Dec 03, 2021  
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

History, M.A.


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Master of Arts in History


Graduate Program Chair

Daniel Sarefield, PhD

Graduate Committee

Laura Baker, PhD
Christine Dee, PhD
Katherine Jewell, PhD
Benjamin Lieberman, PhD
John Paul, PhD
René Reeves, PhD
Teresa Fava Thomas, PhD
Joseph Wachtel, PhD

Program Objectives

The Master of Arts (MA) in History Program is designed for students pursuing careers in historical research, public history writing, postsecondary level teaching, and for secondary teachers pursuing advanced study in history. The MA in History offers two tracks, a thesis track and a non-thesis track.

Program Description

Students in the MA in History Program must complete thirty semester hours of graduate-level history coursework, including HIST 7450 - Historiography. The coursework may be completed 100% online for students who prefer the convenience and flexibility that online courses offer, but institute courses are also offered during the summer terms as a value-added option. The institute courses provide graduate coursework in a hybrid platform, with a short-duration (1 or 2 week) face-to-face component and the remainder of the course completed online.

The curriculum for the MA in History aims to:

•    Promote graduate-level historical scholarship.
•    Facilitate the development of a wide range of historical skills and knowledge, including a global perspective.

Student Learning Outcomes

Historical Knowledge

Graduates with the Master of Arts in History should understand the diversity of the human experience in the past, as well as the nature of the historical enterprise. Specifically, you should demonstrate that you can explain historical developments; the significance of important events, institutions, people, and ideas in United States, European, and world history, and be able to apply different approaches and methods of study to historical evidence.

Historical Reasoning and Research

Graduates with the Master of Arts in History should understand the nature of historical interpretation, the variety of historical sources, and the structure of historical arguments. Specifically, you should demonstrate that you can pose a significant research question about a historical topic; locate, evaluate, and utilize information from and about the past to formulate and answer a research question; interpret a variety of sources, both primary and secondary, and utilize both types of sources to support a historical argument.

Communication

Graduates with the Master of Arts in History in history should be able to demonstrate that they are critical readers and writers of history. Specifically, you should demonstrate that you have mastered the written and oral forms of communication appropriate to history, such as the critical review of a primary or secondary source, the analysis of a historical event or historical argument, and the research paper.

Through each of these three areas, students taking graduate courses in history refine critical thinking skills by analyzing historical data and literary and artistic evidence in order to evaluate and put forth historical arguments; sharpen communication skills by expressing their ideas in course discussions and written assignments; deepen knowledge of the human experience at the local, national and global levels; develop the capacity to recognize and confront ethical issues in historical reasoning and research, and understand contexts that produce historical ideas and historical works.

Admissions Standards and Criteria

To apply for admission to the MA in History program, students must submit documents as outlined in the graduate admissions section of the catalog as well as:

  • An official transcript of a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, preferably with (but not limited to) a major or minor in history. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required.
  • A writing sample. This may include an undergraduate level term paper or a published article and should be the equivalent of at least 10 typed, doubled-spaced pages and include footnotes and a bibliography.

Note: Applicants with inadequate preparation in history may be required to take undergraduate courses in history prior to admission.

Program Requirements

The MA in History Program requires thirty semester hours of graduate-level history coursework. There are two tracks, a thesis track and a non-thesis track. Following the completion of their other coursework, thesis track students must complete six credit hours of HIST 9100 - Thesis in History and a Master’s thesis under the direction of their thesis adviser, and complete a thesis defense. Non-thesis track students must complete a comprehensive exit examination. Details regarding advancement to candidacy are available from the Graduate Program Chair.

Required Courses, Thesis Track


One course in each of 3 areas:


  • World History, 3 cr.
  • European History, 3 cr.
  • U.S. History, 3 cr.

Total for Degree, Non-Thesis Track: 30 credits


Required Courses, Non-Thesis Track


One course in each of 3 areas:


  • World History, 3 cr.
  • European History, 3 cr.
  • U.S. History, 3 cr.

Total for Degree, Non-Thesis Track: 30 credits


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