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The M.A. Degree


The M.A. degree is available to students seeking a stand-alone (or terminal) M.A. and to students who are seeking an M.A./Ph.D.  Some of our M.A. students pursue careers in high school teaching, government service, libraries and archives, and private employment.  Others have continue on to our Ph.D. program or to doctoral study at another institution.

Admission from the M.A. program to the Ph.D. program requires the approval of the department’s Graduate Committee.

M.A. students are required to take the department’s seminar in Historical Criticism (History 606), which is intended to introduce them to the professional study of history.  All M.A. students must also satisfy the basic language requirement.  Programs within the department such as Modern Europe or Pre-Modern Europe have additional course and language requirements that students must meet.

The History Department offers three plans of study for the M.A. degree.  Option 1 requires a formal M.A. thesis and twenty-four hours of graduate coursework.  Option 2 requires an M.A. essay, which is a research paper of about 45-60 pages in length, and thirty hours of graduate coursework.  Option 3 requires three major papers and thirty-six hours of graduate coursework.  Students interested in a terminal M.A. degree may elect any of the three options.  Students who wish to advance to the department’s doctoral program must complete either the M.A. thesis or the M.A. essay.  All three options conclude with an oral examination by three faculty examiners.