Courses

Requirements for the Master’s Degree in History

As MA students we complete 4 required courses, a 2-credit writing skills for historians course, 5-6 electives, and additional research credits to complete the minimum of 32 credit hours for graduation.

Required courses

  • Two methods classes (3-credits each) and a writing workshop (2 credits) offer students a guide to researching and writing creative historical scholarship
  • One research seminar (topics change each year)
  • At least one course in a field of history secondary to our research interests
  • A minimum of 3-6 research credits devoted to completing the major research project

Electives

Additional 3-credit electives (5-6 to complete the degree; one elective must be taken in an area of history outside the student’s primary research interest, or chosen from another discipline). Some of the electives offered recently by History Department faculty:

-U.S History to 1877 and U.S. History since 1877
-Topics in Global History: Modern World History
-Topics in Global History: Comparative Colonial History
-Gender in U.S. History
-American Environmental History
-History of Technology
-Readings in African History
-Public History courses:  Introduction to Public History; Digital History; Oral History
-Topics in Cultural History and Theory: Critical Animal Studies

A typical plan of study for the two-year MA degree, with 33 credit hours of coursework

Year 1: Fall Semester

  • Historical Methods (3 credits)
  • Writing Skills for Historians (2 credits)
  • 3-credit Elective in major field
  • 3-credit Elective in secondary field
  • Pedagogy Workshop (required by the Graduate School for all Assistantship recipients, 1 credit) or Research and Thesis (1 credit)
Year 1: Spring Semester

  • Research Methods for Historians(3 credits)
  • Research Seminar (variable topic, depending on instructor) (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)
  • Research and Thesis Credits (3 credits)
Year 2: Fall Semester

  • Elective (3 credits)
  • Research and Thesis Credits (9 credits)
Year 2: Spring Semester

  • Elective
  • Research and Thesis Credits (9 credits)

Requirements for the MA in History with a Graduate Certificate in Public History

The Certificate in Public History requires 12 credit hours of coursework and internship.  Students may double-count 6 credits toward both the MA and the Certificate.

Earning the  Graduate Certificate in Public History, therefore, requires 6 additional course credits beyond the 32 required for the MA degree.

Three specialized required courses:

  • Introduction to Public History, offered fall semester
  • One Public History elective. One public history course is offered each semester.  Recent electives include:

-Oral History
-Digital History
-Topics in Public History: Space and the Urban-Suburban-Rural Landscapes
-Topics in Public History: Museum Studies

  • One history elective (double-counted for both the MA and the Certificate)
  • A public history internship and practicum (students register for 6 credits of practicum in the semester after the summer internship; 3 of these credits are counted toward the MA; 3 toward the Certificate)

Public history graduate students have conducted internships at institutions around the country, including the National Archives and the Newseum in Washington, DC; Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN; and the Alexander Black House and Cultural Center in Blacksburg, VA.

Rose-2bA special “public history thesis” option is available to students interested in giving their research a “public” presence.

Rosemary Zlokas (MA, 2015) interning at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in Nashville.  Rose completed her degree with a thesis website: www.comsumingbeauty.com

A typical plan of study for the two-year MA degree with public history certificate:

Year 1: Fall Semester

  • Introduction to Public History (3 credits)
  • Historical Methods (3 credits)
  • Writing Skills for Historians (2 credits)
  • 3-credit Elective in secondary field
  • Pedagogy Workshop (required for Assistantship recipients,1 credit) or Research and Thesis (1 credit)
Year 1: Spring Semester

  • Research Methods for Historians (3 credits)
  • Research Seminar (3 credits)
  • Public History Elective: Digital  History (3 credits)
  • Research and Thesis Credits (3 credits)
Year 2: Fall

  • Internship (fieldwork can be completed  in summer with Practicum completed in the Fall) (6 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)
  • Research and Thesis Credits (3 credits)
Year 2: Spring

  • 3-credit Elective
  • Research and Thesis Credits (9 credits)

Requirements for the MA in History as Part of the Dual Degree Track

  • Students must complete the required courses in History and the History research project
  • History electives can be fulfilled with some Curriculum and Instruction courses
  • Up to 15 credit hours can be double counted toward both degrees, at the discretion of the History Graduate Committee
  • History and C&I advisers help students design a plan of study that will fulfill both degree requirements
  • Most students undertake student teaching requirements during the third year of the program
  • Funding is available from the History MA Program for the two years of history coursework and research, but not for the third year of student teaching.

Current students should consult the Master’s Degree in History “Standards and Policies Manual” for a more detailed explanation of requirements.

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