Jun 14, 2024  
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in History

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Department of History
416 Varner Hall  (map)
(248) 370-3510 • Fax (248) 370-3528

Graduate Coordinator:
Don Matthews
404 Varner Hall
(248) 370-3525

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

This program may serve either as a terminal degree or as a bridge to more advanced study and is designed to accommodate both full-and part-time students. In addition to a complete daytime schedule, late afternoon and evening courses are also available.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

Current Deadlines

Beginning FALL 2017 Semester

  • February 15 (early) April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants  

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree in history from a regionally accredited institution or provide proof of a U.S. equivalent degree for foreign educated applicants. The department reserves the right to waive the requirement of a history degree for students with outstanding undergraduate records.
  •  Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in undergraduate history courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.2.
  • Requirements for recommendations:
    Two Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms, listed above under University graduate application requirements, which give evidence of academic distinction. (At least one should be from the applicant’s current or former professor.)
  • Detailed statement of purpose or justification for entering the graduate program, which demonstrates that the candidate’s interests coincide with the strengths of the department.
  • Academic writing sample (preferably a history research paper).
  • Applicants of superior promise, but with deficient undergraduate preparation in history may be considered for admission with limited standing to the graduate degree program. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a minimum of 8 credits in their first two graduate courses, with a GPA of 3.5 or above in each course within the first year of their program, to be advanced to full admission.
  • Other applicants of superior promise, but with deficient undergraduate preparation in history may be recommended for admission in a post-baccalaureate status to complete specified undergraduate history courses. Upon successful completion, the applicant would be considered for admission to the graduate degree program.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Related links

Degree requirements

The Master of Arts in history degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of at least 38 credits in an approved program of study.

In special cases the Department of History Graduate Committee may permit a candidate to substitute up to 12 graduate credits in related fields for history credits.

Course requirements

a. Core requirements

  • At least one colloquium (HST 610 )
  • In preparation for the thesis or field exam, the candidate must complete two research seminars (HST 680 ), or two research tutorials (HST 681 ), or one of each.

b. Field options

At the time of admission, each candidate will choose a major field from the following three areas. (The candidate must take at least 20 credits in the major field.)

  1. United States
  2. Europe
  3. Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

c. Exit

Upon the successful completion of three or four graduate courses (12 to 16 credits) candidates will 1) elect to complete their degree by thesis or 2) elect to complete their degree by field examination in the major area. The student must select a departmental mentor and co-mentor, notifying the graduate adviser of their choice.

Candidates who elect to offer a thesis in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements will fulfill all the requirements listed above; they will take research seminars or tutorials in the major field as thesis-writing courses, and their comprehensive oral examination will concentrate on the thesis and historical problems related to it. A detailed thesis prospectus is to be provided to the mentor and graduate adviser, preferably upon completion of 24 credits in the candidate’s program. All theses/dissertations must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).

Candidates who do not elect to offer a thesis will fulfill all the requirements listed above. They must take at least one seminar or research tutorial in the major field, and their examination will be devoted to the history of the major field, as described below under Field or Thesis examination (HST 600 ).

Field or thesis examination (HST 600)

The examination is taken in the last semester of the student’s program; each student must secure permission of the faculty adviser before registering. Candidates who submit a thesis will be examined orally for up to one hour on the thesis and historical problems related to it. The thesis oral examination may not be retaken. Candidates who do not submit a thesis will be examined on the major field; the examination will be adapted to the student’s individual program, and the examining committee may assign special readings to be completed for the examination. Candidates taking the examination will be allowed one week to write take-home essays responding to the committee’s questions; if the essays are acceptable, the candidate will be tested in a one-hour oral examination. Satisfactory performance on both written and oral selections is required for graduation. A student who fails may retake the field examination in any succeeding semester.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirement:  Graduate students must maintain grades higher than 3.0 in every course. In addition, students who do not have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 after completing 12 credits will lose their good academic standing. Students who lose their good academic standing may petition the department’s graduate committee one time for a one-time exception from these conditions.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Oakland University slash courses

Students may not enroll for graduate courses corresponding in title and/or coverage with undergraduate history courses for which they have previously gained credit at Oakland University.

Foreign language

There is no general foreign language requirement for the M.A. in history, but to study certain fields the candidate may need a reading knowledge of a foreign language. Candidates must consult their advisers for the language requirements of specific courses and programs.

Graduate Student Handbook

The Graduate Student Handbook can be found at the department’s Web site: www.oakland.edu/history/gp_masters.cfm.



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