Master of Arts, major in History

Master of Arts, major in History

Offered by the Graduate School

Program Information


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We are a Catholic institution of learning dedicated to advancing the frontiers of knowledge in the theoretical and applied fields through quality graduate education that is comprehensive and responsive to the needs of society.

We are committed to the formation of scholars and high-quality professionals who are ethical, competent, compassionate, and committed to the service of their respective professions, the Church, the nation, and the global community.


We envision a Graduate School that stands for excellence and innovation and that is globally recognized for its distinct degree programs and quality research outputs.

Goals and Objectives

The Graduate School commits itself to develop: 

  1. Competent professionals who, inspired by the ideals of St. Antoninus of Florence, promote excellence in the production, advancement, and transmission of specialized knowledge and skills in the sciences, the arts, and community service; 
  2. Scholarly researchers and creative thinkers who, kindled by St. Thomas Aquinas’s ardour for truth, aspire to become fonts of intellectual creativity and, in their quest for quality research, are proficient and critical in assessing and communicating information in various fields that impact the professions, the Church, the nation, and the global community; 
  3. Professional Christian leaders who, touched by St. Dominic de Guzman’s apostolic fire and warmed by Mary’s motherly care, articulate ethics and truth, high level of moral maturity in resolving issues and promoting social justice and compassion for the poor, and care for the environment; 
  4. Globally engaged citizens who, with ardent advocacy for life, promote a deeper understanding of tolerance and justice as well as linguistic, religious, and cultural diversities as a result of precise evaluation of modern problems and inquiries; 
  5. Committed scholars who, nurtured by the dogmas of Christian faith and values, are dedicated to the pursuit of truth through the promotion of an intellectual culture that values academic rigor and freedom of scientific investigations; and 
  6. Lifelong learners who, empowered by St. Antoninus of Florence’s zeal for learning, are committed to the advancement of a higher culture through a continuous search for intellectual inquiries and new knowledge as well as faithfulness to Catholic intellectual traditions. 
Program Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the MA in History Program, the graduate will be able to:

1. Demonstrate analytical ability in identifying and explaining historical issues and problems through the use of primary sources and use them in an appropriate type of historical writing.

2. Critically identify and explain the theoretical/ conceptual framework applied in a historical writing, and show ability to use a theoretical or conceptual framework in historical writing.

3. Demonstrate capability to lead and uphold professional values concerning historical issues, concerns and trends.

4. Demonstrate expert level of theoretical understanding, reflective inquiry and creative application of sound methodology in historical writing.

5. Synthesize knowledge derived from other social as well as humanistic sciences. Display expertise in communicating ideas in both written and oral forms. 6. Employ creative use of trans-disciplinal approach in teaching/ writing history.

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Program Curriculum

Pre-Requisite Courses

St. Thomas and Critical Thinking
St. Thomas and Critical Thinking is a course on Aristotelian and Symbolic Logic that focuses on the fundamental laws of thought. It provides guiding principles in order to enhance critical and reflective skills that would facilitate correct and responsible judgment and reasoning. It gives an opportunity to be in control of one’s thinking activities. 


Research Methodology
A competency-oriented course which emphasizes both the theoretical and the practical aspects of designing a research and implementing the research proposal. Examines and analyses the nature, scope, uses and the process and design of research as applied to business. Provide concepts, techniques, rules and tools needed in undertaking a good research.

Core Courses

Philippine Historiography 1

The course will expose the students to primary historical data and other sources of historical information pertinent to the period from 1521 – 1898. The survey will include a study of archival materials, official publications, memoirs, travel accounts, secondary sources, and non-traditional materials that are useful in reconstructing the history of the Philippines. It will also identify the libraries, archives, museums and other depositories of historical data here and abroad. It is hoped that this survey of historical literature will be useful in the research of neglected topics in Philippine historiography. 


Philippine Historiography 2

The course will survey the historical literature for the period from 1898 to the contemporary period, with the end in view of evaluating the historical materials thus far written and in the process point out the gaps in historiography of the period. The primary concern here is also to look at all available primary/ documentary/ archival materials in the Philippines and abroad that would be useful to write on many aspects of Philippine history that have not as yet been researched and/or written about. With advances in technology, including what is available in the Internet, traditional historical sources can be supplemented from this source, but researchers should be instructed to always observe the rigors of historical research.

Specialization Courses

Pre-16th Century Philippines

Through the use of new evidence from archaeological sources, the course will look closely at the advent and spread of human presence in the country from ancient times until the end of the 9th century A.D. Patterns of migration, culture and settlement will be looked into to show how they varied or paralleled each other within the Philippines and in comparison with neighboring countries in the region. This is to be done with the end view of being able to put together a clearer picture of the people and society that existed in the Philippines during the centuries immediately prior to European contact in the 16th century.

Currently available anthropological and linguistic information in conjunction with recent data from archaeological field research would be complemented by foreign sources from China and Indonesia which would give a more substantial understanding of the foundation of Philippine history and culture. 


The Philippines (1521-1896)

This course covers the history of the Philippines from the time of the arrival of Magellan in 1521 during the period known as the Age of Discovery and Expansion, through the establishment of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines in 1565, the brief British occupation of Manila, and the return of Filipinas to Spain, and from 1765 when the country witnessed far-reaching social and economic transformation due to the changing conditions within and outside the Philippines. The period ends with the outbreak of the Revolution against Spanish rule, resulting in the eventual loss of Filipinas.

The perspective to be adopted in this course is to look at the “autonomous” history of the Filipinos against the background of Spanish colonial rule. The totality of Philippine history beyond the centers of authority and control in Spanish Philippines should also be studied in this course. The research required for this course will use archival and primary documentary sources. 


The Philippine Revolution (1896-1902)

Using mainly archival/ primary sources, the course will study in more depth this important period in Philippine history, specifically looking at how the Philippine Revolution against Spain was played out in regions outside the first eight provinces in Luzon where the Revolution first broke out in 1896.

The course will thus look at the situation in the Philippines outside Manila and Luzon where anti-Spanish sentiment developed due to Spanish policy and treatment of the colonized people, as well as the factors/ developments in the 19th century which led to the inevitable outbreak of the Revolution and the end of Spanish rule. It is significant to look at the Philippine Revolution as more than an armed struggle against colonial power and look at its ideological underpinnings, its socio-economic context as a social movement, and its relevance to the formation of national identity among Filipinos today. The research required for this course will use archival and documentary sources.


The Philippines {1902-1946)

The course aims to examine the major developments during the American colonial period. It will discuss the policies and institutions – political, economic, socio-cultural – that the American administrations introduced in the Philippines and their repercussions and consequences on the life of the Filipinos. Special attention will also be given to discussions on some initiatives taken by Filipino leaders to influence American policy that would affect some developments in the Philippines, such as, for instance, on the issue of the timing and terms of independence and the economic relations between the Philippines and the United States.

In 1935, a ten-year transition period prior to the Philippine independence was inaugurated. This was the period of the Commonwealth, which was interrupted by the Second World War and the Japanese occupation. The dominant political figure of this period was President Manuel L. Quezon, who had committed the Commonwealth government to policies and programs which would prepare the country for full independence in 1946. The course will discuss the brief but difficult period of the Japanese Occupation, and its consequences on development in the post-war period.


Post-war Philippines {1946-present)

It has been said that the twentieth century has been “the most traumatic” in the history of the Philippines, marked by occupation of another colonial power (the United States from 1898), occupation by a third power in wartime conditions (Japan in World War II), independence (in 1946), insurgency and rebellion (the Huk Rebellion), political crisis (martial law) while experiencing unprecedented population growth and technological progress.

This course will look at the developments taken by modern Philippine society from the post-war period to the present. The focus will be the role played by the Filipinos in the development of the Filipino nation since 1946 when the Philippines emerged from the devastation of war to once again build a new nation. One of the most interesting developments in the Philippines since the post-war period has involved its relations with the United States, the former colonial sovereign, which since 1946 has been viewed with alternating sentiments of “love and hate” as the Philippines and the Filipinos attempted to articulate national identity.

Summary of Program Requirements
Degree Requirements
Prerequisite Courses
Core Courses
Specialization Courses
Cognate Courses
Written Comprehensive Exams
      Thesis Writing I
      Thesis Writing II
      Thesis Writing III