Graduate College Requirements
The Graduate College sets residence and other general requirements for the Master of Arts degree, and the student must become familiar with all relevant sections of the latest Graduate College Bulletin. Formal application for admission to the program is made through the Office of Admissions and the Graduate College. The following departmental rules supplement, but do not supersede the Graduate College requirements. For application instructions, consult O.U. Admissions.
The student submits an application for admission accompanied with transcripts of all previous academic work to the Graduate College. The Graduate College forwards the application and transcripts to the department of history. The applicant submits directly to the department these additional materials:
- Three letters of reference, preferably from the applicant's professors.
- A statement of purpose explaining why the applicant wishes to pursue the M.A. degree, what fields of history interest the applicant, and what the applicant hopes to do with the degree. (250-500 words).
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- A copy of an essay, term paper, or seminar paper, preferably from a history course.
When the application is complete, the graduate studies committee uses the following guidelines in ruling on applications. Students should:
- Earn a competitive score on the verbal and analytical sections on the GRE;
- Have a 3.5 or better grade-point average in a 4-point system in all courses in history taken as an undergraduate;
- And have a 3.5 or better grade-point average in all courses taken during the last two years of undergraduate study.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission depends on the graduate studies committee's evaluation of all the candidates materials.
On rare occasions, students are admitted conditionally, usually when their undergraduate preparation is inadequate. The graduate studies committee may require students who are admitted conditionally to take 12 hours of course work in history with a 3.5 GPA before they are considered for regular admission. The courses will be selected by the chair of the graduate studies committee, in consultation with the student.
For instructions about how to apply for a Graduate Assistantship, more information can be found on the Graduate Assistantship page.
The student will consult with the chair of the graduate studies committee and be assigned a major professor during the first semester of study. The major professor will act as the student's advisor and meet with the student every semester to monitor academic progress and to help select courses. The major professor will also preside over the M.A. examination committee. The department does not require a major or minor concentration or field distribution in the M.A. program, but the student should work closely with the major professor in planning course work.
The department expects students to complete the masters within two years. To meet Graduate College regulations, the student must complete all work for the M.A. degree within six (6) calendar years after enrollment in the graduate program.
The major professor will formally evaluate the student at the end of each spring semester. Other faculty members who teach the student may also prepare formal evaluations of the student, one copy going to the student, one to the major professor, and one to the graduate studies committee.
The department of history offers two programs leading to the M.A. degree. A student planning to pursue doctoral work at the University of Oklahoma will take the pre-doctoral program. The non-thesis program is primarily for the student--for example, a secondary school teacher--who is not planning to pursue history graduate work beyond the master's level at the University of Oklahoma. Completion of the thesis program does not automatically qualify a student for admission into the Ph.D. program.
Departmental Requirements for the Pre-doctoral Program
- Students must complete thirty hours of graduate work, earning at least a 3.0 (B) average. According to graduate college rules, a student must enroll in a minimum of two thesis hours in the semester the student defends the thesis. The history department allows a maximum of six hours of thesis credit for the M.A.. With the major professor's consent, up to six of the thirty hours for the degree can be in a cognate field.
- An M.A. student must take at least two graduate seminars. Each American history graduate student carrying six or more credit hours must be enrolled in a graduate history seminar each semester during the first year of M.A. study. An entering student carrying fewer than six credit hours need not enroll in a seminar each semester, but must take two seminars in order to earn the M.A. The seminars are chosen in consultation with the major professor and need not be in the student's primary area of study. A student may take more than two seminars.
- The student must complete a satisfactory thesis, working closely with his or her major professor in selecting a topic and completing the thesis. The student and major professor also select two other professors to serve on the thesis committee. The History Department follows Graduate College regulations regarding potenial dates for Fall and Spring thesis defense; however, the department does not allow thesis defense between the Graduate College's final date for Spring defense and the first day of classes for the following Fall semester.
- A student must pass an oral examination, usually lasting two hours, over the thesis and graduate course work administered by the three members of the thesis committee.
The Language Requirement
A student can be required to demonstrate a reading competency in as many languages as is necessary for research and study as determined by the student's major professor and thesis committee. Students may satisfy the language requirement as follows:
- Complete the special readings courses for graduate students who are not in the modern languages department with a grade of "B" or better.
- Pass a reading examination in the approved languages administered through OCCE, and graded by a member of the modern language department.
- If the language or languages offered fall outside the realm of the modern language department, the student's advisory committee, with the approval of the graduate committee, will determine the best method for measuring language proficiency.
Departmental Requirements for the Non-thesis Program
- A student must complete thirty-four hours of graduate credit in history and any approved cognate work with at least a 3.0 (B) average.
- An M.A. student must take at least two graduate seminars. Each graduate student carrying six or more credit hours must be enrolled in a graduate history seminar each semester during the first year of M.A. study. An entering student carrying fewer than six credit hours need not enroll in a seminar each semester, but must take two seminars in order to earn the M.A. The seminars are chosen in consultation with the major professor and need not be in the student's primary area of study. A student may take more than two seminars.
- Every incoming graduate student must enroll in History 5053, Historical Methods. This course does not count as one of the required seminars.
- The student's major professor may allow as many as eight hours credit toward the degree for work in a cognate field or in Education.
- A student must pass a written 4-hour examination prepared by three members of the department, chosen in consultation with the student's major professor. The examination will test the candidate's command of all the course work taken in the M.A. program. The graduate studies committee will set the date for the examination. The student must inform the chair of the graduate studies committee at least four weeks prior to the designated date of intention to take the examination. The student should also consult members of the examining committee in preparing for the examination in order to receive updated reading lists for the course work. After the written examination has been completed to the satisfaction of the chosen department members, the student must pass an oral examination, usually lasting two hours, over the course work. The committee will grade the overall performance as "pass," "barely passing," "or "fail." program.
- Students who decide that they would like to enter the Ph.D. program in history at the University of Oklahoma after completing the non-thesis M.A. program, must complete the requirements for the Pre-doctoral program before beginning study toward a Ph.D.
Phi Alpha Theta