History MA Program
The Department of History does not admit students who intend to only seek an MA degree – commonly called a ‘terminal’ MA. Students admitted to the 96-hour doctoral program earn the MA as part of their course of study. The history department offers two paths to complete the Master of Arts degree in history, a thesis or a non-thesis option. An MA candidate who does not already have credit for a modern foreign language (see “Foreign Language Requirement“) must complete the foreign language requirement before receiving the MA degree. Please consult the Graduate Program Brochure for a full explanation of all policies and requirements of the program.
At the end of their formal coursework, students in the thesis track will produce an MA thesis. Working with their advisor, the student will select one of two MA Thesis options. 1) Multi-chapter Thesis Option, generally 100 pages in length. The research will be based in primary source material. The expectation for successfully defending is that the committee judges the thesis to have an original narrative and make an original contribution to historical scholarship. 2) Article Thesis Option. Students who select this option will work with their primary advisor to choose a peer-reviewed publishing venue and will write an article-length thesis appropriate for publication in the selected venue. The research will be based in primary source material and make an original contribution to the historical scholarship. The expectation for successfully defending an article thesis is that the committee judges that the thesis is ready for submission to the selected venue.
The MA degree, non-thesis option, requires a minimum of 36 hours of coursework. A minimum of 21 hours must be taken within the department with at least 9 more hours taken in a supporting field. An MA non-thesis student must have more than one area of specialization, but both may be within history. However, the MA non-thesis student may not use any History 691 (research) hours as part of the degree plan. The student receives the MA degree upon completion of the required coursework and passing comprehensive written and oral examinations.