2014-2015 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 28, 2020  
2014-2015 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in History, BA/MA

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The M.A. in History provides the highly-motivated student with an opportunity to work intensively under the direction of one or two faculty members. During the senior year, honors students enroll in upper-level undergraduate courses that include graduate students. As M.A. students, they work in a graduate seminar with Ph.D. students in upper-level undergraduate courses. M.A. students also participate in individually-designed tutorials under the direction of a faculty advisor. By undertaking intensive research in primary sources in the undergraduate honors program, students are prepared to complete the Master’s degree no later than August of their fifth year.

Departmental eligibility requirements

The M.A. in history is open only to history undergraduate majors who successfully complete the honors program in history.

Program of study

Course Work

All MA students will take four course credits each semester. Usually these will include one graduate seminar or directed research course that will count for two course credits, one directed readings course, and one 200-level undergraduate course at the graduate level. A student may, with the approval of his or her advisor, take up to one graduate course per semester outside of History. In order to take an undergraduate course for graduate credit, a graduate student must (at the beginning of the term) come to an agreement with the instructor on the precise additional requirements above and beyond those expected of undergraduate students. These requirements will include substantial additional readings and research. For example, a graduate student might read and review ten additional books, or in an undergraduate seminar, the graduate research expectations will be substantially higher than for undergraduates, with perhaps twice the undergraduate expectation in terms of primary sources and expected length. Graduate students are also expected to achieve a higher level of analytical sophistication than undergraduates. This difference in expectation is reflected in grading policy for graduate students. To receive graduate credit in any course, you must receive a grade of B- or above.


M.A. Requirements

A master’s thesis is the primary research requirement for the M.A. degree. Incoming fifth-year students are expected to identify and contact a thesis advisor over the summer, in advance of the academic year. They should begin exploring a feasible research topic - by reading secondary sources and identifying primary sources. When they return to campus, they should meet with their advisor and in consultation with their advisor, complete a research proposal for their thesis by September 1. 


Oral Examination

Near the end of the spring semester of the fifth year, the student will have an oral exam with their graduate advisor and one other faculty member from the department. The exam will cover the student’s graduate-level course work and their Master’s Thesis. At this time student should have a draft and examining professors will suggest appropriate revisions for the completion of the degree. 


Program advisor

(Signature Required on the Accelerate Degree Program Advisor Form)
Professor Wim Klooster
History Department
Jefferson Academic Center

Advice for students

The most important advice for students wishing to enter the B.A./M.A. program in history is that they need to acquire the necessary research and writing skills as an undergraduate in order to complete the rigorous research requirements for the master’s degree within one year. The student ideally should decide by the sophomore year to become a History major, and should take History 120, Writing History, in the second semester of the sophomore year. Then in the junior year, the student should take several 200-level history courses, and at least one seminar, in preparation for the honors program in History in the senior year. Students must take a seminar in advance of undertaking honors. The honors program, with three courses in the senior year, two of which are devoted to research and writing the honors thesis, provides excellent training for the rigors of graduate-level work in the fifth year.

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