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Department of History|College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts (M.A.) Program

(The revised History Department graduate regulations apply to all students entering the program in Fall 2009 and beyond.)

The University of Wyoming Department of History offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree that is intended to offer students with a bachelor's degree in history or comparable preparation advanced study in the discipline of history. The program prepares graduates for further work at the Ph.D. level as well as professional employment in education.

I. General Regulations

 The Department of History requires 18 hours of undergraduate history courses as minimum preparation for admission. The rules under which the student enters remain those governing the program for the duration of the student's continued enrollment.  In accordance with university graduate regulations, students are responsible for meeting all deadlines and for fulfilling all requirements for the degree.

A.  Application and Admissions

Please follow the "Application Guidelines" instructions at the link on the left . For detailed information and forms refer to the University of Wyoming Graduate Education web page. Applications for admission to the graduate program should be submitted online using the link on the UW Admissions page. The admissions process is completely online. All documents listed below should be uploaded to the UW Admissions site. Recommenders will be sent a submission link via email. Do NOT send any paper documents or letters to Admissions or the History Department.

Admission to the MA program is for the fall semester only and the deadline for submissions is March 1. In addition to the application, applicants must upload the following documents through the Admissions site and insure that referees submit their Letters of Recommendation through the link that the Admissions office will send them. 

1.    GRE Scores for the verbal and quantitative portions with a minimum combined score of 291 (900 old system) and a minimum verbal score of 153 (500 old system). The Department of History reserves the right to consider the analytical [writing] score as well.

2.    Three letters of recommendation that assess the student's academic and research abilities.

3.    Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions and graduate programs.

4.    A writing sample of 10-20 pages, typically either a portion of a senior thesis or an upper-level seminar paper.

5.    A statement of purpose of 250-500 words, explaining the applicant's preparation, interests, and plans. Please indicate on the first line of your statement if you would like to be considered for a graduate assistantship.

B.   Residency Requirements.

The Master's Degree program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. Graduate students must complete their degree within six years, in accordance with university graduate regulations.

C.  Financial Support

When applicants submit their materials to the Department of History, they should indicate their wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship.  Anyone receiving financial support must be registered as a full-time (9 hours per semester) student and must be making acceptable progress towards degree completion. Following State-mandated guidelines, all Graduate Assistants will have teaching responsibilities as Teaching Assistants and, as part of their appointment, must successfully complete History 5900 (Teaching Practicum) in the spring semester of the first year of their Assistantship. Renewal of Graduate Assistantships is contingent on such progress. Support is not given for more than two academic years.

D.  Academic Standing

During the spring semester the graduate committee will evaluate the student's overall progress to determine his/her eligibility to continue in the program. One important factor in this review is the student's GPA. If at any time a student's GPA in graduate course work falls below 3.3 he or she will be placed on probation by the department, and until the GPA is brought up to the 3.3 minimum, that student will not normally be eligible for department awards, including Graduate Assistantships and Larson/McGee funding.  Should the GPA remain below the 3.3 minimum for two consecutive semesters, the Department Chair, in consultation with the Graduate Director, will recommend the student's suspension.

II. Program of Study

A. Advisor, Committee, and Program of Study

1.    The graduate committee chair is charged with advising graduate students and directing their research and writing. The Graduate Director will suggest likely chairs upon acceptance of admission and by September 15 of the first year, all incoming students notify the Graduate Director by email of the chairs of their programs. Any tenured or tenure-track history faculty member may serve as thesis advisor. 

2.    Students wishing to change thesis advisors must advise the Graduate Director of this change which must be approved by both the old and new thesis advisor.

3.    By October 15 of the first year, all incoming students with complete and forward to the Graduate Director a completed Committee Assignment form. In consultation with the committee chair, the graduate committee will be comprised of at least three members (the thesis director, a second member from the Department of History, and a third faculty member from an outside department).

4.    In consultation with the thesis advisor and the Graduate Director, the student will design a coherent program of study with a focus on two clearly defined time/place and thematic fields of historical inquiry, one primary, the other secondary. An established graduate minor may be chosen as a secondary field upon approval of the thesis advisor and the Graduate Director. A completed Program of Study form must be forwarded to the Graduate Director by November 15 of the first year.

III. Degree Requirements

Candidates for the MA in history are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of course work with at least 24 hours in history. This will include:

1.    History 5880, normally in the Fall semester of the first year.

2.    12 hours of history course work in a time/place field.

3.    6 or more hours of history course work in a thematic/comparative field.

4.    4 hours of thesis credit.

5.    3 hours of History 5900 in the spring semester of the first year.

6.    Students must enroll in at least one designated graduate-only (non-dual-listed) seminar each semester of their two-year program. This requirement may be waived in the fourth semester at the request of the student's committee chairperson and will be considered in semesters 1-3 on a case-by-case basis. Any waivers require  the approval of the committee chairperson and the Graduate Director. This requirement is in addition to the History 5880 requirement.

7.    Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign language appropriate to their research. Generally, the language requirement may be met by either of the following options:

a. Passing a language exam administered by the Department of History. The student's chair will contact the History Office to arrange for administration of the exam.

b. Completing the equivalent of the fourth semester of a language as offered at the University of Wyoming.  All courses must be passed with a grade of C or better (may be taken pass/fail).

In special cases other relevant historical tools may substitute for the language requirement upon approval of the thesis advisor and the Graduate Director.

The language exam should be completed by March 1 of the first year, but must be completed no later than May 1 of the first year.

8. In the spring semester of the first year, typically in early February, as scheduled by the Department Chair, the student will publicly defend his/her thesis proposal, which must include a written research prospectus and bibliography.

9. The student will successfully defend the final thesis draft before the Graduate Committee.

Revised: January 11, 2012

Effective: January 11, 2012




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