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University of Illinois Springfield

Department of History University of Illinois Springfield

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Master’s Degree – Graduation Requirements

M.A. Requirements

Master’s degree candidates in history must complete 44 semesters hours. Students who entered the M.A. program prior to August 2014 should consult their DARS report for the graduation requirements. Effective as of August 2014, the 44 hours for the M.A. must include:

The M.A. Core

HIS 501 Graduate History Colloquium (satisfies 4 hours of the campus’s communications skills requirement) 4 Hrs.

HIS 503 Researching and Writing History 4 Hrs.

HIS 510 Graduate Readings Seminar 8 Hrs.

HIS 560 Position Essay and Historiography 8 Hrs. or

HIS 570 Public History Internship and Project 8 Hrs. or

HIS 580 Thesis 8 Hrs.

Total Core 24 Hrs.

Areas of Concentration

To fulfill the requirements for the Master’s degree, the student must complete the courses listed for one of the three areas of concentration following:

American History

The American concentration stresses research and study of topics pertinent to the origins and development of the United States, the land, its people, and its place in the world. American concentration requires:

500-level History elective: 4 Hrs.

Courses emphasizing periods, regions, or themes in American History: 12 Hrs.

Elective History Course (European, World, or Public History): 4 Hrs.

Total Hours in concentration: 20

Closure Requirement: HIS 580 Thesis: 8 hrs.

European and World History

The European and World concentration highlights the research and study of topics in non-U.S. History germane to the interests and specializations of the current faculty. European and World concentration requires:

500-level History elective: 4 Hrs.

Courses emphasizing periods, regions, or themes in European or World History: 12 Hrs.

Elective History Course (American or Public History): 4 Hrs.

Total Hours in concentration: 20

Closure Requirement: HIS 560 Position Essay and Historiography or HIS 580 Thesis: 8 hrs.

Note: The University of Illinois at Springfield does not offer foreign language instruction sufficient to qualify students in the European or World History concentration for admission to most Ph.D. programs.

Public History

The Public History concentration stresses the blending of academic and applied history with intent to broaden public awareness of the value of studying the past. The Public History concentration requires:

HIS 502 Public History Colloquium: 4 Hrs.

HIS 515 History and Digital Media: 4 Hrs.

History courses examining methods and applications: 8 Hrs.

History courses emphasizing periods, regions, or themes (American, European, World, or Public History): 4 Hrs.

Total Hours in concentration: 20

Closure Requirement: HIS 570 Public History Internship and Project or HIS 580 Thesis 8 hrs.

Advising

During the first semester of study, each student is assigned an initial faculty advisor who assists in defining career goals, selecting courses, and developing an education plan.

Closure Requirements

To attain a Master’s degree, the student must complete a closure exercise appropriate to the chosen area of concentration. Candidates must successfully complete twelve hours of core requirements (HIS 501, HIS 503, and HIS 510) before enrolling in credit hours toward the closure requirement (HIS 560, HIS 570, or HIS 580).

The thesis (HIS 580) is a formal written presentation of historical research based on primary sources. The project (HIS 570) derives from an internship served with an historical agency or other entity. The position paper and historiography (HIS 560) is a thorough written examination and evaluation of the essential secondary sources devoted to a specifically defined topic.

The position paper and historiography is offered in the recognition that primary research facilities in European and World History topics pose difficulty of access. The student is encouraged to master the research and analysis undertaken by professional historians in these areas.

In each case, the student will defend the completed exercise before a committee comprised of at least three faculty members (two from the History Department, one from another Academic Program).

Grading Policy

Students must earn a grade of B or better in all courses counting toward the master’s degree. History graduate students may repeat program courses for grade improvement only once. Students may also repeat a thesis or project defense only once.

Graduate Credit in 400-Level Courses

If a course has an ECCE designation, M.A. students need permission from the instructor to register and are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor about the suitability of the course. Graduate students enrolled in 400-level courses are expected to perform at a higher level than undergraduates and to complete extra work as defined by the instructor.  Examples of such work include reading and reporting on material in accordance with that required of undergraduate students, completing an annotated bibliography in the professional literature of the field, or meeting separately with the instructor to research a specified topic.