Master of Social Sciences

The Master of Social Sciences (M.S.S.) is an online interdisciplinary degree program in the social sciences. The program is designed to meet the needs of graduate students whose professional employment makes it desirable that they study two or more subjects within the social sciences to earn the master's degree. Though most of the students have been public school teachers, candidates from other occupations may apply for admission to the program if the study would be to their professional advantage. The degree is appropriate for students intending to conclude their graduate education at the master's level of study.

The program provides students with the flexibility to pursue coursework that spans several disciplines. Students typically enter the program from very diverse backgrounds. All students have in common a high level of professional motivation and a desire to learn more about content in the area of the social sciences.

Degree Requirements

With the transition from a quarter system calendar to a semester system calendar in Academic Year 2012-2013, the M.S.S. program became an on-line only degree program beginning in spring 2013. Previous versions of the program have been discontinued. Students in the on-line M.S.S. program will take a total of eight on-line courses from a variety of social science fields. One of those eight courses must be HIST 6901, which is a required course for all M.S.S. students. Students will register for four hours of graduate credit for each course (32 credit hours in total.) If a student takes both of the course offerings each semester, he or she can usually finish in four semesters (about one and a half years.)

Upon completion of studies, each student must pass a written examination based on a number of the courses that the student has taken in the course of the program. In conducting this examination, the student's exam committee will be guided by the program of courses and research pursued by the candidate so the examination will be reasonable in scope.

Exit Exam Procedure and Schedule for Summer 2014:

A student planning to take his or her exit exam and complete the MSS degree in spring 2014 should e-mail the MSS Director by June 1 with the names of two MSS instructors (one historian and one non-historian) who will serve as the student's examiners. Both examiners, of course, should be instructers with whom the student has taken courses in the MSS program. After the student has informed the Director of these choices, the Director will e-mail the student 5 study questions from each instructor. The student will use these questions as the basis for studying for the exam. The exam is a proctored two-hour, computer-based, essay exam. Two of the study questions from each examiner will be randomly chosen to appear on the exam, and the student will choose one question from each examiner to answer on the test. The student must take the exam on or before August 1. In order to schedule the time and location of the exam, students should contact Dorinda Hoyd at Exams will be graded on a pass/no-pass basis, and a student is allowed one opportunity for a retest if he or she does not pass the exam the first time. Please contact the MSS Director for further information regarding summer 2014 exit exams.

Tentative On-Line MSS Program Courses (Summer 2014-Summer 2016):

Summer 2014

Korcaighe Hale, HIST 5742, The Cold War, 1941-1989

Linda Trautman, POLS 6100, Seminar:  American Politics (Legislative Processes)

Fall 2014

David Curp, HIST 5641, Contemporary Europe

Kimberly Little, WGS 5900, Special Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: Gender and Reality Television

Spring 2015

Michele Clouse, HIST 5501, Nature, Science and Religion

Timothy Anderson, GEOG 5340, U.S. Historical Geography

Summer 2015

Brian Schoen, HIST 5081, Civil War Era

Kathleen Sullivan, POLS 5040, Civil Liberties

David Castle, HIST 6901, U.S. Colloquium (Required course for the degree. Permission only. Open only to those students who have already completed at least 4 MSS courses.)

Fall 2015

Donald Richter, HIST 5750, World War I

Nancy Tatarek, ANTH 5580, Peoples, Plagues and Pestilence:  The Anthropology of Infectious Disease

Spring 2016

Marvin Fletcher, HIST 5150, Survey of African American History

Barry Tadlock, POLS 5060, Politics of Appalachia

David Castle, HIST 6901, U.S. Colloquium (Required course for the degree. Permission only. Open only to those students who have already completed at least 4 MSS courses.)

Summer 2016

Joseph Venosa, HIST 5410, History of Africa to 1850

Haley Duschinski, ANTH 5620, Human Rights, Law, and Justice


Admission to the Program

An applicant for admission to this program must have:

  • a bachelor's degree
  • Applicants need a 2.75 undergraduate g.p.a. for unconditional admission. Prospective students with an undergraduate g.p.a. below 2.75 are encouraged to apply, but they may be admitted conditionally or denied admission.
  • No more than 12 quarter or 8 semester hours in a maximum of three graduate courses passed with a grade of "B" or better will be accepted for this program from another college or university. Credit earned in other Ohio University programs which, in the judgment of the coordinator, is appropriate for this program, may be applied toward completion of the degree.
  • You may obtain a graduate application from this site. Click here When you return the application, indicate "M.S.S." as the proposed area of study. Completed application forms, including copies of undergraduate transcripts, should be sent directly to the Graduate College. No letters of recommendation are necessary for this program.
  • Deadline for submitting applications for summer session 2014 is April 15, 2014. The fall semester 2014 deadline is July 15, 2014.

Financial Assistance There is no financial assistance [i.e., stipends, fellowships, or scholarships] available in this program. If you qualify for financial aid, you must contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for assistance.

International Students According to Ohio University regulations, an international student who is currently in the U.S. cannot take a degree program, such as the M.S.S. program, which is completely on-line.

For further details regarding curriculum and program requirements:
Dr. Marvin Fletcher, Interim Director
MSS Program
416 Bentley Hall Annex
Ohio University
Athens OH 45701

Direct administrative inquiries to:
Ms. Brenda Nelson, Administrative Associate