Sep 26, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 
    
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in History


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Director of Graduate Studies: James Palmitessa
Room 4455, Friedmann Hall
james.palmitessa@wmich.edu

The Master of Arts in History serves both as preparation for doctoral study and as a professional degree in many fields of research, teaching, and public history.

Admission Requirements

  1. Substantial undergraduate course work in history and closely related disciplines is typically required for admission to the Master of Arts program.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general aptitude test scores.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic work.
  4. A brief essay concerning applicant’s academic and professional objectives, and a writing sample.
  5. Students whose native language is other than English must achieve a TOEFL score of 600 or above, or otherwise demonstrate a command of English judged adequate by the department to pursue graduate study in the discipline.

Program Requirements


Three options for completing the degree are available.

Thesis Option (30 hours)


1. History


2. A broad field of specialization built around readings courses and research seminars.


At least two readings courses are required and additional course work in this area is strongly recommended. At least one research seminar (HIST 6750-6890) is required. Specific research emphases are developed in consultation with the supervising professor and department faculty. Consult the department’s Graduate Handbook for further information.

3. Students must take at least two courses


in which a major part of the course work incorporates theoretical or methodological approaches relevant to the study of history. Competence in theoretical or methodological tools is normally shown by a grade of “B” or better in approved course work or by an advanced degree in the appropriate social science or humanities discipline. Students must consult with their supervising professors and the director of graduate studies before enrolling in any course, to ensure that it will fulfill the requirement.

4. Department requirements


The department requires at least one course covering theory and/or research practices in an allied social science or humanities discipline.

5. Appropriate course work


Up to 6 hours of appropriate course work may be chosen outside the department, and up to 6 hours of appropriate course work in history at the 4000-level, exclusive of 4960-4990, may be elected with the approval of the supervising professor, the director of graduate studies, and the dean of the Graduate College.

6. Language requirement:


Proficiency in a language other than English demonstrated by satisfactory completion of a 2010-level or 4010-level non-English language course, or by a translation examination.

Students specializing in medieval and ancient history are required, at a minimum, to demonstrate facility in reading one ancient language (e.g.: Latin or Greek) and one modern language other than English. See the Department of History Graduate Handbook for details.

7. Thesis: a major research investigation in the field of specialization.


All students in the History Thesis Option must complete and successfully defend the M.A. thesis.

8. Students who fail to produce a satisfactory thesis


May count course work taken (except thesis hours) toward a general option degree. If they are students in the doctoral program, they will be dismissed from that program, but will be allowed to continue course work until they have completed enough hours for a general option master’s degree. See the Department of History Graduate Handbook for additional information regarding the thesis.

General Option (33 hours)


1. History


2. A minimum of one reading course and one research seminar (HIST 6730-6890) in related fields.


3. Students must take at least one course


in which a major part of the course work incorporates theoretical or methodological approaches relevant to the study of history. Competence in theoretical or methodological tools is normally shown by a grade of “B” or better in approved course work or by an advanced degree in the appropriate social science or humanities discipline. Students must consult with their supervising professors and the director of graduate studies before enrolling in any course, to ensure that it will fulfill the requirement.

4. Up to 12 hours of course work


May be taken outside the department in an advisor-approved program of study, and up to 6 hours of appropriate course work in history at the 4000-level, exclusive of 4960-4990, may be elected with the approval of the supervising professor, director of graduate studies, and the dean of the Graduate College.

5. Language Requirement:


The supervising professor and Examination Committee may require a student to demonstrate facility in a language appropriate to the student’s course of study.

Students specializing in medieval and ancient history are required, at a minimum, to demonstrate facility in reading one ancient language (e.g.: Latin or Greek) and one modern language other than English. See the Department of History Graduate Handbook for details.

6. Comprehensive examination:


A course-based written examination following completion of at least 24 hours of course work including required core courses and a research seminar. An oral examination may also be required by the student’s Examination Committee.

Public History Option (33 hours)


1. History


2. A minimum of one reading course and one research seminar (HIST 6730-6890) in related fields.


3. Students must take at least three courses


(one at the 6000-level) in which a major part of the course work focuses on tools particularly relevant to public historians. Courses meeting this requirement can be identified prior to enrollment by the director of graduate studies or the student’s supervising professor.

4. From 3 to 6 hours of course work may be taken outside the department


In a program of study approved by the supervising professor, and director of graduate studies. Up to 6 hours of appropriate course work in history at the 4000-level, exclusive of 4960-4990, may be elected with the approval of the supervising professor, the director of graduate studies, and the dean of the Graduate College.

5. An internship/practicum experience of 3 to 6 credit hours:


In a program of study approved by the supervising professor and director of graduate studies, the student may fulfill this requirement under one or more of the following course numbers (See the Department of History Graduate Handbook for details):

6. Comprehensive examination:


A course-based written examination following completion of at least 24 hours of course work including required core courses and a research seminar. An oral examination may also be required by the student’s exam committee.

7. Language Requirement


Proficiency in a language other than English demonstrated by satisfactory completion of a appropriate 2010-level or 4010-level language course, or by a translation examination. See the Department of History Graduate Handbook for details.

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