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Guidelines for Master's Students

Please note: the terminal MA in History is suspended as of winter 2018-19. The following guidelines are for 5th Year MA and Open Graduate Education History MA only.

The History M.A. program is designed to be intellectually rigorous yet also flexible enough to permit students to adapt it to a variety of professional contexts and goals. The intellectual rigor is achieved through M.A.-specific coursework and its combination with Ph.D. seminars. The flexibility is achieved through a choice of one of two tracks:

  • The Professional Track incorporates two “skills” courses (for example, in writing, language, computer science, design, or public history) that will help students meet individual professional goals.
  • The Academic Track is designed to prepare students to continue work at the PhD level. It replaces one of the “skills” courses with a research credit in the spring for which the student will produce an article-length research paper. In choosing the other “skills” course, a student on this track might select a language course or another PhD seminar, as appropriate.

A standard MA curriculum is 8 credits. 5th year MA students may apply up to two undergraduate courses toward this curriculum. Open Graduate Education students may "double count" up to two courses from their other degree program. Please consult the DGS on course planning. Course distribution for the overall eight credits is as follows:

1 credit HIST 2930 Colloquium (required)
3 credits 3 2000-level courses
2 credits 2 1000- or 2000-level courses
2 credits 2 1000-level "skills" courses outside History, chosen in consultation with the History DGS OR 1 research credit for MA paper + 1 1000-level "skills" course, chosen in consultation with the History DGS, typically either a language course or an additional PhD seminar

The 5th year MA is designed to be completed in one year. Open Graduate Education MA degrees can be pursued more gradually. Each student will plan an individual curriculum in consultation with the DGS; for a yearlong program, eight credits are typically distributed as follows:

Semester 1 Semester 2
Colloquium PhD Thematic Seminar (2980 series)
PhD Field Seminar (2970 series) PhD Thematic Seminar (2980 series)
Elective (1000- or 2000-level course) Elective (1000- or 2000-level course)
Elective (skills course) Elective (skills course or MA research paper)

Seminars should be taken with at least two different instructors. All courses must be completed with grades of B or better for the student to receive graduate credit. There is no foreign language requirement for the master's degree.