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Graduate Student FAQs

Admissions Process

When should I apply?

Note the following deadlines:

  • For Spring (January) Admission: October 15
  • For Fall (September) Admission: March 1

The history program does not permit new students to begin in the Summer session.

How should I apply?

Students seeking admission to the MA program in history should apply through the Graduate Admissions office. In addition to the materials required by Roosevelt University, the History program requires supplemental materials. Students seeking admissions must submit:

  • Two letters of recommendation (preferably from college professors).
  • A 500 word essay: “What field in history interests you and why?” or “How does history help you understand a problem in the world today?”

Thesis and Non-Thesis Degrees

What is the difference between the thesis and non-thesis option?

If you are interested in pursuing further graduate study, careers in research and/or writing, or if you have a particular passion, then we urge you to write an MA thesis under the guidance of a full-time faculty member. The thesis offers you an opportunity to work closely with a professor, to conceive of and organize a significant research project, and to delve into a topic deeply.

Thesis option: Students take 30 hours of course work plus the thesis (History 490), for a total of 33 hours. Non-thesis option: Non-thesis students must take 36 hours of courses (12 three-hour courses).

I am interested in the partnership with Dominican University that will allow me to earn a certificate in Archival and Cultural Resources and Services. How does it work?

Graduate students have the opportunity to earn this certificate in addition to an MA in history. Students take either 24 semester hours (thesis) or 27 semester hours (non-thesis) of history course work at Roosevelt and 15 semester hours of archival and cultural resources course work in Dominican's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Students wishing to pursue this option should speak with the graduate advisor and/or department chair upon application and/or entrance into the MA program.  (For a PDF document with a detailed description of the program and its requirements, please click on the link above.)

Course Selection

Are there required courses and when should I take them?

Students must take three required courses: two graduate reading seminars and one graduate research seminar. Graduate students must take a total of 18 semester hours of course work in graduate-only courses (i.e. courses not cross listed with undergraduate courses). Students may take additional readings seminars or multiple sections of the seminar, as long as the topics are different.

May I take 300-level courses?

No. All courses must be taken at the 400-level.

How many independent studies?

You may take ONE independent study within the scope of your total number of coursework hours (33 hours, thesis or 36 hours, non-thesis).

Transfer Courses

May I transfer in courses?

On rare occasions, students may transfer in HISTORY graduate courses taken at other accredited universities.* Even then, however, these courses need the approval of both the history faculty AND the credit evaluators in the registrar’s office. As noted in the graduate catalog, the university will accept no more than 9 hours of transfer credit. Also be aware that education courses and courses having little to do with history will NOT be accepted.

*Note:  The one exception concerns courses taken at Dominican for the MA-Certificate program described above.  Nine hours of approved credits in Dominican's Graduate School of Library and Information Science will be transferred to Roosevelt.

If I take a Roosevelt University course outside history will it count toward my master’s degree in history?

You may only take a limited number of courses outside the discipline of history with the written permission of your advisor. Those courses must be directly relevant to your chosen fields within history and may include graduate courses in economics or political science, for example. Education courses are not considered relevant and will not count toward a master’s degree in history.

Staying in the Program

What is the GPA necessary to remain in good standing?

Students must earn grades of B- or better in all course work, and they must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to continue in the program. Students receiving two grades of C+ or lower will be unable to continue in the program.

Other questions?

Please direct them to our graduate advisor:

Professor Margaret Rung
Chicago office: AUD 834