Looking For History Thesis Topics For Graduate Students

The Best History Thesis Topics for Graduate Students

Writing your thesis is a huge undertaking, and will be the main focus of your life for your senior year of university. Choosing your topic wisely and planning for every aspect of what you need to do to finish your thesis will be a critical part. So how do you go about choosing that perfect topic for such an important writing project as your thesis?

Where to Look for Topic Ideas

First, write or type a list of every reason why you love history, and why you went into the history program at your university. Write down as well, why you picked this university, if it relates to your program, and what you hope to accomplish within your career as a history major graduate.

Next, take that list and expand it: go down the list one by one to analyze each reason and write down next to each, 3 possible topics (or as many as you can think of). Once you have gone through your entire list, you should have a lot of brainstorming done already. Were there any ideas that stood out to you? Any that demanded your curiosity, or a question that begged to be answered?

What Makes for a Great Thesis Topic?

There are a few things that your professors will be looking for in a good thesis topic:


  • There are no completely new ideas anymore; everything new is based off of some invention or philosophy of the past, but you can take a new approach to a familiar topic
  • Consider a question that has already been asked, but ask it of a different location, time, or culture
  • Consider a certain location, time and culture and ask a question of it that hasn’t been answered yet
  • Consider a comparison of two different time periods, or countries, or cultures to make a point

Involves your field of history, as well as your goals and interests

  • It goes without saying that your thesis will be based on some aspect of history; make sure that your professor will be able to see that it is
  • Take into consideration your personal and professional goals, especially anything that deals with a change you’d like to see in the world

You are able to competently present it

  • Choose a topic that you feel passionately about
  • Make sure that you have confidence in your ability to write about the topic you choose