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Course content

M.A. students may choose from among three different options: thesis; project; and written examination. Please note that the thesis option, but not the project and written exam options, requires students to fulfill the department’s world language requirement.

Thesis: This option is appropriate for those who wish to pursue a Ph.D., either immediately after receiving the M.A. or at some point in the future. A thesis is a lengthy monographic work (usually 50 to 150 pages long) that addresses a topic of importance to historians in an original way.

Project: Occasionally, when student background or experience allows, and when faculty availability and expertise exists, students may complete a project in lieu of the traditional thesis. A project may take the form of a narrative history, a documentary film or website, or some other effort approved by the committee.

Written examination: This option consists of an eight-hour written exam given at the end of one’s graduate career. It is designed for students who do not plan to pursue a Ph.D. in history. It is especially useful for secondary school teachers who want to attain the M.A. in a timely manner.

All three options require the following courses:

- HIST 511, Historiography (5)
- HIST 512, History Graduate Reading Seminar (5)
- HIST 515, History Graduate Research Seminar (5)
- HIST 512 OR HIST 515 (5)

HIST 596, if taken as field bibliography, can substitute for HIST 512 or HIST 515

- HIST 700, Thesis, Exam, or Project study (6)
- Department-Approved Electives from 500 level courses in History (10)
- Department-Approved Electives from 400 or 500 level courses in History OR other approved fields (courses must pertain to student’s thesis) (9)
Graduate Fields of Study

Whether pursuing the thesis, project or exam option, students must choose a primary field of study from a list of fields approved by the faculty. Currently, the Department of History offers the following primary fields. Fields other than those listed need prior approval from the student’s advisor.

Colonial/Revolutionary America
19th Century U.S.
20th Century U.S.
U. S. Foreign Relations
U. S. West
U. S. Environmental History
U. S. Women's History
U. S. Social History
U. S. Cultural History
Native American History
Pacific Northwest History
Modern Britain and the Empire
Modern Ireland
Modern France
Modern Germany
Modern East Asia
Latin American cultural history
Latin American religious history
Latin American state formation
Modern Mexico
Pre-Imperial Russia
Imperial Russia
Russian Empire
The Soviet Union
African Health and Healing
African Childhood and Education
African Gender
Urban Africa
Pre-colonial Africa
Colonial Africa
Environmental History
Urban History
Comparative Colonialism
Comparative Gender
Comparative Revolutions
Comparative Borderlands
Comparative Nationalism






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