefit them as writers, editors, or analysts.

MA History Admission Process

Most of the institutes conduct direct admission on the basis of the previous academic records of the students. The students may have to follow the following steps to apply:

  • Fill the online/ offline application form of the institute.
  • Send the application form to the institute or upload it online, along with the application fees.
  • Send/ upload all the documents required.
  • The institute will release the merit list of the selected candidates.
  • Some of the institutes may call the selected candidates for a personal interview.
  • Students can take admission after document verification.

IGNOU Admission

Universities like IGNOU grants admission on the basis of marks obtained by the candidates in the graduation level. 

Merit list is prepared on the basis of these marks, and the candidates who score above the determined cutoff are called for counselling. 

MA History Eligibility

  • Students should have passed a bachelor's degree program from a recognized university.
  • The bachelor's degree should be in history or a few other related domains. 
  • Should score above the cutoff scores of the concerned institutes. The minimum marks required for applying to the course is generally 50%, though it varies from University to University.
  • No age bar is provided by institutes in case of MA History Admissions.

How to Prepare for MA History Entrance Exams?

History is usually referred to as boring and dull by most people, but it can be fun and exciting, only if we study it in the right way. Below are some of the tips to study history and score good marks in entrance exams:

  • Making your own notes is very necessary. Making notes is also a form of memorization. And also make notes during lectures.
  • Always organize your notes in chronological order, like dividing them into (1) Topics, (2) then Years, (3) than decades, (4) and then centuries.
  • Establish a connection between facts. Always place events, facts, and details within the context of the big picture.
  • Create mind maps for every event and write them in the form of reusable notes. This will help to memorize a large amount of data.
  • Create flashcards to memorize information, improve recall, and testing the level of retention.
  • Watch movies or documentaries.
  • Read autobiographies.

How to get admission into top MA History colleges?

  • The top colleges for MA History usually select students based on their previous academic records. 
  • The colleges for which admission is purely based on merit, the students will have to score as much as they can in graduation. So, students who want to pursue MA History should focus on scoring good scores in the bachelor's program. 
  • The candidate appearing for entrance exams should try to cover at least 70-80% of the question paper. 
  • The dates in History can be confusing sometimes. So, if the entrance exams have negative marks, it would be better if you attempt only those date related questions you are sure at. 

MA History Syllabus

MA History includes the detailed study of not only the history of India and its territories, but also the world history and the interrelations between Indian History and World history. In some universities, students are also taught how to use various computer application methods to analyse history in a better way. It is a semester-based course divided into 4 semesters. The detailed semester-wise syllabus is given in the table below. 

Semester Subjects taught 
Semester 1 Aspects of Ancient India
State and Society in Medieval India
History of Tamil Nadu
Semester 2 State and Society in Medieval India
Modern India
Indian Government and politics
Interdisciplinary course- History through literature
Semester 3 Modern India 
World history
Computer application in Historical studies
Contemporary Issues in International Relations
Special Course-Research Methodology
Semester 4 Historiography
History of Tamil Nadu
The economic history of India
History of the Cholas/ History of the Guptas

MA History Colleges

Some of the best colleges in India offering this course are listed below along with their admission process and fees.

Name of the Institute Admission Process Annual Tuition Fees
Miranda House College, New Delhi  Merit-Based INR 14,530 
Hindu College, New Delhi  University of Delhi entrance examination and interview INR 16,000 
Presidency College, Chennai   merit-based INR 865
St. Stephens College, New Delhi   Merit and interview INR 5,100
Loyola College, Chennai   Merit-based INR 5,000
Madras Christian College, Chennai   Merit-based INR 13,000
PSGR Krishnammal College For Women, Coimbatore  Merit-based INR 500 
Government Arts College, Coimbatore  Merit-based INR 875
Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai   Merit-based INR 1,900
Annual Tuition Fees and Average Salary Package of Top Colleges

Source: College websites and NIRF data. 

College Comparison

Have a look at the data below for comparison of top colleges in India offering MA History programs.

Parameters Miranda House College, New Delhi Hindu College, New Delhi Presidency College, Chennai
Overview It is a women's college, affiliated to the Delhi University. It started with BSc botany and produced eminent scientists and dedicated teachers in various fields of study. The institute was founded in 1899. It is deeply connected to the national movement of independence, as the governing body and the trustee were involved in the Swadeshi and Boycott Movement. It started as a preparatory school in 1840, and now upgraded into a graduate college. It is one of the oldest government arts colleges, established by the British of India. 
NIRF Ranking 2019 #1 among top colleges #2 among top colleges #3 among top colleges
Admission Process  Merit-based DU Entrance Exam and personal interview  Merit-based
Annual tuition fees INR 14,530  INR 16,000  INR 865
Average salary package INR 3,61,263  INR 3,96,000  INR 4,14,500 
Top Recruiters  HCL, Wipro, Zomato  HDFC, Maruti Suzuki, Deloitte  TCS, TVS, Mindtree 
Top college comparison

Source: College Websites and NIRF data. 

Course Comparison

MA History vs MA Political Science

Below table gives insights into what exactly is the difference between MA Political Science and MA History.

Parameter MA History MA Political science  
Overview  It is the study of past events and how they impact the present. It is the study of government and policy.
Syllabus  It is a vast subject that includes topics like world history, Indian history, historical events that also include politics. It is a detailed subject that is purely related to the structure of the government, its laws, democracy, policies, political ideas, ideologies, etc.
Eligibility  Students who want to pursue this course should have a bachelor’s degree in history. Students who want to pursue this course should have a bachelor's degree in any field.
Average Annual Fees  INR 10,000 INR 10,000
Future scope  The scope of the job is more in the government sectors The scope of jobs is more in the public sector.
Job Profile  Graduates can work as historians, museum curators, archivists, archaeologists, high school teachers, etc. in museums, archaeology department, academic institutes, etc. They can work as a manager, administrator, lecturer, political content writer/ journalist, consultant, etc in the field of politics, law, business, media, or public services.
Average Salary  INR 3,71,000 INR 3,00,000
MA History Vs MA Political science

Source: College Websites 

MA History Jobs and Career Prospects

Job opportunities are quite vast for MA History graduates. And these jobs are usually in the private sector. The graduates can work in areas like:

  • The museum, as curators, archivists, etc.
  • Archaeological departments as an archaeologist.
  • Media stations as a journalist, writer, editor, etc.
  • Tourism as tour guides or museum guides, archiver, etc.
  • Research and survey

Some of the job prospects with description are mentioned below:

Job Options Job Description Average salary
Historian Their work is to study and research the historical documents to draw conclusions from the past and communicate them through writing and publishing them. INR 5,00,000 - 7,00,000
Museum Curator They specialize in the history of natural elements like metals, terracotta, textile, paintings, etc. Their work is to maintain the records of each item, like the item's age, from where it has been acquired, conservation methods, etc. INR 2,00,000- 4,00,000
High school teacher Their work is to share their knowledge. They design and teach lessons to high school students in the field of history. INR 3,46,000
Archivist They specialize in preserving historic documents & records, repairing parchments & paper manuscripts, and microfilming the documents. They can get jobs in museums, libraries, national and state archives, etc. INR 4,45,000- 6,00,000
Archaeologist It is a research-based job that usually requires fieldwork. Their work may include excavation, coin examination, decipher inscriptions, etc. The archaeological survey of India hires archaeologists to maintain 3,600 monuments, heritage bodies, museums, and other research institutions. INR 4,50,000- 6,50,000

The average salary expected after MA History is around INR 3,71,000 per annum. The average MA History salary for different job roles has been mentioned in the chart below.

Average Annual salary

MA History Future Scope

  • MA in History graduates can get a doctorate degree with a Ph.D. in History.
  • The candidates who complete PhD in History can go for lecturership in any government college or university. 
  • The students with a degree in history can pursue their own research and publish their own papers and books on various historical events in future. 
  • Civil services - The syllabus for civil service exams includes history. The subject is quite vast and therefore it becomes quite easy for the MA History graduates to prepare for the exam. 
  • Politics - They can work as a manager, administrator, lecturer, political content writer/ journalist, consultant, etc in the field of politics, law, business, media, or public services, etc.

MA History FAQs

Ques. How are admissions conducted at Delhi University for MA History?

Ans. There are two ways to get admission in Delhi University for MA History:

  • Direct admission: If the candidate has 60% above in BA History.
  • Entrance exam: The candidates will have to score above 40% in the entrance exam, otherwise the candidate will be rejected.

Ques. How many seats are available for MA History at Delhi University (DU)?

Ans. 154 seats, including the reserved seats.

Ques. What are the colleges that offer distance learning courses in MA History?

Ans. The colleges that offer distance learning courses in MA History are:

  • DU SOL (School of open learning)

Ques. How to apply for St. Stephen’s college for MA Arts?

Ans. To apply for St. Stephens or any other college that comes under Delhi University can be applied from the Delhi University website. At the section of college preference, select St. Stephens or any other college that you want to prefer.

Ques. What is the syllabus for DU and JNU entrance exams for MA History?

Ans. The syllabus is not exactly mentioned by these universities. But the questions asked from the history section are quite basic. Going through the ancient, medieval, and modern history of India could be beneficial.

Ques. How many seats are there for MA History in JNU?

Ans. There are a total of 85 seats divided into three divisions, i.e, ancient, medieval, and modern history.

Ques. What is the maximum and minimum duration to complete MA History from IGNOU?

Ans. The minimum duration is 2 years and the maximum duration is 5 years.

Ques. Which is better, DU or JNU for MA History?

Ans. DU has multiple colleges, and every college may have a different level of study. Whereas JNU being the single college, quite reputed. So JNU would be a better option.

Master of Arts [MA] (History) Fee Structure in India

683 (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES1.34 L  (Maximum Fee)
16.08 K (Average Fee)
794 (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES9.70 L (Maximum Fee)
45.52 K (Average Fee)

Master of Arts [MA] (History) Fee Structure By state

Tamil Nadu

11.89 K
794Private COLLEGES61 K
14.06 K


18.19 K
2.75 KPrivate COLLEGES96.10 K
22.56 K

Uttar Pradesh

9 K
3 KPrivate COLLEGES2.32 L
43.49 K


9.40 K
6.60 KPrivate COLLEGES1.11 L
37.01 K


38.20 K
18 KPrivate COLLEGES1.20 L
53.92 K


19.39 K
4.93 KPrivate COLLEGES9.70 L
1.03 L

Delhi NCR

22.97 K
17.50 KPrivate COLLEGES2.32 L
83.72 K

West Bengal

12.84 K
65 KPrivate COLLEGES1.80 L
1.42 L

Madhya Pradesh

10.22 K
2 KPrivate COLLEGES80 K
32.63 K
14.32 K
4.55 KPrivate COLLEGES18.70 K
12.10 K


13.26 K
1.64 KPrivate COLLEGES55 K
28.66 K


15.01 K
7.22 KPrivate COLLEGES99 K
45.48 K


22.72 K
60 KPrivate COLLEGES60 K
60 K


8.48 K
10 KPrivate COLLEGES1.29 L
25.67 K
16.88 K
19.32 KPrivate COLLEGES1.34 L
62.50 K


19.28 K
18 KPrivate COLLEGES80 K
49.95 K


10.37 K
40 KPrivate COLLEGES1.20 L
75.56 K


13.57 K
4.42 KPrivate COLLEGES40 K
22.37 K

Andhra Pradesh

20.14 K
10.23 KPrivate COLLEGES26.24 K
17.79 K

Arunachal Pradesh

20.70 K
4.51 KPrivate COLLEGES92 K
57.50 K

Himachal Pradesh

9.48 K
2 LPrivate COLLEGES2 L
2 L


10.28 K
75 KPrivate COLLEGES1.28 L
98.25 K


32.12 K
3.06 KPrivate COLLEGES3.06 K
3.06 K


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