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M.S.S. Curriculum & Requirements

Curriculum & Time to Degree

The Master of Social Sciences interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with the convenience and flexibility to pursue coursework that spans several social sciences topics.

Students take eight 4-hour graduate courses (32 credit hours in total). Four of the courses are in History and four are in the non-History offerings. If a student takes two course offerings each semester, he or she usually can finish in four semesters (about 18 months). But students may take fewer courses each semester as fits their schedule. Students can complete the program in less than three years while taking one course per semester.

Transfer credits: Up to eight semester hours (2 courses) of graduate-level credit earned at an accredited institution within the last five years may be accepted into the program upon review by the program director. A grade of "B" or better must have been earned in each course to be considered. Requests will be considered on merit in a case-by-case basis.

Degree Requirements

Students in the online M.S.S. program take a total of eight 4-credit hour online courses from a variety of social science fields. One of those eight courses must be HIST 6901 or HIST 6903 or HIST 6905. In addition, students will take three other History courses and four non-History courses. Students must earn a "B" average in the eight four-credit hour courses they take for the degree.

Students conclude their studies with a final culminating written examination based on two of the courses (one History and one non-History) they have taken during the program.

M.S.S. Required Colloquium Course (1 course)

  • Colloquium in U.S. History (HIST 6901)
  • Or Colloquium in European History (HIST 6903)
  • Or Colloquium in World History (HIST 6908)

Students must complete at least four M.S.S courses before registering for a colloquium class.

M.S.S. Elective Courses (7 courses)

  • View the course schedule to see which courses are planned for each semester. Three of the elective courses chosen must be History courses and four elective courses must be non-History courses.

Culminating Examination Procedure

In the last semester of all coursework, students take a culminating examination. Exams are graded on a pass/no-pass basis, and students are allowed one opportunity for a retest if they do not pass the exam the first time.

Exit Exam Procedure: In the semester that a student is planning to complete the M.S.S. degree, he or she will take the exit exam. The student should begin the process by emailing the M.S.S. Director, Dr. Joshua Hill, by the end of the second week of that semester with the names of two M.S.S. instructors (one historian and one non-historian) with whom the student has taken courses in the program. They will serve as examiners. Each examiner will prepare five to seven study questions to help the student study for the exam, for a total of 10 questions. Upon receipt of the names of the chosen examiners, the program director will immediately send the study questions to the student. Four of these questions will appear on the exam; the student will choose two to answer, one from each examiner.

The exam is a two-hour proctored computer-based essay exam. You will be required to go to an approved location, near you, to take the exam. Contact Ohio University Ohio University Testing Services to schedule the date, time and location for the exam; email The student also will notify the program coordinator of the date and time chosen for the exam.

Students must take the exam on or before the beginning of the eighth week of the semester in which they plan to graduate.

Failure to adhere to this time schedule will prevent the student from graduating on time and will require him or her to re-enroll in the next semester.

Academic Conduct

The rules and regulations governing graduate student conduct (including such issues as plagarism) can be found by accessing the Student Code of Conduct. In addition students can find further information on these issues in the Ohio University Graduate Catalog.