Initially established in 1903 as a normal school for women by the Nebraska State Board of Education, the University of Nebraska Kearney is now a comprehensive four-year public co-educational institution. As the smallest member of the University of Nebraska system, UNK enrolls around 5,500 undergraduates and 1,500 post-graduates annually. UNK is located on a 235-acre rural campus in Kearney within south-central Nebraska near the Great Platte River. With a faculty-student ratio of 18:1, the University of Nebraska Kearney offers 120 bachelor’s degrees and 27 graduate programs. More than 95 percent of UNK buildings house “smart classrooms” with advanced multimedia learning technology.
The University of Nebraska Kearney has a high average retention rate of 78 percent and job placement rate that’s nearly 100 percent. According to the U.S. News, UNK is ranked the 46th best regional college, 11th top public school, and 34th best university for veterans in the Midwest. In particular, UNK is recognized for hosting the 23rd best online graduate education programs. The University of Nebraska Kearney is also included in the list of “A-Plus Schools for B Students.” Consistently, the Princeton Review honors UNK within its “Best in the Midwest” colleges. Washington Monthly magazine lauded UNK as the 65th “Best Bang for the Buck” in the Midwest too.
University of Nebraska Kearney Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in 2013, the University of Nebraska Kearney is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (HLC-NCA). This regional accreditation is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and U.S. Department of Education. UNK is properly licensed by Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education. The university is also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for any history majors wishing to become teachers.
University of Nebraska Kearney Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 84 percent, the University of Nebraska Kearney has a selective admissions process, especially for graduate students. Applicants to the Master of Arts in History program must already hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Students must have completed an undergraduate program consisting of 18 or more semester hours of history. Closely related humanities courses could also be considered. Carrying a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25 is preferred. If grades are lower, satisfactory GRE scores must be attached. Showing evidence of the writing and analytical skills needed for graduate work is required. International students from non-English speaking countries must score at least 79 (Internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) on the TOEFL.
Prior to the March 15th deadline, interested students should apply to the University of Nebraska Kearney’s Office of Graduate Studies and Research by submitting the following:
• Completed online admission form
• Official transcripts from every college attended
• Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
• At least two letters of recommendation
• Writing sample (history research paper is preferred)
• 500-word minimum letter of intent
• Payment for the $45 application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Nebraska residents taking on-campus graduate classes will pay $220.25 per credit hour. Non-resident graduates pursuing coursework on-campus must afford $482.25 per hour. There’s also a $6 facility fee, $4 library fee, $11 technology fee, and $3 activity fee added for each credit. Online graduate students from Nebraska will be billed $278 per credit hour. Out-of-state graduates pursuing online courses will pay $443 per credit. Online learners must also pay a $25 distance education fee, $4 library fee, and $11 technology fee per hour. According to the NCES, graduate students at the University of Nebraska Kearney are charged an average of $5,196 (in-state) and $11,400 (out-of-state) yearly.
Around 89 percent of beginning full-time students at UNK are rewarded financial aid. Over $4.2 million is granted for institutional aid. Master’s students can borrow money through the Federal Direct PLUS Grad program, but interest will accrue. Alternative loans are accepted from private lenders. Certain students could qualify for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents should apply for the Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG) or University Tuition Assistance Grant (UTAG). Military benefits and employer tuition assistance is available. Graduates can receive funding with teaching, research, or administrative assistantships. Scholarships are also abundant, such as the Phi Theta Kappa Student Scholarship, Non-Resident Scholarship, Blue & Gold Scholarship, Chancellor’s Scholarship, and Dean’s Scholarships.
Master of Arts in History
Within the College of Natural & Social Science, the History Department at the University of Nebraska Kearney offers graduate students a Master of Arts (M.A.) in History program. Building on a liberal arts education, the focused, yet eclectic professional degree allows graduates to further engage in historical study. Great emphasis is placed on developing an appreciation of the pluralistic nature of American society by surveying the nation’s past. The non-thesis option is designed for graduate students seeking a terminal degree for professional development or teacher preparation. There’s also a thesis option available for M.A. students bridging their studies for an eventual Ph.D. in History.
The 36-credit curriculum can be completed either online, on-campus in Kearney, or in a blended format combining the two. Online students have the ability to seek greater personal fulfillment in interpreting history with the utmost flexibility of scheduling. Coursework in the M.A. in History program is customizable to fit each student’s unique interests. Students can study topics like the American Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, Cold War, Holocaust, Medieval Europe, Renaissance, World War I, Russian Revolution, or German Unification. There’s a unique specialization offered in Museums & Archives for those interested in this career path.
Full-time students in the M.A. in History program typically take two to three classes per 16-week semester. The intensive, rigorous curriculum requires students to read 10 to 15 books per course and write around 45 pages of analytical essays. Those selecting the non-thesis route must also pass a comprehensive exam. All courses in the program are taught by tenured Ph.D. faculty members to inspire engaging discussions exploring the past. Students can gain hands-on experience in UNK’s Museum of Nebraska Art, which contains over 5,000 historical works by regional and national arts. On-campus learners can also lead tours at The Frank House, home of popular local architect George William Frank Jr.
Graduate students at the University of Nebraska Kearney could also be interested in the M.A.Ed. in Art with Museum Education Emphasis, M.A.Ed. in Secondary Education, M.A. in English Literature, or M.A.Ed. in Music.