May 22, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

History (MA)

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The department does not accept applicants for a Master of Arts degree in history. The MA degree is intended only as a transitional degree in the process of completing requirements for the PhD in history.

Foreign Language/Research Tool Requirement

Students are required to demonstrate competence in one foreign language, with the exception that none is required of majors in United States history.

Course Requirements

All students must enroll in HIST 500 Introduction to Graduate Historical Studies , and it is recommended that it be completed in the first year of residence.

Thesis Plan

Students must take a minimum of six graduate courses, including HIST 500  plus HIST 594a , HIST 594b  Master’s Thesis. No more than two 400-level courses may count toward this total. A thesis must be written and defended.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

This plan requires the approval of the student’s master’s committee chair to substitute a comprehensive examination for the thesis. If approved, the student completes eight graduate level courses, including 500, with no more than two 400-level courses counting toward this total, plus written exams in three fields, one of which may be in another department. Examinations are normally offered in October and April. An oral examination may be given at the discretion of the master’s committee. Examinations are graded on an honors, pass or fail basis. Any student who receives a grade of fail in two examinations is considered as not having qualified for the degree. A student who receives one fail must retake an examination in that field at the next scheduled examination period. An examination cannot be retaken more than once.

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