Thesis Option

Master of Arts in History



Degree Options

A student may choose between Thesis- and Non-Thesis options for the Master of Arts (M.A.) in History degree.


Thesis Option

The Thesis Option is required for most students who plan to pursue study beyond the M.A. degree, though in some cases it may be taken by students who do not plan to pursue study beyond the M.A. degree. A student will be allowed to enter the Thesis Option only with the consent of the Graduate Coordinator. The thesis is a major work of independent research into primary sources on an original topic, supervised by the student's Major Professor and Thesis Committee.

To receive the Master of Arts (M.A.) in History degree, students in the Thesis Option must:

  1. Satisfactorily complete 36 hours of graduate coursework in the Thesis Option, as detailed below.
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all coursework.
  3. Satisfactorily complete the Comprehensive Examination.
  4. Write a thesis, have it approved by the Major Professor and Thesis Committee, satisfactorily defend the M.A. thesis before the Graduate Faculty, and submit at least 4 copies of the approved final version of the M.A. thesis to the Graduate Coordinator for binding by the Sims Memorial Library.
  5. Be recommended for the degree by the Graduate Faculty.
  6. Meet all requirements for the M.A. in History degree within 6 years of enrolling in the M.A. in History program.


Thesis Option
Required Courses (9 hours)

History 600 Historical Research (3 hours)
History 770 Thesis (6 hours)

American History (9-15 hours)

History 605 America to 1800 (3 hours)
History 606 America 1800-1900 (3 hours)
History 607 America since 1900 (3 hours)
History 610 Southern History (3 hours)
History 611 Louisiana History (3 hours)

European History (9 12 hours)

History 630 Western Thought (3 hours)
History 641 Britain to 1485 (3 hours)
History 642 Britain since 1485 (3 hours)
History 643 Europe to 500 (3 hours)
History 644 Europe 500-1500 (3 hours)
History 645 Europe 1500-1815 (3 hours)
History 646 Europe since 1815 (3 hours)

Public History (3-9 hours)

History 632 Introduction to Public History (3 hours)
History 633 Public History Seminar (3 hours)
History 634 Historic Preservation Seminar (3 hours)
History 635 Historical Editing (3 hours)
History 636 Introduction to Archival Practice(3 hours)

Elective (0-6 hours)

History 602 Readings(3 hours)
History 621 Independent Study(3 hours)
History 698 Special Topics(3 hours)
Minor Field (Optional) 1(6 hours)

Total 36 hours


Minor Field1. A student may choose a minor field in either Political Science or Philosophy. The minor requires 6 hours in either discipline and must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.


Comprehensive Examination. After a student has completed his/her graduate coursework, he/she must satisfactorily complete a written and oral Comprehensive Examination, based on all graduate coursework completed. The written portion of the exam will consist of mandatory questions from all faculty with whom the student has done coursework. The oral portion of the exam will be held only after a student has passed the written portion. The panel of examiners for the oral portion will include all faculty with whom the student has taken Graduate courses. A student who fails any part of the Comprehensive Examination must retake that part within one year of the original exam and satisfactorily complete it or face dismissal from the program. A student who fails the Comprehensive Examination a second time will be dismissed from the program.


Thesis Defense. Prior to graduation students in the Thesis Option must defend their theses. Before being recommended for graduation, students must receive approval for their theses from the Department Head, Graduate Coordinator, Major Professor, and Thesis Committee members, who may solicit advice from other members of the graduate faculty.