Aug 19, 2019  
2011-2012 General Catalog 
2011-2012 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

History, MA

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of History

To receive a master of arts (MA) degree, students must successfully complete two years of foreign language at the undergraduate level. If two years of undergraduate language study already appear on the student’s transcript, he or she must demonstrate current competence through successful completion of a language exam or by 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. For further information, see

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’s Degree, Plan A (Thesis)

The thesis option should be taken by anyone intending to do research or enter another program for the doctoral degree. A master of arts or master of science degree can be completed with this option.

The program consists of 30 semester credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, 6 credits of which must be in thesis research. Students must take HIST 6000 , as well as either HIST 6010  or HIST 6020 , or another theory-intensive course approved by the director of graduate studies. Students may apply a maximum of 4 internship credits earned while working in an archive, for a museum, on the staff of a scholarly journal, or as a teaching intern in an upper-division undergraduate course.

The remainder of the 30 credits may be taken as electives in history or relevant courses in other departments.

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’s Degree, Plan B (Nonthesis)

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, master of science, or master of social sciences degree can be completed with this option.

The Plan B 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 and submit a portfolio of their graduate writing, which includes two additional and distinct pieces of writing. Students defend their Plan B research papers and writing portfolios 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.

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