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.