Master of Arts Program

 

The MA Academic Preparatory Track Degree

Course Requirements
A student in the MA Academic Preparatory Track plan must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the Master of Arts degree. All Department of History graduate courses are face-to-face (no online courses are offered). A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the Texas Tech Department of History. This includes 12 hours taken at the 5000-level in a geographic area of concentration (U.S., Europe, or World) and 12 hours of elective graduate coursework. Of the electives, 6 hours must be chosen from geographic areas outside of the student's geographic area of concentration. Also of the electives, students must take a minimum of 6 hours at the 5000-level and may take no more than 6 hours at the 7000-level. Students must complete HIST 5304 ("The Nature of History") and HIST 6301 ("Research Methods Seminar") in the first semester they are offered after the student's admission to the program. History 5304 must be taken before the HIST 6301 course (or HIST 6304 or HIST 6305). HIST 5304 and 6301 must also be taken before completing 6 hours of HIST 6000 (Thesis hours). Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the Graduate Studies Coordinator and their thesis director.

36 hours distributed as follows:

• HIST 5304 (during the first semester it is offered after admission) 3 hours
• HIST 6301 (during the first semester it is offered after completion of 5304) 3 hours
• Geographic Area of Concentration 12 hours
• Electives (of which 6 hours must be outside the Geographic Area of Concentration) 12 hours
• Thesis (6000) 6 hours
36 total hours

Foreign Language Requirement
One Foreign Language is required for the MA degree according to the following guidelines:
1. Proficiency in one language other than English is required of all candidates for the Master of Arts degree.
2. For the purpose of the above listed requirements, "proficiency" in a language is defined according to the following parameters:
• native speaker status as certified by the Graduate Studies Committee
• attainment of a grade of C- or better in a fourth semester undergraduate course (in Texas
numeration, the 2302 course
• attainment of a grade of B- or better in the second semester of an accelerated graduate language
course (in Texas numeration the 5342 course)
• other class work equivalent to the above OR
• demonstration of an equivalent level of competency through an approved examination
(administered by the Department of Classical and Modern Language and Literature when possible, by an approved outside agency, or by a scholar with demonstrable experience in the language in question) or by some other means acceptable to the committee
Thesis
Thesis work is directed by a committee consisting of at least two members of the History Graduate Faculty. Frequently a third member, who may be a scholar with relevant expertise from the history department, another department, or even from another university, is added if the thesis director, student, and Graduate Advisor conclude that the nature of the thesis topic warrants it. Students may select any member of the History Graduate Faculty as the director of their theses; the Graduate Studies Coordinator and Director of Graduate Studies are available for consultation if a student desires. Usually a student, with the approval of the thesis director, chooses the other committee member.
A degree plan that includes a listing of committee members must be filed with the Graduate Studies Coordinator by the end of the student's second semester of graduate coursework. Subsequent changes made to the committee must be filed with the Graduate Studies Coordinator.
When the student and his or her advisors have arrived at a general plan for the thesis, a written proposal (in outline or narrative form) shall be presented to each member of the thesis committee. Proposals should be presented no later than the beginning of the student's third semester of coursework. The proposal will be evaluated, revised if necessary, and approved by all committee members.
The completed thesis should demonstrate the student's competence to research a historical problem, to organize a rather sizable mass of information, and to present the findings on the topic selected in a clear and accurate form.
MA students must submit to their thesis director a hard copy of the penultimate draft of their thesis a minimum of three weeks in advance of the Graduate School's semester deadline for the defense. This hard copy must be approved by the thesis director (committee chair), meaning that the chair believes the thesis is ready to defend. The committee chair will circulate copies (electronic or hard) to all members of the committee. They will acknowledge that they have received the thesis by the appropriate deadline.
The thesis is not in final form until after the defense and any required changes have been successfully completed.
Thesis Defense
After the thesis has been approved by the committee, students are required to pass an oral defense of this thesis. The committee chairperson must file a written report of the outcome of the defense with the Graduate Studies Coordinator who will subsequently notify the Graduate Dean of the defense outcome.

 

The Terminal Master of Arts Degree


(Non-Thesis, Professional Enrichment Preparatory Track)
This plan is designed to assist persons for whom a two-year graduate degree would provide career advancement in a chosen or desired field other than that for which a history Ph.D. is required. The focus of the terminal MA is on providing a platform for developing critical analytical skills (reading, written, and oral) within a historical framework. The program provides intense study of up to three interrelated geographic, temporal, and/or thematic fields. The terminal MA concludes with written examinations in the student's chosen fields of study. The degree does not require the completion of a thesis-length work. For this reason the terminal MA track is not intended whose interests are oriented toward undertaking Ph.D. work in history.

Some of the careers for which obtaining a terminal MA in History may be an asset include:
Education (K-12) Archivist/Archival Administration
Education (Community College) Public Historian
Library Studies Corporate Management
Non-Governmental Agencies Community Organizer
Journalism Public Affairs
Campaign Management Political Activism
Genealogist Historical Consultant
Terminal MA Course Requirements
A student in this plan must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the terminal Master of Arts degree. A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the History Department and at least 3 hours must be taken at the 6000-level. No more than 6 hours may be taken at the 7000-level. Students must complete HIST 5304 (Historical Methods). Students are also required to select at least two and no more than three focus areas (either geographic and/or from the thematic fields list produced by the department). For each focus area students are required to complete a minimum of 9 hours or. The remaining 6 hours toward the degree can be used either to intensify work in an already selected focus area or pursue an appropriate minor in another department. Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the Graduate Studies Coordinator and their committee chair. The student is to select a committee chair by the second semester of coursework and, in conjunction with the chair, will select one department faculty member for each focus area chosen.

36 hours distributed as follows:
HIST 5304 3 hours
Focus Area One 9 hours
Focus Area Two 9 hours
Focus Area Three* 9 hours
Discretionary/Elective Hours or Minor Field 6 hours
36 total hours

OR

36 hours distributed as follows:
HIST 5304 3 hours
Focus Area One 12 hours
Focus Area Two 15 hours
Discretionary/Elective Hours or Minor Field 6 hours
36 total hours

**No language is required for the Terminal Master of Arts Option.**

 

Comprehensive Examinations

The Terminal MA Degree requires qualifying exams in their chosen fields of study.  All grades of 'Incomplete' must be completed before a student will be allowed to take the comprehensive exams.

In the qualifying examination, the student is expected to demonstrate a very high level of factual knowledge, an insight into problems of meaning and interpretation, and a command of the historiography and literature of the fields selected. Students will have met and prepared for each exam with their faculty advisor for each field of study.

Failure to Pass the Comprehensive Examination

If a student fails the qualifying examination, they may repeat it one time, after at least one semester. A student's committee may decide that, after the written, the student requires additional work in one or more fields in order to pass the comprehensive exam. The student may be required to read more extensively in a particular field (or fields) and write additional essays under the supervision of the field advisor by the end of the additional semester. By the end of that additional semester, the student will take the written examination in the fields they did not pass and take another oral examination ONLY ONE ADDITIONAL TIME two weeks after submission of the written portion. If the student does not pass the exam at that point, the student will be released from the program.