Jun 18, 2024  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, M.A.



The program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit (students frequently take more) with a thesis—24 hours of coursework and at least 6 hours of thesis research; 36 hours are required for a non-thesis MA. Half the coursework hours for both degrees must be at or above the 7000 level. Graduate students may also take 4000-level courses with a member of the graduate faculty who will assign additional work to earn graduate-level credit. Students may take HIST 7902 , Independent Study, no more than twice for a total of 6 credit hours. A non-thesis M.A. is regarded as a terminal degree. 

All students must select, no later than the end of their first semester in the program, a major professor with whom he or she will complete substantial study, including the thesis if the student is writing one. A minor field outside the department may be elected, normally consisting of nine semester hours of credit. Reading proficiency in a foreign language is not a general requirement, but may be required by a major professor for students working under his or her direction.

A final examination committee is chosen when the student nears the end of his or her program. The student selects those 24 hours of study, including work with the major professor, upon which to be examined. The examining committee includes the major professor, the minor professor if a minor field was elected, and one or two others in the department whose specialties coincide with other history work offered for examination. If a student writes a thesis, the examination will be a defense of the thesis.  Both thesis and non-thesis M.A. candidates must complete this examination. The examination on this material is oral. After the completion of the examination, the committee will make a formal recommendation in writing about the suitability of the student for Ph.D.-level work, unless it is a non-thesis M.A.

The sequence of courses depends on the area of concentration and on whether or not one writes a thesis. Course work will primarily be in research and reading seminars.

Research seminars: All M.A. students must take a research seminar sequence (HIST 7908  and HIST 7957  for U.S. history; HIST 7908  and HIST 7909  for all other fields). If a seminar needed to fulfill the requirements for the course of study is not offered in a given semester, the student may fulfill the requirement through independent study in consultation with the major professor.

Reading seminars: All M.A. students must take a minimum of four reading seminars. For students in Modern European or British history these reading seminars will number between HIST 7917  and HIST 7930 . Students in American history will take HIST 7904 , HIST 7951 , HIST 7952 , HIST 7956 , HIST 7958  and HIST 7959 .

Specialization in U.S. History

Specialization in Latin American History

A program will be devised to meet the student’s preferences, to include four reading seminars, one or two research seminars, thesis research if applicable, and additional history electives and/or outside minor fields.

Specialization in European or British History

The specific course selection and sequence will vary to fit the concentration chosen.

With thesis - 1st year (18 hours)

With thesis - 2nd year (12-18 hours)

Without thesis - First Year (18 hours)

Without thesis - Second Year (18 hours)


  • One Elective in History or Minor Field (3)


  •  Three Electives in History or Minor Field (9)


Non-thesis students may at the end of their second year still elect to write a thesis and extend their residency and registration accordingly.

* Students concentrating in Europe to 1650 may substitute a history elective for one of the Reading Seminars.