College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of History
To receive a Master of Arts (MA) degree, students must demonstrate reading competency in a foreign language. They must demonstrate current competence through successful completion of two years of foreign language at the undergraduate level, passing the USU language exam, or taking a 3000- or 4000-level language course for which a grade of B or higher proves competency. In all cases, an individual assessment must be made of a student’s language status.
Students planning to continue on for a doctorate should be aware that many doctoral programs in history require that students pass written proficiency exams in two or more languages.
Degree Programs and Additional Requirements
Master of Arts Degree, Plan A (Thesis-HISTORY)
The thesis option should be taken by anyone intending to do research or enter another program for the doctoral degree.
The program consists of 30 semester credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, 6 credits of which must be in thesis research. Students are required to take the following courses:
The remainder of the 30 credits may be taken as electives in history or relevant courses in other departments. Students may complete one course relevant to the degree outside the department. Students may apply a maximum of 4 internship credits earned toward the total credits required for the program. Students interested in public history should also take HIST 6020 .
Upon arrival at USU, students are urged to meet with the departmental graduate advisor, who will direct them to one or more faculty members with similar interests. Through consultations with the graduate and faculty advisor, the first-year student will form a thesis committee and formulate a course of study. By the end of the first year, students will have submitted to their committees a proposal for the thesis, which they will write under the close supervision of the committee members. The oral defense usually takes place in the spring semester of the second year.
Master of Arts Degree, Plan B (Nonthesis-HISTORY)
A nonthesis master’s program can help a student attain employment in many areas, but is not recommended for students planning to secure a doctorate. A Master of Arts or Master of Science degree can be completed with this option.
The program consists of 30 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. The course requirements are identical to those of the Plan A program, except that only 3 thesis credits are permitted.
Students completing the Plan B program do not write a full-length thesis. Instead, Plan B students write a research paper of approximately 30 pages in length or develop a digital or public history exhibit, and submit a portfolio of their graduate writing, which includes two additional and distinct pieces of writing. Students defend their Plan B projects before their major professor and the members of the supervisory committee. Final approval of the Plan B rests with the department, rather than with the School of Graduate Studies.