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Thesis option

Students who opt to write a thesis must complete 33 semester hours of 400-level graduate courses, of which at least 24 semester hours must be in history and taken at Roosevelt. In addition to Hist 450 and two graduate reading seminars, graduate students must take seven 400-level electives, which may including additional reading seminars. A seminar paper acceptable to the program is generally written in conjunction with a one-semester seminar (Hist 450) to demonstrate command of historical method and interpretation. Students who have selected this option must write a thesis that conforms to university regulations and is acceptable to the program. A thesis topic should be selected early and consent of two faculty sponsors secured.

  Seven 400-level electives in History .....21
  HIST 450 Graduate Seminar in History .....3
  HIST 490 Thesis .....3
  HIST 4xx Graduate Reading Seminar in History .....3
  HIST 4xx Graduate Reading Seminar in History .....3

A student who has not completed a thesis must maintain continued registration during fall and spring semesters until completion of the thesis by registering for the appropriate zero-credit course (Hist 490Y). Students who have not maintained continuous registration for the thesis will be required to register for all intervening fall and spring semesters prior to graduation.

Non-Thesis Option

Students who elect to take 36 semester hours of course work must take at least 27 semester hours at Roosevelt. In addition to Hist 450 and two graduate reading seminars, graduate students must take nine 400-level electives, which may include additional reading seminars.

  Nine 400-level electives in History .....27
  HIST 450 Graduate Seminar in History .....3
  HIST 4xx Graduate Reading Seminar in History .....3
  HIST 4xx Graduate Reading Seminar in History .....3

History, MA


The MA program in history serves students who seek to teach history in a secondary school or community college; prepare for a PhD degree; or prepare for government positions or other careers requiring advanced study of history. The program offers instruction in the following fields: United States history to 1877, United States history since 1877, early modern European history, modern European history, African American history, and Latin American history. Additional information about history-specific graduate application deadlines, funding, and graduate advising, is available here.


Students should contact the Graduate Admission office for all requirements and deadlines regarding the application for admission to the MA program in History. In addition to undergraduate transcripts and a completed application form, students must write an essay response to a question furnished through the Graduate Admission office and supply two letters of recommendation from academics or others with knowledge of the applicant's ability to undertake graduate-level work in History. All application materials should be sent to the Graduate Admission office.


Students may choose one of two options towards the MA degree in history. The first, the non-thesis option, requires 36 semester hours of course work. The second, the thesis option, requires 30 semester hours of course work and three semester hours to write the thesis, for a total of 33 hours. A fuller explanation of these two options may be found below. All graduate history students admitted in the 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 2 written comprehensive exams instead of the graduate reading seminars, provided they have already taken History 401 and a 400-level graduate seminar elective.

At all stages, particularly before applying for graduation, students are responsible for checking on their progress toward fulfillment of degree requirements. 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.

There is no formal foreign language requirement; however, competence in a foreign language is recommended for students choosing a field outside US history. Graduate students should also be aware that most doctoral programs require competence in one or more foreign languages.

Reading Seminars and Research Seminars:

MA students must take two readings seminars, but may enroll in more than two provided they do not repeat a course. These seminars will be offered on a rotating basis on both campuses in the following fields: US History before 1877; US History since 1877; African American History; Early Modern European History; Modern European History; and Latin American History. Students should consult with the graduate advisor to plan their course of study and choose their reading seminars. The graduate research seminar, History 450, is offered during the spring semester and enables students to conduct research on a topic related to the above fields.

Information for students admitted before Fall 2010:

Students admitted before Fall 2010 may choose to take two three-hour written examinations in lieu of the reading seminars if they have already taken History 401 and their 400-level graduate seminar elective. Field exams are given once a term. Students wishing to take one or both examinations in a given semester must notify the faculty member in charge of the field several months before they intend to take the exam.

Beginning with Fall 2010, History 401 has no longer been offered. Students admitted before Fall 2010 who have not yet taken History 401 must take graduate reading seminars instead.