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Stand-Alone M.A. in History Program

Course and Examination Requirements


The MA (stand-alone) degree program comprises study of historical scholarship in a specialized field or constellation of history, training in a variety of research methodologies, and the acquisition of research skills such as languages and statistics.

In consultation with their advisor, the student may choose a non-thesis option or a thesis option. A student and their advisor might consider the MA thesis option if they believe it would be in the best interest of the student to have the learning experience of writing a full thesis. Both options result in written work based on thorough research in primary sources and should demonstrate rigorous argumentation, sound historical judgment, good organization, and clear, readable style—in short, the standards that apply to all professional scholarship.

Credit Hours

Thirty (30) credit hours in courses with graduate credit, selected as follows:

Required Courses

History 7900 3 hours

Additional 7000-level courses (excluding 7193) 12 hours

Additional credit hours satisfied by:

Elective courses at the 5000-level or higher

Up to 6 credit hours of History 6193 or 7193

Up to 6 hours of History 6999 (for those pursuing the MA-Thesis option only)

Up to 12 hours (or 3 courses) outside of the History Department with advisor approval, 4000-level or higher

Note: Students may petition the Director of Graduate Studies for an increased limit in 6193/7193 credit hours if necessary.

Languages (if required by the field). Before completing the MA, the student must prove competence in one foreign language in fields that require foreign languages for research. The faculty in the student’s major field should determine the method by which the language requirement should be satisfied.

History M.A. Sample Plan

History M.A. Advising Sheet

MA Examination

Upon completion of these requirements, all students must pass a one-hour oral examination based on either the MA thesis or their other written work (non-thesis option) for the degree. If the student elects the non-thesis option, they will assemble a portfolio of all written work undertaken during their MA studies and provide it to the committee no later than ten (10) days prior to the examination. The committee will consist of the student’s advisor and at least one faculty member chosen by the student’s advisor in consultation with the student, in which the student, advisor, and faculty member discuss the student’s coursework and general progress.

Application to Graduate with an MA

To graduate with an MA, a student must have been in residence for two semesters, unless the applicant received an undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University, in which case only one semester of residence is required. During the semester in which the Master’s Examination is held, the student must be enrolled at the full-time equivalent for their student status: https://gradsch.osu.edu/current-students/course-registration.

To apply for graduation with the MA, the student must complete the Application to Graduate – MA form, which may be located at gradforms.osu.edu, no later than the third Friday of the semester in which they intend to graduate.

Students should regularly refer to the University Graduate School’s list of final semester policies and procedures to ensure they are meeting all requirements: https://gradsch.osu.edu/current-students/final-semester

Students should regularly refer to the University Graduate School’s graduation calendar to ensure they are meeting all deadlines: https://gradsch.osu.edu/graduation-calendar-0.

Time Limit

The time limit for completion of the Master’s degree is four years, with an additional fifth year upon approval of the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.


Students admitted into the stand-alone MA in History are not eligible for university fellowships, but they might receive internal funding up through two years of study with Graduate Associateships if highly ranked by the Graduate Admissions Committee and the budget allows.