The Master's degree in history offers students graduate work that serves a variety of needs and purposes. A master's program can be an end in itself for students whose personal and/or professional goal is an M.A. degree. The M.A. can also be a preparatory graduate degree en route to the doctorate; however acceptance into the M.A. program does not constitute admission into the Ph.D. program in the Department of History. Students who decide they want to pursue a Ph.D. may later apply for admission to the doctoral program. The Department of History only offers admission to the terminal M.A. in History to students who intend to specialize in the History of Women and Gender. The specialization in History of Women and Gender encourages students to explore the social, cultural, and political meanings and uses of gender constructs and to challenge traditional narratives about men and women across history. Our specialization draws its strength from our faculty's commitment to investigating the history of women and gender, and from a long tradition of feminist scholarship.
The M.A. in History requires the completion of 32 points of course work, of which at least 24 must be within the Department of History. No more than 8 points may be transferred from other graduate schools. Students must take the M.A. Proseminar, HIST-GA 2022, which provides them with an introduction to the professional study of history. For terminal M.A. students in the Women and Gender specialization the department recommends that students enroll in three courses (12 points) that focus substantively on gender, offered either by our core faculty or, with approval, by faculty from across the university and beyond, three topical history courses (12 points) intended to deepen historical expertise in chronological or geographical fields, and one seminar in which a substantial research paper is completed. Students must also write an M.A. thesis (normally determined by the end of the first semester) which, for students pursuing the specialization, should consider gender as a central category of analysis. Students select a faculty adviser to direct the thesis and register for an independent study with the adviser in the final semester (4 points). All students enrolled full-time are expected to complete their course work after three semesters. Part-time students are allowed to stretch the program out over a maximum of six semesters.