History M.A.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree.

Overview

The Department of History offers a comprehensive program of courses in the history of the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in global and comparative studies. At the graduate level, students develop broad historical knowledge and acquire training in historical interpretation and methods. Students may pursue the M.A. on either a part-time or full-time basis.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Arts

Applicants should have an undergraduate major in history or in a related field of the humanities or social sciences with the equivalent of a minor in history. The Graduate College application requires: Graduate Record Examination scores; letters of recommendation; a statement of purpose; and a writing sample (normally a research paper completed in an undergraduate history course).

To be considered for admission, a candidate must have a grade point average of 3.00 (B) in his or her last two years of undergraduate study, with evidence of better work 3.30 (B+) in history. Students will normally score above the 65th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination Verbal section.

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

Option A (Portfolio)
HST 301Graduate Historiography3
HST 397Special Readings and Research3
Twenty-four additional credits in 200- and/or 300-level course work24
Successful completion of the comprehensive examination
Successful compilation of a portfolio of work demonstrating the student’s thematic and methodological proficiencies
Option B (Expanded Essay)
HST 301Graduate Historiography3
HST 397Special Readings and Research3
Twenty-four additional credits in 200- and/or 300-level course work24
Successful completion of the comprehensive examination
Successful completion and defense of the Expanded Essay
Option C (Thesis)
HST 301Graduate Historiography3
HST 391Master's Thesis Research6
Twenty-one additional credits in 200- and/or 300-level course work21
Successful completion of the comprehensive examination
Successful completion and defense of the master’s thesis

All  students enrolled in the M.A. program are required to take HST 301 during their first semester.  At least fifteen credits of course work must be earned in seminars, but students may complete independent study courses that involve the creation of individualized reading lists and regular meetings with instructors appointed to the graduate faculty.  With the consent of the student’s advisor, six credits of the required course work for the M.A. may be taken in related fields outside of the history department.  Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.30 (B+) each semester.  Students failing to maintain this average will be dismissed from the program.

Description and Timing of Comprehensive Examination

All graduate students must pass a comprehensive examination in a field of specialization, to be defined in consultation with the primary faculty advisor.The examination requires students to provide a comprehensive analysis of major themes and problems in their field of historical specialization, including attention to historiography and interpretive problems.  The examination may take one of several forms, to be determined by the faculty advisor in consultation with the student and the director of graduate studies.  Exams will be assessed by the primary faculty advisor and a second faculty member. Comprehensive Examinations are typically taken in September or January of the second year of the program. Candidates whose initial efforts are not judged satisfactory may re-take the exam. In most instances, reexamination will occur within one month.  Students failing the examination twice will be dismissed from the program.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts

Completion of the above requirements.