The graduate program in history is designed to train students in the knowledge and skills necessary to the professional practice of history as preparation for further study (especially the PhD in history), for employment or advancement in fields in which such skills are desirable, and for personal cultural enrichment. Combined with a teacher certification program, the MA in History is excellent preparation for teaching social studies at the secondary level. The Department of History maintains a collaborative agreement with the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a cooperative agreement with Louisiana State University at Shreveport. Details of these agreements are available from the department office.
The Department of History offers both thesis and non-thesis programs of study leading to the MA in History.
In addition to the admissions requirements of the Graduate School, the applicant must present an acceptable GRE score and must possess the equivalent of an undergraduate minor, or 21 semester hours, in history. Applicants must also submit a one-page statement of purpose indicating objectives and areas of interest. A student wishing to pursue the MA in History will elect a major field, which will consist of at least 12 semester hours of thematically related course work chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor.
The degree of MA in History may be completed under either Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Non-Thesis):
Plan A (Thesis): The thesis plan is recommended for the student who anticipates continuing graduate study beyond the MA degree. 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, including successful completion of an oral defense before the student's thesis committee. The thesis course is LBAR 551: Research and Thesis (3 semester hours credit), which may be repeated once for credit. At least 15 of the remaining 24 hours must be completed in 500-level courses open only to graduate students. The remaining courses may be taken either at the 500-level (for graduate students only) or at the 400- level (limited to courses previously approved for graduate credit).
Plan B (Non-Thesis): This plan is intended primarily for the student who does not anticipate pursuing doctoral-level work in history following completion of the MA degree. The student will not prepare a thesis, but must submit at least two substantial research papers prepared in 500-level courses for departmental approval as evidence of research and writing skills attained. The student must complete 33 hours of graduate credit in history, at least 21 of which must be completed in 500-level courses open only to graduate students.
HIST 501 and HIST 505 are required of all students, both thesis and non-thesis. Every candidate for the MA in History must pass a written examination administered by at least three examiners in at least two fields of study.
All 500-level history courses and all 400-level history courses previously approved for graduate credit are acceptable for credit toward the degree MA in History.
Graduate assistantships are available to qualified students on a competitive basis. Other forms of competitive assistance include the McGinty Graduate Fellowship, the Louise B. Johnson Graduate Scholarship, and the Morgan D. Peoples Graduate Scholarship.