Dec 05, 2023
MA Degree Program
The MA program of study in history is a flexible one that prepares students for a variety of careers. We expect full-time students to complete the degree in two academic years. Students who regard the MA as a terminal degree normally elect to fulfill its requirements by 33 hours of course enrollment without writing a thesis. Most of these students go on to teaching positions on the secondary and community college level; a smaller number enter government service at all levels; and some secure specialized positions in business, industry, and journalism. Those students preparing for teaching on the university level or related careers in research and writing should look upon the MA program as preparation for advanced graduate study. We thus urge them to write a thesis.
In making our decisions on admission we consider multiple factors, including transcripts and GPA, the nature of your coursework, recommendations, your writing sample and statement, your MAT or GRE scores (particularly the GRE Verbal and Analytical Writing sections), and the compatibility of our program and faculty with your interests.
In most cases, you will need 18 hours in history from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 PGA (on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate history courses, although we may also consider coursework in related fields.
In addition to submitting your application and all transcripts to the Graduate School, you should submit the following, the first to the Graduate School and the rest to the History Department:
- Official scores from the MAT or from the GRE (which should include the Analytical Writing section).
- Two letters of recommendation evaluating your academic ability.
- A writing sample, such as a paper from a course, that demonstrates your ability to write and think about history.
- A letter from you explaining your major field(s) of interest in history (chosen from the list of PhD fields below), any particular interests, and your reasons for seeking the MA degree.
- A total of 33 hours. For the student electing to write a thesis, this includes 9 hours of thesis credit. No more than 9 hours of thesis credit may count toward the degree.
- Only 6 hours of coursework at the 6000 level may count toward the degree, although we may accept 9 hours in special circumstances by petition to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
- At least one 7000-level historiography course in any field and at least one HIST 7070 .
- Only 3 hours can be HIST 7012 , although we may accept 6 hours in special circumstances by petition to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. HIST 7991 does not count toward the degree.
- No more than 6 hours may be taken, with the approval of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, in a field outside history. Under special circumstances students may petition for up to an additional 6 hours.
- No more than 24 hours may be taken in United States History, European History, or any one field of history, such as Ancient History.
- A student who makes a grade of C+ or lower in six credits or more hours of course work will be dropped from the MA program, except under exceptional circumstances. No grade of C+ or lower may count toward the required number of credits.
- An oral Comprehensive Examination over course work given by a committee chosen by the Graduate Advisor and the student. Online only students take a written exam instead.
- For those who elect to write a thesis, approval by a department committee headed by the faculty member who directed the thesis. All theses are based upon primary research and are typically between 16,000 and 25,000 words in length. NOTE: Students electing to write a thesis should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.
Concentration in Ancient Egyptian History
(Note: “Concentration” refers to a specific program in this area. It does not imply that this is our only area of specialization.)
Beyond the core requirements, students choosing this concentration must take 18 hours of MA level courses with a focus on ancient Egypt; this includes 9 hours of thesis credit for those writing a thesis. As part of the 18 credits, students must take two semesters of basic Middle Egyptian (ARTH 7115 and ARTH 7116 ), plus two more semesters of readings from ancient Egyptian texts. Courses in ancient art, archaeology, and language (taught in the Art, Earth Sciences, and/or Foreign Language departments) may count as being in field(s) separate from the field of ancient history. Admission into the graduate program in history does not automatically ensure admission into this concentration. The approval of the department’s Egyptologists is also necessary, so students should contact them directly.
The Online M.A. Program
The History Department also offers an online MA degree program in which all the degree requirements may be completed online. Admission requirements are the same as for the on-campus MA program, but you must specify in your application and the required letter discussing your interests that you are applying for the online MA degree. Requirements for the online MA degree are also the same as for the on-campus MA with the following exceptions for those who take all their credits online: a) the thesis option is not always available to online students; b) online students may apply up to 9 hours of 6000-level history courses to the degree; and c) online students take a written exam comprehensive exam.