College of Arts and Humanities
Language and Literature Bldg., room 100
Mail Stop 7553
See website for how this program may be used for educational and career purposes.
Faculty and Staff
Roxanne Easley, PhD
Roxanne Easley, PhD, Russia, Eastern Europe
Daniel Herman, PhD, U.S. pre-1877, U.S. West, Native American
Jason Knirck, PhD, Ireland, Britain, British Empire
Marilyn Levine, PhD, Modern China
Stephen Moore, PhD, Pacific Northwest, foreign relations, social studies education
Marji Morgan, PhD, 19th century British
Brian Carroll, PhD, U.S. Colonial, American Revolution, Native American
Jason Dormady, PhD, Modern Mexico and Latin America, U.S. Borderlands
Chong Eun Ahn, PhD, Modern East Asia
Lacy Ferrell, PhD, Africa
Kenneth Munsell, MA
John Streepy, MA
Karen J. Blair, PhD, 20th century U.S., Women
Beverly Heckart, PhD, Germany, Europe
Zoltan Kramar, PhD, Ancient World
Larry Lowther, PhD, Colonial and Revolutionary America
Kent Richards, PhD, American West, Pacific Northwest
K. Angie Hill, secretary
Master of Arts History
Master of arts students may choose from among three different options: thesis, project, or written examination. Please note that the thesis option, but not the project and written exam options, may require students to fulfill the department’s foreign language requirement.
Thesis: This option is appropriate for those who wish to pursue a PhD, either immediately after receiving the MA or at some point in the future. A thesis is a lengthy monographic work (usually 50 to 150 pages long) that addresses a topic of importance to historians in an original way.
Project: On rare occasions, when student background or experience allows, and when faculty availability and expertise exists, students may complete a project in lieu of the traditional thesis. In such special cases, proposals for an alternative to the exam or thesis options must be approved by the student’s graduate advisor and the graduate committee.
Written examination: Students choosing the examination option will draw up a list of field readings in concert with an advisor. In the written exam, the student will draw on readings to answer questions posed by the advisor and committee members. An oral defense will follow the written exam. This option is especially useful for secondary school teachers who want to attain the M.A. in a timely manner and who do not wish to pursue a doctorate.
Graduate Fields of Study
Whether pursuing the thesis, a project, or the exam option, students must choose a primary field of study from a list of fields approved by the faculty. Currently, the Department of History offers the following primary fields. Fields other than those listed need prior approval from the student’s advisor.
19th century America
20th century America
American Foreign Relations
Pacific Northwest History
U.S. Environmental History
U.S. Social History
U.S. Cultural History
Native American History
Latin American cultural history
Latin American religious history
Latin American state formation
African Health and Healing
African Childhood and Education
Modern Britain and the Empire
Modern East Asia
Thesis Requirements and Timeline
Before starting research on a thesis, you must choose an advisor and submit to her/him a short research prospectus. The prospectus is a proposal of about 8-10 pages, including the following:
- The topic and scope of your thesis or project
- A tentative thesis statement
- The primary sources you intend to use
- Historiographical review, including a statement of your work’s place within it
- Preliminary chapter outline.
Once your advisor approves your prospectus, she or he will assist you in assembling a thesis committee. The prospectus must be submitted and defended on or before the end of the third quarter of graduate study (or before the completion of 30 credits, whichever comes last). Prior to the end of the fourth full quarter, the student must submit at least one completed chapter of the thesis to the thesis director/advisor for approval. Students who do not meet the above deadlines may not be permitted to continue to pursue the thesis option. After the thesis is complete, the student will defend his/her findings before his/her committee. A finalized thesis must be submitted to each of the committee members at least three weeks before the defense.
Project Requirements and Timeline
As with the thesis, students who choose the project option must enlist an advisor and submit to her/him a short research prospectus (see thesis requirements, above, for prospectus guidelines). The prospectus must be submitted and defended on or before the end of the third quarter of graduate study (or before the completion of 30 credits, whichever comes last). Once your advisor approves your prospectus, she/he will assist you in assembling a thesis committee. Prior to the end of the fourth full quarter, the student must submit a significant part of the project to her/his director/advisor for approval. Students who do not meet the above deadlines may not be permitted to further pursue the project option. After the project is completed, the student will defend his/her work before his/her committee. A finalized version of the project must be submitted to each of the committee members at least three weeks before the defense.
Exam Requirements and Timeline
Students who choose the exam option must select an advisor by the beginning of fourth quarter or after completion of 30 credits, whichever comes last. In advance of the exam, the exam director/advisor will work with the student to choose a committee and to delineate a major field (see list of fields above). In consultation with the advisor, the student will then develop a major field bibliography consisting of at least 30 books that must be read in preparation for the exam. The eight-hour exam will consist of three (3) written questions in the major field. After the exam is completed, the student must defend her/his answers before the committee.
Foreign Language Requirement
At advisor’s discretion, students who choose the thesis option may be required to meet the department’s foreign language requirement. The requirement can be met in two ways: (1) by attaining a grade of B in the final course of a two-year sequence of undergraduate-level foreign language instruction (the sixth quarter or fourth semester); (2) by passing the department’s foreign language exam. The department’s foreign language exam requires students to translate (usually a paraphrase rather than a word-for-word translation) two short passages, one from a primary source and one from secondary literature. Students taking the language exam may use dictionaries. Faculty members with the appropriate language skills will grade the exam on a pass/fail basis. If you plan to enter a PhD program in the future, we strongly urge you to gain proficiency in at least one foreign language during your MA career.
ProgramsMaster of Arts (M.A.)