Master of Arts Program


I. ADMISSION

A. In addition to fulfillment of the general requirements of the Graduate College, admission to the Master of Arts program in history shall be based upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee to the head of the department.

B. The preferred background for admission is an undergraduate major in history. The Graduate Studies Committee will consider other applications on an individual basis. Students with insufficient undergraduate hours in history may be required by the Graduate Studies Committee to take additional hours at the 5000/6000 level. Students applying to Plan I must complete ten hours of college foreign language courses with a grade of “B” before seeking admission.

C. The Graduate Studies Committee will give preference to applicants with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above and a grade of 3.5 or above in their major.

D. Applicants should have three letters of recommendation submitted to the Graduate College application database from individuals qualified to comment upon their previous work and aptitude for graduate work in history.

E. Applicants are required to submit scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Examination.

II. PLAN OPTIONS

The Department of History offers two plans leading to the Master of Arts degree. Each requires at least thirty hours of graduate level course work, including a grade of B or better in Historical Methods (HIST 5023), and a thesis.

A. PLAN I

1. Students must complete a minimum of thirty hours of graduate courses in two of the following fields: United States, Europe, Ancient World, Middle East, Asia, or Latin America. These hours must include at least twelve hours of seminar including at least one research seminar, Historical Methods (HIST 5023), and six hours of thesis (HIST 5000). Students will take at least twelve hours in the major field and at least nine in a minor field. Students may have no more than six hours at the graduate level in a related discipline, or in History 6100 or History 6130 courses. With the consent of their advisory committee, students may select as their minor field one of the following thematic areas: science, medicine, and technology; religion; gender; war and society; race and ethnicity.

2. Students must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. Students in Plan II - Public History are exempted from this requirement. The foreign language requirement may be met by:

a. passing the foreign language exam administered by the Director of Graduate Studies. For information about the cost, scheduling, and procedures, see “Policies and Procedures for the Foreign Language Exam” in this Handbook (p. 25).

b. completing fifteen college-level credits or more in a single foreign language with an overall B average.

c. completing and earning a grade of B or higher in a language-immersion course approved
by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Advisory committees may require additional proficiency in other languages, quantitative methods, or other research skills. Students are urged to complete their language requirement(s) by the end of their second semester of enrollment. (See special requirements for Teaching Assistants/Associates on p. 26 of this Handbook).

3. Students must maintain a B (3.0) average as defined in the university regulations in the Graduate Catalog.

4. Students must demonstrate a capacity for independent research by preparing an original thesis on a topic within their major area of study.

a. The student’s advisory committee has the responsibility for approving the topic, for supervising the research and writing of the thesis, and for approving the final draft. Normally, a thesis will be approximately one hundred pages in length, including historiography, notes, and bibliography.

b. The thesis must be written and submitted in conformity to the Graduate College’s guidelines and deadlines. The Graduate College requires completion of the final examination (oral defense) about four weeks before the end of the semester. Students must complete the thesis sufficiently in advance of that deadline to permit careful review of the manuscript by all members of the advisory committee.

5. Upon completion of the thesis, students must pass a final oral examination of approximately two hours in length in defense of their thesis. Chaired by the advisor, the orals committee will be composed of the student’s advisory committee. Following the examination, the three members of the committee will vote to pass or fail the candidate. If two members of the orals committee determine that the student’s performance has been unsatisfactory, the student will be judged to have failed. The student may take the examination again but not less than one month later. The examination may not be taken more than twice.

B. PLAN II: Public History

1. Students must complete a minimum of thirty-six hours of graduate courses. These hours must include at least nine hours of seminar (reading and/or research), Historical Methods (HIST 5023), introduction to Public History (HIST 5033), an internship (HIST 5030), and six hours of thesis (HIST 5000). Normally, students will also take Museum Studies (HIST 5053) and/or Historic Preservation (HIST 5063). With the approval of the student’s advisory committee, as many as nine of these hours may be taken in related disciplines. The foreign language requirement required of Plan I students is optional, but a student’s advisory committee may require foreign language proficiency for certain topics.

2. The internship (worth six hours of credit) is intended to provide practical experience working in some field of Public History. Normally, this will require at least eight weeks of full-time work or the equivalent. The internship requires the submission of a paper describing the student’s activities undertaken to fulfill this requirement.

3. Students must demonstrate a capacity for independent research by preparing an original thesis on a topic within their major area of study.

a. The advisory committee has the responsibility for approving the topic, for supervising the research and writing of the thesis, and for approving the final draft. Normally a thesis is approximately one hundred pages, including historiography, notes, and bibliography.

b. The thesis must be written and submitted in conformity to the Graduate College’s
guidelines and deadlines. The Graduate College requires completion of the final
examination (oral defense) about four weeks before the end of the semester. Students
must complete the thesis sufficiently in advance of that deadline to permit careful review of
the manuscript by all members of the advisory committee.

4. Upon completion of the thesis, students must pass a final oral examination of approximately
two hours in length in defense of their thesis. Chaired by the advisor, the orals committee will
be composed of members of the student’s advisory committee. Following the examination, the three members of the committee will vote to pass or fail the candidate. If two members of the orals committee determine that the student’s performance has been unsatisfactory, the student will be judged to have failed. The student may take the examination again but not less than one month later. The examination may not be taken more than twice.

III. ADVISORY COMMITTEE: APPOINTMENT AND ROLE

A. Students must request appointment of an advisory committee prior to enrolling in their second full semester beyond the B.A. degree.

B. This committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College upon recommendation of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies. It consists of three members of the Graduate Faculty. With the consent of the advisor, students may substitute a representative from another appropriate discipline for one member. The student’s advisor chairs the committee. The purpose of this committee is to develop a Plan of Study that will give direction to the M.A. program selected by the student.

C. The Plan of Study must be approved by the advisory committee and filed with the Graduate College prior to enrollment for the twelfth graduate credit hour.

IV. MAINTAINING STANDING IN THE PROGRAM

A. INCOMPLETES

Incompletes must be cleared within one year. The Graduate Studies Committee will review the status of graduate students with more than nine hours of Incomplete.

B. COMPLETION OF PRIOR DEGREE

Any person admitted to the graduate program who has not received his or her B.A. will be allowed one semester to complete the prior degree. Those who fail to complete the prior degree within one semester after beginning the program will not be permitted to continue. Those removed from the program may reapply for admission with evidence of the prior degree. They may be considered for available aid and assistantships at the time of readmission along with other regular applicants.

C. TEACHING ASSISTANTS

Academic requirements for retaining an appointment as a Teaching Assistant are stricter than those for maintaining standing in the program; for these requirements, see the document entitled “Teaching Assistants and Associates” in this Handbook (p. 26).

D. ANNUAL REVIEW OF GRADUATE STUDENTS

All graduate students are subject to an annual review of their progress conducted by the Graduate Studies Committee. If deficiencies are found, the student’s advisory committee will be notified. Failure to rectify deficiencies may lead to dismissal from the program.