Graduate Studies: The Masters of Arts in History

Programs of Study:

Online

The degree of Masters of Arts in History pursued online through Louisiana Tech's Global Campus may be completed according to the non-thesis track (please see Plan B below). Students in the online MA program in History may not enter the program in the thesis track at this time. All course work and examinations, including the three comprehensive exams required for successful completion of the program, can be completed completely online. The Department of History offers several online courses each quarter for graduate credit to accomodate students pursing the online MA degree.

On Campus

The traditional, on-campus program for the degree of Master of Arts in History may be completed under either Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Non-Thesis):

Plan A: Thesis Option
  • 30 hours (18 hrs must be at the 500-level, including 501, 505 and 6 hrs thesis)
  • written comprehensive exams
  • oral defense of the thesis

Students who anticipate continuing graduate study beyond the Master of Arts degree at the PhD level may wish to complete a thesis (although this is not a requirement for admission to most PhD programs). It may also be appropriate to the professional or personal goals of other students. The student must complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit, 6 hours of which will be given for successful completion of a thesis. The thesis course is Liberal Arts 551, Research and Thesis (3 semester hours credit), which may be repeated once for credit. At least 12 of the remaining 24 hours must be completed in 500-level courses open only to graduate students. History 501 and 505 are required of all students, and students wishing to write an MA thesis must obtain a grade of A or the recommendation of the instructor in these courses in order to enter the thesis track. The remaining courses may be taken either at the 500-level (for graduate students only) or at the 400- level (for advanced undergraduate and graduate students).

A thesis topic must be submitted to the student's graduate committee for approval before the end of the student's first year of course work. It is the responsibility of the student's thesis director to assist him/her in deciding on a suitable topic. A student following Plan A must take an written examination and pass an oral defense of the thesis administered by his/her graduate committee in order to complete the degree. Should a student fail one part of the examination, he/she must re-take a written examination in that field. If the student fails more than one part of the examination, he/she must re-take the entire examination. Failure to pass the re-examination will result in the dismissal of a student from the graduate program.

Plan B: Non-Thesis Option
  • 33 hours (18 hours must be at the 500-level, including 501 and 505)
  • written comprehensive exams

This plan is intended for students who chose not to prepare a thesis. Instead, students must pass written examinations in his or her area of major specialty concentration as well as at least one other area of course work specialization. Also, the student must submit at least two substantial research papers prepared in 500-level courses for departmental approval as evidence of research and writing skills attained. These papers can often substitute for a thesis for students seeking to further their education at the PhD level. The student must complete 33 hours of graduate credit in history, at least 18 of which must be completed in 500-level courses open only to graduate students. History 501 and 505 are required of all students.

Written comprehensive examinations are taken by the student during the last quarter of his/her graduate work. The written examination is administered by the student's major professor and two other members of the student's exam committee. If a student fails any part of the written examination, he/she must retake that part. If the student fails more than one part of the written examination, he/she must retake the entire written examination. Failure to pass a re-examination will result in dismissal of a student from the graduate program.

Important Information Regarding Both Options:

  • With approval from the graduate director, the student may have 6 hours other than history, but it may not count as part of the 500-level requirement.
  • Upon approval of the department involved, a maximum of 12 semester hours of graduate resident credit, or 1/3 of the hours required for the master's degree, may be transferred for degree credit from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university. The grade earned must be a B or above, and the credits are accepted as applicable to the master's degree program by the student's academic college.
  • Maximum of 9 hours of independent study courses (History 510, Liberal Arts 503)
  • Since most members of the department's graduate faculty are on nine-month appointments, the department cannot guarantee that faculty will be available to administer M.A. examinations or read theses during the summer quarter. For this reason, students are advised not to count on being able to graduate in summer quarter. Students whose plans call for graduation in summer are advised to seek commitments of availability from affected faculty members well in advance. If faculty members cannot be available, the student cannot graduate.
  • Every candidate for the Master of Arts degree in History must pass an oral examination covering his or her entire program of study.
  • All history courses numbered 400 or above in the current Catalog of Louisiana Tech University, unless otherwise designated, are acceptable for credit toward the degree of Master of Arts with a major in history.

Other Important Information

Areas of Concentration

A student wishing to pursue the Master of Arts in history will elect a Major Specialty Concentration, which will consist of at least 12 semester hours of thematically related course work chosen in consultation with the Director of Gradute Studies. This can be any field offered by the graduate faculty and approved by the student's major advisor.

Plan of Study

Each student is required to submit a plan of study by the end of the first quarter in which he/she is enrolled. The plan of study is worked out by the graduate director and the student and is approved by the members of the student's graduate committee. The committee will consist of faculty members under whom the student will take most of his/her course work. If there is a change in a student's plan of study, this change may be reflected in the final composition of the student's committee.

The committee listed on the Plan of Study will be the committee for purposes of written examinations. The composition of the thesis committee may be different, and will be reflected on the thesis proposal. Ordinarily, the chair of the examination committee and the thesis committee will be the same person.

Thesis Guidelines

Graduate Courses

All history courses numbered 400 or above in the current bulletin of Louisiana Tech University, unless otherwise designated, are acceptable for credit toward the degree of Master of Arts with a major in history. Six hours of course work approved by the Graduate Director may be taken outside the discipline of history.

Department, College and University Regulations

Current graduate students are required to know and understand regulations governing grading, enrollment, registration, and graduation. In particular, students are responsible for knowing important guidelines and deadlines. Students must also be familiar with the university's honor code and policy regarding academic misconduct.