Graduate Program Overview
Students in the history graduate program benefit from small classes and one-on-one guidance from professors. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.
The Master of Arts program focuses on historical consciousness and the technical skills necessary to research, analyze and write effectively. Students also obtain broad knowledge of the history of the United States and other selected areas of study.
The master’s program also provides students with the level of preparation needed for teaching, pursuing advanced degrees in history or following other careers that call for analytical and communication skills. Such career tracks may include public relations, marketing, corporate and non-profit research and writing, law, politics, museum work, and historical-economic redevelopment planning.
The history program offers both a thesis and a non-thesis option for graduate students. Students who plan to enter a doctoral program after completing the M.A. are advised to choose the thesis option.
Thesis students must complete 30 semester credit hours of master’s work in History, plus an additional six semester credit hours in the writing of the History M. A. Thesis. Required courses include: History 6373 (Historiography) and History 6699 (Thesis) or History 6399 (Thesis) twice. Two research seminars are required.
A written comprehensive exam, taken upon completion of 30 semester credit hours of coursework, and an oral thesis defense, administered upon presentation of the thesis, are required. Satisfactory performance in the thesis defense is required for graduation.
Non-Thesis Option students must complete 36 semester credit hours of History M.A. work, including History 6373 (Historiography). Two research seminars are required.
Readings and Research Seminars
M.A. History students, whether enrolled in the Thesis or Non-Thesis Option, must take at least two research seminars. Research seminars require students to produce a 40 page (including endnotes) primary-sourced paper suitable for publication in a professional journal, and/or provide the basis for an historical exhibition, or serve as a planning document for historic preservation and economic revitalization. Readings seminars are intended to introduce students to the important secondary literature. Papers produced in readings seminars may be shorter reviews and synthesis of the assigned texts and articles.
U.S. Public History Emphasis
M.A. History students interested in a public history emphasis should enroll for at least one Internship (History 6391) and take the following classes beyond History 6373: History 6329 Local and Community History and History 6330 Historical Record and Site Preservation.
For All Students
Upon completion of at least 30 hours of course work, students will take a written examination administered by the history graduate faculty. Degree candidates will be expected to demonstrate a fundamental knowledge across the spectrum of U.S. history and other specified areas established when formulating their programs.
An expanding collection of original research materials in the university library provide research and study opportunities for history graduate students. The history program puts a strong emphasis on regional, Texas and Western American history. These areas are supported by accessibility to the West Texas Collection and Fort Concho National Historic Landmark, where diaries, journals and memoirs of early settlers and pioneers of the American frontier are preserved. Original manuscript sources and holdings of historical journals and periodicals are also available for reference.
Faculty research also extends to European and Latin American history as well as more general aspects of American history. A good basic collection of primary source materials in American history is available at ASU. Study and research in European and Latin American history is supported by library microfilm collections with some emphasis on 19th and 20th century diplomatic developments in these regions.