College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of History
To receive a Master of Science (MS) degree in history, students should demonstrate the ability to incorporate methodologies from the social or natural sciences into their research to the satisfaction of their supervisory committee.
Degree Programs and Additional Requirements
Master of Science 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 33 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 33 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 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 Science 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.
The program consists of 33 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.