The MA in History provides highly-motivated students with the opportunity to focus their studies on a topic related to that of their Honors Thesis. As MA students, they work in graduate seminars and upper-level undergraduate courses, and participate in individually-designed tutorials under the direction of a faculty advisor. MA students must complete the master’s degree no later than August of their fifth year.
Departmental Eligibility Requirements
The MA in History is open only to history undergraduate majors who successfully complete the Honors Program in History and meet all university and departmental ADP requirements.
Students are required to meet with the History Accelerated Degree Program advisor as a formal part of the admissions process. This meeting is intended to assist prospective students in assessing the appropriateness of the degree to their professional aspirations. The student applies to the MA program by completing the Online Application no later than May 1 of the junior year. Please note that application deadlines differ for students who are graduating off cycle (either a semester early or late) or who have advanced standing; such students should contact Graduate Admissions for alternative dates.
Program of Study
The master’s degree in History requires 8 graduate course units. A master’s thesis is the primary research requirement for the MA degree.
The student ideally should decide by the sophomore year to become a History major, and should take HIST 120 - Writing History in the second semester of the sophomore year.
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 apply to the Honors program during the second semester of their Junior year. (Additional guidelines are available in the History Department Handbook and from the department chair.)
During the senior year, honors students enroll in upperlevel undergraduate courses that include graduate students. The Honors Program requires three independent study courses in the senior year, two of which are devoted to research and writing the honors thesis (HIST 297), while the third, a directed reading, provides necessary background (HIST 299). In addition, students participate in the History Department’s HIST 290 - Honors Forum . These courses provide excellent training for the rigors of graduate-level work in the fifth year.
In the second semester of their senior year, honors students are expected to identify and contact a master’s thesis advisor. They should submit a preliminary master’s proposal to the History Department by April 15 of their senior year. When they return to campus, they should meet with their advisor and in consultation with their advisor, complete an improved research proposal for their thesis by October 1.
All MA students will take four course units 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 their 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. 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, the student must receive a grade of B- or above.
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, the student should have a substantive draft and examining professors will suggest appropriate revisions for the completion of the degree.
Students will pay a one-time program fee of $1,000 in the first semester of graduate study. Students also pay a $20 activity fee in the fall and spring semesters as well as a one-time enrollment fee of $100. Students are responsible for paying for housing, food, books, and other personal items.
Students in the Accelerated Degree Program are allowed one year of non-residency status after the fifth year for the completion of their MA thesis. Please note there is a $200 fee (per semester) associated with the non-residency status registration.
Students pay a fee of $30 for ProQuest to provide the University with a copy of the thesis that is cataloged in Goddard Library.
Students are required to meet with the designated degree advisor and have them sign the Accelerated Degree Program Adviser Form. The signed form confirms the student and program adviser have discussed the requirements of the program. This form is also available on the Graduate Admissions website.
The designated program adviser is:
Professor Wim Klooster
*Once you have started your fifth year, you may be assigned a different academic adviser.
Any students considering applying to the Accelerated Degree Program should read and understand the Accelerated Degree Program Policies and Procedures