Graduate Degree Program Overview

The Department of History offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the areas of American, Asian, European, Pacific/Hawai?i, and World History.

All applicants for advanced degree programs in History are requested to supplement the application and transcripts required by the Office of Graduate Education with letters of recommendation (two for the M.A., three for the Ph.D.), preferably from professors with whom the applicant has worked; a sample of written work such as a term paper, seminar paper, or M.A. thesis; and the General Test scores from the GRE. These supplementary items should be sent directly to the Department. Complete details on all graduate programs in History, as well as financial aid available to prospective students, are outlined in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Recipients of advanced degrees in History have undertaken careers as teachers of History and Social Studies in secondary schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities. In addition, the study of history provides an excellent background for alternative careers in museology, library and archival work, government service, historical preservation, business and marketing research, and allied research fields. The Department has a placement officer to assist graduates with career choices and in locating employment opportunities.

Courses for the graduate programs are to be selected from among the History courses listed in back of the Catalog and from graduate offerings in related disciplines as directed by the student’s supervisory committee. The consent of the instructor is required for admission to all courses numbered 600 and above. Courses numbered over 600, except HIST 602, may be repeated once for credit.

Master’s Degree

Intended candidates for the MA degree must present a minimum undergraduate preparation of 18 upper division credit hours in history or some closely allied field such asAsian Studies orAmerican Studies. Students who lack this preparation or who wish to undertake study in an area of history other than that of their undergraduate preparation must make up deficiencies either before or during graduate study. In the latter case the student will be admitted only conditionally, pending removal of the deficiencies.

The prospective MA candidate may select either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis). Both plans require the intended candidate to give evidence of competence in a foreign language appropriate to the field of major interest. In addition, students in the United States or East Asia History area in either Plan A or Plan B must also meet seminar distribution requirements, as outlined in the Graduate Student Handbook.

MA Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1) Students can demonstrate an understanding of the theories and methodologies of the discipline of history.
2) Students can demonstrate a critical understanding of the historiography of their fields of specialization.
3) Students can conduct original research based on primary sources.
4) Students can write expository prose and orally present their ideas at an advanced level.

Download the MA Student Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Map

Plan A (Thesis) Requirements

Plan A requires a minimum of 24 semester hours of graduate course work plus 6 semester hours of thesis research (History 700), a written thesis, and a final oral examination, which is a defense of the thesis. A minimum of 15 of the 24 hours of course work, including History 602 and a research seminar in the major field, must be in courses and seminars numbered above 600. Candidates for the degree must register during the semester or summer session in which they receive the degree. Those who have already completed all requirements for the degree, including 6 credit hours of History 700, may register for one credit hour in History 700F. Students eligible for History 700F must submit a petition to the Office of Graduate Education and must register for the course each semester until graduation.

Plan B (Non-Thesis) Requirements

Plan B requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate course work. At least 18 of those hours, including History 602 and a research seminar in the major and the minor fields, must be in courses numbered above 600. The major and minor fields must be from two different areas of study: the major field must be selected from the table on page 15 of the Graduate Student Handbook, the minor field from the table on page 25. Plan B students must complete a research paper and take a comprehensive examination in their major as well as their minor field of study. Plan B students must also register for at least one credit of course work during the semester in which they receive the degree. Those who have completed all other degree requirements may register for History 699 for non-credit.

Doctoral Degree

Intended candidates for the PhD degree are expected to possess the MA degree in History or its equivalent. The PhD candidate must demonstrate the capability of pursuing a successful career as a professional historian by showing initiative in historical research and by giving evidence of the ability to present findings both orally and in writing.

PhD Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1) Students can demonstrate a mastery of the theories and methodologies of the discipline of history.
2) Students can demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the historiography of their fields of specialization.
3) Students can conduct original research based on primary sources.
4) Students can write expository prose and orally present their ideas at a professional standard.

Download the PhD Student Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Map

Requirements

There are no specific course work requirements for the PhD degree except History 602, Historiography, for students who did not take an equivalent course at the MA level. The student must prove competence by the acquisition of a broad background in general History, passing four comprehensive examinations in two broad geographic areas of history and completing an original dissertation and a final oral examination. In addition, the student must take whatever additional course and seminar work the Program Committee designates at the Preliminary Conference as necessary preparation for the Comprehensive Examinations. The courses, seminars, and other requirements specified by the Program Committee at the Preliminary Conference constitute the student’s program of study. The student must also demonstrate a knowledge of at least two foreign languages related to the dissertation topic, for students of American or Hawaiian History an alternative requirement may, at the discretion of the doctoral committee, be substituted for one of the languages.

If you are interested in applying, please refer to Graduate Admissions.