The MA Program
Although it is desirable that applicants have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in History, the Department also accepts students who have previously specialized in other subject areas and who show promise of sustained and self-disciplined work in History. Typically, a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.3 (B+) is required for admission, with evidence of better work in history. In addition, all applicants are asked to submit three letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination scores, transcripts from institutions of higher learning, and examples of written work in History from their undergraduate classes. Students are accepted for admission for fall quarter only, and all materials must be electronically transmitted or postmarked by January 2.
Nine courses are required for the degree:
Three in a colloquium series, a proseminar and related first-year research seminar, a secondary emphasis of two related courses (History and Theory 200A and 200B, or other), a thesis course or preparation class for the written examination in the major field (taken as 291), and another elective course.
Program of Study
The MA program emphasizes the theoretical and historiographical dimensions of history. Each candidate for the MA will choose a graduate advisor who will supervise the student's program. Nine courses are required for the degree: three in a colloquium series, a proseminar and related first-year research seminar, a secondary emphasis of two related courses (History and Theory 200A and 200B, or other), a thesis course or preparation class for the written examination in the major field (taken as 291), and another elective course. Students who decide to pursue the Ph.D. after completion of the MA program need to consider Ph.D. course requirements when selecting courses.
Foreign Language Requirement
Students in the MA program whose major field requires use of foreign language sources demonstrate competence in a foreign language in the process of writing the first-year research paper and thesis. Other MA students do not have to meet a foreign language or alternative skills requirement.
MA Plan 1: Thesis
The master's thesis represents a revision of the first-year research paper, equivalent to a scholarly article of 40-50 typescript pages, under the supervision of a professor in the student's major field and reviewed and approved by a three-member thesis committee, at least two of which must be History faculty members.
MA Plan 2: Comprehensive Examination
At the end of the final quarter the MA candidate must pass a comprehensive written or oral examination administered by three faculty members covering the student's major field (e.g., America, Early Modern Europe) and focused upon material assigned in the three-quarter colloquium series.
The MA requires a minimum of one year in academic residence and can be completed during that term if full-time study is undertaken. However, it is expected that many MA students are employed and need to enroll on a part-time basis. Therefore, students are allowed up to three years of graduate study to complete the degree.
All MA students are advised by the Vice Chair until they have an advisor in their major field.