Structure

In the first semester, all students will take the course HIST 5000 Historical Thinking. This course will form the foundation for graduate studies in history, introducing students to the essentials of historical scholarship from research to publication. Students will read historical theory and methodology in order to understand the methods of interpretation that historians use, exploring classic and modern major theories of historical scholarship and historiographical debate. Students will learn how to find, analyze and use historical evidence and how to integrate evidence and interpretation in a scholarly research paper.

Those pursuing the Examination and Thesis options are required to take one of the Department’s Global History Seminars -- Empires in World History; the Twentieth Century World; Intellectual and Cultural History; and War and Revolution. These courses view historical developments and processes from a global perspective and rotate among the faculty. The seminars progress from consideration of a general theme to analysis of specific historical situations. The Global Seminars are designed to familiarize students with aspects of comparative history and historiographical discussion, introducing methods of analysis needed for all subsequent graduate work. 

Students in the Applied Historical Studies track will take courses in Digital History and Public History, as well as an Internship. 

From the required introductory courses, students advance to Electives. Here, they can structure a sequence of courses to fit their individual needs. For example, those who plan to teach in the New Jersey high school system can enroll in U.S. History and take specialized courses in New Jersey history. Those with a special interest in European or World history can pursue courses in those areas.

Finally, students pursuing the Thesis Option will write a Master’s Thesis, an extended research and historiographical essay. The thesis will be researched and written over the course of two semesters in a Advanced Writing Seminar under close faculty guidance. The experience of writing a master’s thesis will allow students to integrate the tools and knowledge they have mastered throughout the program: to demonstrate familiarity with research techniques, both traditional and electronic; to apply the analytical skills developed in their other course work; to write an extended thesis; and to discuss the results of their research with other students and faculty in a colloquium setting where they will demonstrate the use of multimedia techniques in their final presentation.

Students pursuing the Examination Option will take a Reading Colloquium to prepare for the Examination and take a written Examination in their final semester.

Students in the Applied Historical Studies track will be required to do an internship in public history and will demonstrate scholarly competence in research, writing, analysis, and historical documentation in a capstone project in applied history. An exhibition in a historical society or museum, a digital history project, or another appropriate work in public history may be an acceptable capstone project.

Resources for current students:

History Department Graduate Guide

History Department Graduate Handbook

Guidelines for Writing the M.A. Thesis in History 

MA Program Progression Chart

2013-2014 Graduate Catalog