Apr 18, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, M.A.

Admission Requirements

Candidates must have a minimum of 12 credit hours of advanced-level undergraduate work in history and make acceptable scores on the general sections of the GRE general graduate school admission test. If English is not the applicant’s native language, he or she must also take the TOEFL English language proficiency test and score 80 or higher. Students must submit a statement of purpose, an example of their written work and official transcripts. Three letters of recommendation are also required. Prospective students must submit their applications and all supporting documents by December 15. Students may begin the program only in the fall term.

The History Department normally requires a minimum 3.000 GPA overall and a 3.000 average in history for admittance to the M.A. program.

Candidates must present evidence of competence in a language other than English, normally through two years of undergraduate study.

Degree Requirements

The master’s degree is offered on two tracks: U.S. history and global history. Students in the U.S. history track will inaugurate their study in the context of global/comparative history and historiography, and they will develop their knowledge of the U.S. in graduate coursework and develop their specific interests in either two research papers or a thesis. Students in the global history track will begin their studies with an introduction to historiography and global and comparative history, followed by graduate coursework on the histories of various areas of the world, with specific topics developed in either two research papers or a thesis. Students may develop their interests by working with faculty knowledgeable in classical history, medieval history, early modern and modern Europe, Russia, the Islamic world, sub-Saharan Africa, the Atlantic world, Latin America, East Asia and South Asia, as well as the various regions, periods and themes of the United States.

Major Adviser

Each student will be assigned a major adviser. The major adviser and the History Department’s director of graduate studies will work with each student to plan a specific course of study, which may include up to six credit hours in fields or departments outside the major field of study.

Required Credit Hours

Students are required to earn 30 credit hours at the 5000 or 6000 level. The required 30 credit hours are distributed below:

Thesis Option

This option requires research and writing (i.e., students following this option have appropriate language skills, and they usually are en route to a Ph.D.). The student’s adviser and two other professors form the three-person thesis and oral defense committee. A unanimous positive vote of the committee is necessary for the student to pass the oral examination. The thesis will demonstrate ability to define and analyze a historical problem, mastery of the pertinent historiography, and understanding of the methodological issues posed by the problem. It must also make significant use of primary source material.

Nonthesis Option

Two additional graduate courses (six credit hours) can substitute for HIST 6398 /HIST 6399  for those students in the nonthesis option, and two research papers written in any course at the 5000 or 6000 level in the History Department can substitute for the thesis. Toward the end of their coursework, nonthesis students also take an oral examination over coursework, texts and other materials chosen for thematic coherence by their adviser and two other professors.