Program Requirements

General Requirements for the Masters Degree in History

Students who enter the degree program in history must complete 30 hours of graduate study, at least 20 of which must be in history.  Graduate students select a primary and a secondary field.  The secondary field shall consist of not less than six hours and shall include at least one seminar in that field.

Required Courses

The graduate program requires that all students take two classes: HIST 5950: Introduction to Historical Research and HIST 5940: Studies in Historiography . The Historical Research class is offered in the Fall, and is taken by most students in their first semester of graduate work. Historiography is offered in the Spring, and is generally taken in the second semester of work.

Cross-Listed Classes

Students enrolled in the master's degree program in history may register for courses which carry either the 5xx7 or the 5000-level designation. However, 5xx7-level courses that are taken by the student for undergraduate credit cannot be repeated for graduate credit.  Moreover, graduate students in the history department shall be required to do additional work beyond that which is normally required  of undergraduate students in 5xx7-level courses.  A minimum of 70 percent of all courses taken by the students participating in the master's degree program must be from the "Graduate Only" listing.

Academic Status Committee

A departmental committee will review the work of all graduate students at the end of each semester.  Students whose work is judged conditional or unsatisfactory will be informed of their status, with written reports and recommendations being sent to members of the department and to the graduate dean.

Admission to Candidacy

After satisfactorily completing 12 hours of approved course work, the student shall apply to the Graduate School for admission to candidacy for the master's degree.  Students who fail to apply for admission to candidacy after earning 12 hours of approved graduate credit in the department shall be summoned before the academic consultation committee for special consultation. 

Comprehensive, Written, and Oral Examinations

The program offers students the choice of pursuing either a thesis or a non-thesis option, though the Department strongly suggests that students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree after graduation choose to write a thesis. Those students choosing the non-thesis option take more elective classes than those choosing to write a thesis. Non-thesis students are also required to take, and pass, a comprehensive written and oral examination before being allowed to graduate. For more information about the two options, see:

    Thesis option

    Non-thesis option