There are two tracks leading to an M.A. degree in History: the Examination Track and the Thesis Track. Both tracks require 45 units of course work and History 697 (1-5 units) or History 698 (1-5 units), for a total of 46 to 50 units. History 697 and History 698 are graded credit/no credit. Graduate students are encouraged to earn as many units as possible in 500 or 600 level courses. However, a maximum of 20 units may be earned in 400 level courses. Graduate credit in a 400 level course requires submission of a "Petition for Graduate Credit," signed by the instructor and Graduate Coordinator, indicating what additional work is required for graduate credit to be awarded.
Students are reminded that a good master's thesis is a significant piece of written work usually requiring research in primary sources. Because primary sources are scarce on this campus, the choice of thesis topics is severely limited, and students need to assure the Department Graduate Committee and their advisor(s) that source material necessary to the topic is available. The thesis topic should be selected at the time of classification in order to ensure the maximum amount of time for completion.
Because department graduate offerings are designed with the examination track student in mind, it is expected that thesis track students will earn many of the required units in independent studies courses. Such courses shall be specifically designed in consultation with the thesis director to emphasize research techniques and to prepare the student for writing the thesis.
Students should meet with their thesis director and discuss in detail their subject, hypothesis, and sources before submission of the thesis proposal. The thesis proposal, accompanied by chapter descriptions and a bibliography, shall be submitted to the thesis director no later than one quarter before enrolling in History 697. The names of the thesis committee members should be submitted at the same time.
The thesis committee shall consist of three faculty readers: the specialist reader and two others. If the thesis topic involves expertise in another discipline, one reader may be chosen from that discipline with the approval of the thesis director and the Department Graduate Committee. The thesis committee will judge whether or not the thesis is a sound piece of research and ensure that it meets the standards of the profession in originality, scholarship, and written English.
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