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Graduate Studies in History

Master of Arts Degree in History (Thesis program)

Requirements: The Master of Arts degree requires 30 credit hours of graduate history courses (5000-level and above) including 6 hours of thesis (HIST 6960), historiography (HIST 6600), and two seminars (HIST 6930).

1. In your first semester, you are required to take HIST 6600/8600 (Historiography).   This is a four-credit course. In your second semester, it is recommended that you take HIST 6950/8950 (Workshop on Methods and Profession of History).

2. You must take two seminars (HIST 6930/8930) in addition to HIST 6600/8600. Seminars are four-credit courses.

3. Other graduate credit hours can be earned through 5000-level classes. These are 4000-level classes that you attend, but your workload is increased in order to bring you to graduate-level study. The additional load is assigned by the professor.

4. You may also earn credit hours by taking Independent Studies (HIST 6990/8990). These are programs of study arranged on specific topics with specific professors. To register, obtain the proper form from the Department of History office It must be signed by the professor with whom you take the Independent Study.

5. You may not take thesis credits (HIST 6960) until you have completed all necessary coursework. Thesis credits appear as PR grades until you have finished and defended your thesis.

Your committee...
must all be members of the UT Graduate Faculty. In some cases, an expert from outside the university may also serve. Because this requires approval in advance from the Graduate Committee, the department chair, and the College of Graduate Studies, you and your advisor should identify the need for an outside expert as soon as possible.  

The Master’s Thesis 

A Master’s thesis is usually based on primary research and demonstrates the student’s competency with historical research materials AND methodology. The thesis is regarded as preparation for the possible pursuit of a doctoral degree and thus as part of the student’s training as a professional historian. Research alone is not sufficient; students must also be able to connect their research to the contemporary framing of questions within their field and within the discipline.

The thesis ranges in length from 70 to 100 pages of text and must follow the guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style. In addition, the thesis must adhere to the precise guidelines of the Handbook for Preparation of Graduate Dissertations and Theses. See that website at: http://www.utoledo.edu/graduate/files/Format_Hbk_11a.pdf.        

When to do What:

By the end of your first year as a full-time student:

1. In consultation with your advisor, you should have some general idea of a research field. It is highly recommended that you continue to pursue the viability of a research topic in the summer months.

2. In consultation with your advisor, you should solicit and form a committee, consisting of two additional faculty. Master’s students should regard the full committee as a source of expertise, although the advisor assumes the role of mentor and resource of first resort.

Keep Track of Your Academic Program Documents!

The College of Graduate Studies has forms that all graduate students are required to fill out; failure to do so could delay your graduation. Consult the College of Graduate Studies website for copies or to complete the forms on-line.

Your first form: You should submit a Plan of Study after you have taken 12 credit hours.

In the fall term of your second year:

1. No later than September 1, have your thesis prospectus ready to distribute to your committee members. The prospectus should be from 8 to 10 pages. 

2. The whole committee should approve of the prospectus by October 1. This process is determined by the advisor–whether there is a formal meeting to discuss the prospectus, or whether comments and approval may be delivered by e-mail. 

In the semester in which you plan to graduate:

1. You must be registered for at least one credit hour.

2. You must have completed all degree requirements, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. 

3. All PR or IN grades must be resolved before the oral defense, except those attached to your thesis hours.     

4. Consult the College of Graduate Studies website, and make sure all forms are filled out. At this point, in addition to the ones noted above, you must submit an Application for Graduation. If your Plan of Study has changed (that is, if the courses listed there do not match your transcript), you must file a revised and Approved Plan of Study.

            It is your responsibility to ensure that all forms have been submitted at the proper time. Failure to do so could delay your degree and could be expensive, since you have to enroll for one credit hour in order to graduate.

5. Official undergraduate transcripts must be on file in the College of Graduate Studies. If the undergraduate degree was earned at the University of Toledo, all items will be on file.

6. Plan for your thesis defense. Provide a tentative schedule to your advisor and committee by the first week of the semester you intend to graduate. There are required periods between each stage of the process, in order to allow the committee time to read and comment and the student to make any necessary revisions.

7. After the oral defense, the thesis is graded according to the grade scale below. At that time, all thesis credit hours (HIST 6960, which are graded as PR) will revert to the grade assigned to the thesis.

                A    (4.00)       excellent
                A-   (3.67)       very good
                B+  (3.33)       good
                B    (3.00)       satisfactory
                B-   (2.67)       lowest passing grade

8. Although submission is now electronic, you still must file an Approval of Thesis form, which your committee signs after you pass your oral defense. 

9.   The defense normally lasts about an hour. Only under exceptional circumstances will the defense be waived. In such cases, a majority of all graduate faculty in the department must vote and concur on the decision to waive the oral defense.

10. Students should submit a written copy of their theses to the Department of History.

Master of Arts in History (Non-Thesis)

Students who hope to continue in a doctoral program must pursue the thesis track in the Master of Arts in History. The non-thesis track is a terminal degree at the University of Toledo. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the non-thesis option should be chosen no later than the second semester of study.

For the non-thesis degree, the requirements are:

                • 36 graduate credits, with no hours in HIST 6960

                • Non-thesis students must still take HIST 6600 as their first course; and two seminars (HIST 6930).

Exam: The non-thesis program will conclude with the successful completion of a half-day written exam. The exam, composed by the student's committee and graded according to the scale on page 16, will cover the geographical, chronological or comparative topics emphasized in the student's program.

Should the student fail the exam, he/she may, with the approval of the examining committee and the Graduate Committee, retake the examination once, and then no sooner than one semester after the failure. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

Note: Students who attempt the non-thesis program for the Master of Arts in History and who fail the exam will not be permitted to enroll in the thesis program.

Master of Arts and Education in History

The Master of Arts and Education degree in history requires 12 hours in education, 21 hours in history or social studies education, and 3 hours of thesis, seminar, or project, for a total of 36 hours. Students must take HIST 6600 and a seminar (HIST 6930). Students have an advisor in both the College of Education and in the College of Languages, Literature, and Social Sciences who jointly plan and direct the program. Students may complete their culminating experience in either education or history.

To graduate, students may either take a half-day written exam or complete a final project in the Department of History.

            Exam: The exam, composed by the student's committee and graded according to the scale on page 15, will cover the geographical, chronological, or comparative topics emphasized in the student's program.

            Project: M.A.E. students who wish to complete their final project in the Department of History, will, in consultation with the director of graduate studies, identify a major advisor during the semester prior to completion of the project. The final project consists of a major work of research that has practical application.

            During the semester that the project will be undertaken, the student will register for 3 credit hours of HIST 6990, with the major advisor, under the title “Master Project: [title of project].”

In consultation with their departmental advisor, M.A.E. students should work out a timetable at the beginning of the semester in which the project will be completed. This is to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies, as well as any requirements set by the College of Education. M.A.E. students are responsible for seeing that all Academic Program documents are submitted by the required deadlines.


There are three official graduation dates: May, August, and December, although there are only two commencement ceremonies. August graduates have the opportunity to participate in either the December or May commencement ceremony. See the College of Graduate Studies website for more information on commencement.



Last Updated: 1/31/19