Jul 23, 2018  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

Master of Arts in History

Students pursuing the M.A. degree in history must satisfactorily complete 30 semester hours of approved credits. A minimum of 24 semester hours must normally be in history courses. The balance may be in history courses or in courses in an approved cognate field or fields. The 30 semester hours required for the M.A. must include a minimum of 18 semester hours in a primary field (of which a minimum of 9 semester hours must be in research credits) and a minimum of 6 semester hours in a secondary field. Note that students pursuing a global history field have slightly different credit hour requirements. Those pursuing global history as their primary field must take 12 to 15 semester hours in approved courses, while students designating global history as a secondary field will be required to take 9 semester hours of course work, rather than the 6 semester hour minimum for other secondary fields. Within the total of 30 semester hours the student must present a minimum of 9 semester hours in reading seminars. The primary and secondary fields offered in the M.A. program are Asian, ancient, medieval, early modern, modern European (including British), Russian and Eastern European, Latin American, African, United States, and global history. The secondary field may instead be an approved cognate field outside of history.

M.A. students will fulfill the 9 semester hours research requirement of the M.A. degree by satisfactorily completing two formal research seminars. The balance of the credits required will be fulfilled through independent research, culminating in a major paper or thesis. M.A. students who intend to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program will be expected to submit their M.A. research paper(s) or thesis for review by faculty responsible for approving admission into the Ph.D. program.

All M.A. students, except those majoring in United States or British history who are not planning to continue in the Ph.D. program, must demonstrate at least average proficiency in an approved foreign language or, if appropriate, in quantitative methods. Average proficiency in an approved foreign language can be demonstrated through a translation examination or, in selected languages, through successful completion of one of the special summer courses offered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Average proficiency in quantitative methods can be demonstrated by achieving a grade of C or better in an approved course in statistics (STAT 208 or STAT 301) and a grade of B or better in HIST 601.

Students in the M.A. program must satisfactorily complete a written comprehensive examination in their primary field. At the discretion of either the examining committee or the student, the written M.A. comprehensive may be followed by an oral examination about one week after the evaluation of the written examination. There is no examination in the student’s secondary field, but students must achieve a grade of B or better in at least 6 semester hours of course work in that field.

If the student receives a recommendation from the comprehensive examining committee for admission to the Ph.D. program and otherwise makes application and qualifies for such admission, the M.A. comprehensive examination will serve as the Ph.D. qualifying examination.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Concentration in Public History

The M.A. with a concentration in public history has been designed to meet the needs of those students seeking special educational preparation for careers in public and private historical agencies, archives, museums and historical societies, and research and consulting firms.

Students pursuing the M.A. concentration in public history must satisfactorily complete 36 semester hours of approved credits. A minimum of 24 semester hours in history courses must be completed to meet the normal requirements for the traditional M.A. degree described above. A secondary field is not required.

The remaining 12 semester hours required for this concentration normally must be distributed as follows.

Course Requirements (12)

  • Electives (3-6)

Comprehensive Examination

Students in the M.A. degree program taking the concentration in public history must satisfactorily complete a written comprehensive examination in a traditional primary field area and an internship-related report, project, or research paper.