The MA program in History offers a set of courses in which students can develop extended research interests. Students must select an advisor and develop a proposal for a specific research agenda in the semester before beginning work on a project.
HIST 6590 or 6592, Required Public History Thesis or Project
Students majoring in Public History must complete either a thesis (HIST 6590 six credits) or a project (HIST 6592, three or six credits).
HIST 6950, Optional Thesis for Students in U.S., Global and European History
Students majoring in U.S., global or European history can choose to write a thesis (six credits in their major field).
HIST 6951, Optional Advanced History Curriculum Development
Students who undertake their master's program when they are already teachers can choose to construct curriculum projects relevant to their teaching practice. See "Opportunities for Teachers and Teachers-in-Training."
Students writing theses are expected to develop an original research agenda resulting in an extended paper. Students work with their major field advisor, who will help guide them through the process of research and writing. Students are expected to take no less than two semesters (enrolled in HIST 6950) to complete their theses. Before registering for HIST 6950, students must have a thesis proposal and initial bibliography approved by their advisor. The first semester of the thesis course is organized as a seminar in which students meet regularly with a department member and other thesis writers.
A thesis is evaluated by a committee of three, including the major advisor and two other faculty members chosen by the student in consultation with the major advisor. It is up to the student and major advisor to decide whether the other committee members read drafts before the thesis committee convenes formally for evaluation. Upon completion of the thesis, the student meets with the committee members, who ask questions about the research and conclusions which the student must defend. In many instances, the committee will require further revisions, sometimes major in scope, before the thesis is accepted and cleared for submission to the graduate school in fulfillment of degree requirements.
In lieu of a thesis, Public History majors may choose to enroll in one semester or two semesters of HIST 6952 to complete a public history project. Projects, which are usually conducted in collaboration with a public history organization, can entail creating an exhibit, organizing a museum or archival collection, conducting a preservation survey, or similar activities. Students are required to prepare a paper describing the process and results of their project.