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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 Department 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).

Course Selection

May I take any course I want?

You should work closely with a faculty advisor to map out a coherent program of courses. See below fields of concentration offered in the department.

Are there required courses and when should I take them?

Students admitted Fall 2010 and afterwards must take three required courses: two graduate reading seminars and one graduate research seminar. Students admitted before Fall 2010 may opt to take written comprehensive exams instead of the graduate seminars, providing they have already taken HIST 401 and a 400 level graduate semester elective.

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.

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.

Comprehensive Exams

How many comprehensive exams do I have to take and what are my comprehensive exam options?

For students admitted Fall 2010 and afterwards there are no comprehensive exams.  Students admitted before Fall 2010 may opt to take written comprehensive exams instead of the graduate seminars, providing they have already taken HIST 401 and a 400 level graduate semester elective.

Exams will be offered at the following times:

  • Fall semester—last week in October
  • Spring semester—week after spring break
  • Summer—week starting on or just after August 15

Supporting Course Work

Students interested in the fields mentioned below should endeavor to take as many of the “core” courses listed in preparation for comprehensive exams. Please see advisors for course information on fields not covered here.

  • African-American History, 1619-present
  • Early Modern European History
  • Modern European History
  • United States History to1877
  • United States History since 1877
  • World History since 1945
  • Atlantic World

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 more than 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: AUD476A
Schaumburg Office: 360J