About the History Master’s Program
The Department of History offers two different kinds of Master of Arts degrees in History – the M.A. academic preparatory track (with thesis) and the terminal M.A., or professional enrichment preparatory track (non-thesis).
M.A. Academic Preparatory Track
A student in the M.A. academic preparatory track must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the Master of Arts degree. All Department of History graduate courses meet face-to-face (no online courses are offered). A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the Department of History at Texas Tech. 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. Students must take no more than 6 hours at the 7000 level and must complete HIST 5304 and HIST 6301 in the first semester they are offered after the student’s admission to the program. HIST 5304 must be taken before HIST 6301 . HIST 5304 and HIST 6301 must also be taken before completing 6 hours of HIST 6000 . Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the Graduate Studies Coordinator, the Director of Graduate Studies, and their primary faculty advisor.
- HIST 5304 (Take during first semester course is offered after admission.)
- HIST 6301 (Take during first semester course is offered after completion of HIST 5304 .)
- Geographic Area of Concentration (12 Semester Credit Hours)
- Electives (12 Semester Credit Hours)
- (6 hours of which must be outside the geographic area of concentration)
- HIST 6000 - Master’s Thesis (V1-6 Semester Credit Hours)
Foreign Language Requirement. One foreign language is required for the M.A. thesis-track degree according to the following guidelines:
1. Proficiency in one language other than English is required of all candidates for the M.A. thesis-track 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.
Thesis. Thesis work is directed by a committee consisting of at least two members of the history graduate faculty. Other faculty who may be a scholar with relevant expertise from the Department of History, another department, or another university, can be added to the committee if the thesis director, student, and graduate advisor conclude that the nature of the thesis topic warrants it. After the final version of the thesis has been approved by the committee, students are required to pass an oral defense of the thesis.
Terminal Master of Arts Track (Non-Thesis Professional Enrichment)
The professional enrichment track 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 M.A. 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 or thematic fields. The terminal M.A. 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 M.A. track is not intended for those whose interests are oriented toward undertaking Ph.D. work in history. Some of the careers for which obtaining a terminal M.A. in History may be an asset include the following: education (K-12 or community college), library studies, non-governmental agencies, social work, journalism, campaign management, genealogist, archivist/archival administration, public historian, corporate management, community organizer, counseling, public affairs, political activism, and entertainment industry historical consultant.
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 Department of History 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. 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 the three-field track, students are required to complete a minimum of 9 hours in each field. For the two-field track, 15 hours are required in one field, and 12 hours in the other field. The remaining 6 elective 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, the Director of Graduate Studies, and their committee chair. The student will select a committee chair by the second semester of coursework and, in conjunction with the chair, select one department faculty member for each focus area chosen.
The 36 hours are distributed as follows:
- HIST 5304
- Focus Area One 9 Semester Credit Hours
- Focus Area Two 9 Semester Credit Hours
- Focus Area Three 9 Semester Credit Hours
- Discretionary/Elective Hours or Minor Field (6 SCH)
- HIST 5304
- Focus Area One 12 Semester Credit Hours
- Focus Area Two 15 Semester Credit Hours
- Discretionary/Elective Hours or Minor Field (6 SCH)
No language is required for the terminal master of arts option
Comprehensive Examinations. M.A. non-thesis track students who have completed their required coursework will take comprehensive examinations in their chosen focus areas. Students can take the exams in the semester they complete their coursework. In the comprehensive examinations, the student is expected to demonstrate a 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.