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History Master's Thesis Prospectus & Defense

Students who select the thesis option must write a prospectus (or proposal) for their thesis. Doing so requires close consultation with the adviser. Students should establish a three-member thesis committee, which will read the prospectus and, eventually, the thesis itself. Usually, the committee consists of the adviser and two other faculty members in the department. If appropriate to the subject of the thesis, one faculty member from outside the History Department can serve on the thesis committee. Each member of the thesis committee must approve the prospectus in writing. An oral defense of the prospectus is not required. Once the prospectus is approved, the student should file the approval form with the department's graduate office. The student should secure approval of the prospectus no later than the end of the second semester of full-time study.

Students must defend the thesis in an oral examination. Students should arrange a date and time for the defense with each member of the committee and complete the Arrangements for the Oral Examination on the Dissertation/Defense Form [PDF] (CAS #7). Please note that the forms are grouped by college. This form must be filed with the History Department Graduate Office at least 14 days prior to the defense.

Each member of the committee must receive a draft copy of the thesis at least two weeks before the defense. There is another form to complete to report the results of the student's thesis defense: Report of the Oral Thesis Examination Form [PDF] (CAS #8). Students should bring a copy of this form to their defense. Each member of the thesis committee must sign it. Once they have done so, please submit the form to the department's graduate office. The office will place a copy in the student's folder and send the original to the College of Arts & Sciences and the Thesis and Dissertation Services office.

In order to schedule a defense of their thesis, students must have completed the language requirement (if any) and all coursework required for the degree and have removed from their record any grades of PR (Progress) or I (Incomplete) in all courses required to graduate (other than thesis hours).

During the semester in which students plan to graduate, they must meet university deadlines for defending their M.A. thesis and submitting the final copy. Early in the semester they must apply to graduate through the Registrar's Office and pay a fee of approximately $50. There are deadlines for arranging one's defense, holding the defense, and submitting the final copy of one's thesis. See Graduate College deadlines.

The deadlines for the completion of graduate degrees are university requirements. The History Department cannot change them. Please also note that an M.A. candidate must be enrolled for at least one credit hour during the semester in which he or she graduates.