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 are expected to have made progress toward proficiency in a foreign language 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 point average of 3.5 or above in their major.
 
D.  Application to the History Department’s Graduate Program is done on-line through the    Graduate College website at https://gradcollege.okstate.edu/apply.  The following documents are required for the application process:
 
1. Official transcripts from previous schools attended.
 
2. Scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Examination.
 
3. Three letters of recommendation.  Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with their academic work and can assess the applicant’s likeliness to succeed in the History Graduate Program.  References should comment on the applicant’s aptitude for teaching if application is being made for a teaching assistantship.
 
4. Statement of Intent.  This is a statement outlining the goals students expect to reach within the graduate program, their specific fields of interest, and career goals.
 
       5.  Writing Sample.  Students should submit a research paper from a previous class.
 
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, or World (may include Africa, Ancient World, Asia, Latin America, and/or Middle East).  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 may take one seminar outside of the department in a related discipline with the consent of their advisory committee.  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.  The Graduate Studies Committee may approve exceptions under extraordinary circumstances; appeals should be made to the Director of Graduate Studies.  
 
2.  Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign language.  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 Examination” in this Handbook (page 32).
 
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.  If students opt to take the foreign language examination to fulfill this requirement, they must take the examination by the second semester of enrollment and in each semester thereafter until the exam is passed.  Teaching Assistants, who are required to demonstrate foreign language competency, must demonstrate progress toward fulfilling the foreign language requirement no later than their second semester of enrollment.  See “Requirements and Duties of Teaching Assistants and Associates” on pages 36-37 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.  Before research begins, students should consult with their advisor to determine if their research requires the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  If it does, students should secure IRB approval and take the appropriate training.
 
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 copy.  Normally, a thesis will be approximately one hundred pages in length, including historiography, notes, and bibliography.
 
b.  The thesis should be prepared according to the Graduate College Thesis Guidelines. Master’s students are required to meet the thesis format review deadline by either attending a thesis format workshop or viewing the on-line version of the workshop by the deadline specified in the Graduate College academic calendar for the semester they intend to graduate. Completion of the workshop requirement at least one semester before they intend to graduate is recommended. 
 
     c.  The Graduate College requires completion of the final examination (oral defense of the thesis) about four weeks before the end of the semester.  With the Advisory Committee Chair’s and/or Thesis Advisor’s approval, paper or electronic copies (as preferred by each Advisory Committee member) of the thesis draft should be provided to all Advisory Committee members at least two full weeks prior to the scheduled defense. Holidays and breaks when the University is closed should not be counted in this two-week minimum requirement.
 
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 members of the committee will vote to pass or fail the candidate. Passing the final examination requires a simple majority of the committee members.  The student may take the examination again but not less than one month later. The examination may not be taken more than twice.  University regulations specify that the oral defense shall be open to all members of the Graduate Faculty.  With the consent of the student’s Advisory Committee, others may also attend.
 
B.  PLAN II:  PUBLIC HISTORY 
 
1. Students must complete a minimum of thirty-six hours of graduate courses in two fields of study -- the major field being in Public History.  These hours must include at least nine hours of seminar (reading and/or research; at least one should be a research seminar), 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.  Students may include no more than six hours in History 6100 courses and six hours in History 6130 courses.  The Graduate Studies Committee may approve exceptions under extraordinary circumstances; appeals should be made to the Director of Graduate Studies.  The foreign language requirement outlined in Plan I is optional, but a student’s Advisory Committee may require a reading knowledge of a foreign language 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.  Before research begins, students should consult with their advisor to determine if their research requires the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  If it does, students should secure IRB approval and take the appropriate training.
 
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 copy. Normally
a thesis is approximately one hundred pages, including historiography, notes, and
bibliography.
 
b. The thesis should be prepared according to the Graduate College Thesis Guidelines. Master’s students are required to meet the thesis format review deadline by either attending a thesis format workshop or viewing the on-line version of the workshop by the deadline specified in the Graduate College academic calendar for the semester they intend to graduate. Completion of the workshop requirement at least one semester before they intend to graduate is recommended.
 
c. The Graduate College requires completion of the final examination (oral defense of the thesis) about four weeks before the end of the semester.  With the Advisory Committee Chair’s and/or Research Advisor’s approval, paper or electronic copies (as preferred by each Advisory Committee member) of the thesis draft should be provided to all Advisory Committee members at least two full weeks prior to the scheduled defense. Holidays and breaks when the University is closed should not be counted in this two-week minimum requirement.
 
     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 the student’s Advisory Committee.  Following the examination, the members of the committee will vote to pass or fail the candidate.  Passing the final examination requires a simple majority of the committee members.  The student may take the examination again but not less than one month later.  The examination may not be taken more than twice.  University regulations specify that the oral defense shall be open to all members of the Graduate Faculty.  With the consent of the student’s Advisory Committee, others may also attend.
 
III. ADVISORY COMMITTEE
 
A.  Students must request appointment of an Advisory Committee prior to enrolling in their second full semester beyond the B.A. degree.
 
B.  Upon the recommendation of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies, an Advisory Committee of no fewer than three voting members will be appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College.  This committee consists of members of the OSU Graduate Faculty (at least one from each field), including the student’s advisor, who acts as chairperson and must have Graduate Faculty status.  The chair must hold an OSU faculty appointment, normally a tenured or tenure-track appointment in the History Department.  The chair’s duties include convening meetings of the Advisory Committee as appropriate; ensuring compliance with policies, procedures, and requirements; overseeing the Plan of Study and thesis submission processes; and ensuring that the research topic undertaken is appropriate to satisfy degree requirements.  The duties of other members of the student’s Advisory Committee include giving direction to the student’s preparation of a Plan of Study; attending meetings of the Advisory Committee; reviewing drafts of the M.A. thesis; and consulting regularly with other committee members and the student to monitor progress toward the degree.  With the consent of the advisor, students may substitute a representative from another appropriate discipline for one member.
 
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.  TRANSFER HOURS
 
     At the discretion of the student’s Advisory Committee, up to nine hours of coursework with a grade of B or better can be transferred from another graduate program or taken as a non-degree graduate student at OSU.
 
V. 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 undergraduate degree will be allowed one semester to complete the prior degree.  Those who fail to complete the prior degree within one semester after beginning the M.A. 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 M.A. program; for these requirements, see the document entitled “Teaching Assistants and Associates” in this Handbook on pages 36-37. Teaching Assistants must demonstrate progress toward fulfilling the foreign language requirement no later than their second semester of enrollment.
 
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.