MA students have the option of writing a thesis. An MA thesis is a substantial piece of original historical scholarship. In completing the thesis, the student is expected to demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter and its historiography, as well as competence in the following three skills: the ability to conduct research, the ability to analyze historical evidence, and the ability to communicate clearly. A completed MA thesis is usually more than 100 pages. Students who wish to write a thesis should complete the following steps once they have earned at least 22 units, with at least 13 of those units at the 5000-level, such that, including the thesis units, at least 21 units toward the degree will be at the 5000-level.

  1. Register for comprehensive exams.
  2. Complete the Thesis Registration Form and return it to the Graduate Director.
  3. Enroll in 5990 to begin earning a maximum of 8 units for writing the thesis. Generally, these 8 units of 5990 are spread over two semesters, with the first four units taken simultaneously with comprehensive exams, but the exact parameters of the thesis are determined entirely by the thesis committee.
  4. If you do not complete your thesis within two semesters, you must maintain continuous enrollment in 7005 until the project is complete.
  5. In completing an MA thesis, be sure to follow the University’s Master’s Thesis Preparations Guidelines

Updated: July 12, 2023