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Combined B.A./M.A. Dual Degree in History

The Department of History offers a combined, dual degree (BA/MA) program for our undergraduate majors with outstanding academic records to encourage them to start graduate study before completing their undergraduate degree. Enrolling in the combined BA/MA program can shorten the total time to get both bachelor's and master's degrees. Undergraduate majors in History apply for admission to the program after they have met certain requirements in their undergraduate studies at OSU.

How is the Undergraduate Course of Study Different from the Standard History Major?

Students admitted to the program will take up to three courses (9 credits) that will count for both degrees, speeding time to completion of the M.A. degree. Students admitted to the program spend Years 1, 2 and 3 in undergraduate courses like their peers; Year 4, however, will be a combination of undergraduate courses plus graduate courses, followed by full-time graduate study from year 5. Total time to complete the M.A. degree will take one or more years after the B.A. requirements are completed, depending largely on specific requirements of the field of study.

Required courses for the History Major are unchanged, and the degree requirements for the M.A. are the same as for students who go through the ordinary admission process for the stand-alone M.A. (thesis and non-thesis options). Note that both B.A. and M.A. programs provide considerable flexibility and options are available to create highly individualized courses of study.

Once accepted, students will be required to take the following graduate courses (all 3 semester credit hours unless otherwise noted):

  • History 7900 - Colloquium in Historiography and Critical Theory
  • If the Thesis Option is taken, then History 6999 –– MA Thesis (3 credit hours, repeatable once, to total of 6 credit hours)

Program Information

What are the Specific Requirements?

The program is designed to give student the flexibility to pursue their own particular interests, but it also demands that students be independent and take responsibility for designing their own program of study and research. Here are the requirements each student must fulfill:

  • Students must fulfill all of the requirements for the History BA Major, 33 semester credit hours.
  • Students will then be required to complete 30 semester credit hours of graduate coursework for the MA in addition to the coursework required for the BA.
  • Up to 9 hours of graduate coursework can "overlap" and be counted simultaneously toward the requirements for the BA and MA.

Students fill the rest of their schedule with electives that cohere around a field of study specialization:

  • These electives might include:
    • Other relevant graduate level courses at the 5000-level and higher chosen in consultation with Adviser from the History Graduate course offerings.
    • Up to three graduate-level courses (9 credit hours) from other departments or colleges. These courses should be approved by the student's advisor and have a direct bearing on the particular field of endeavor the student wants to pursue.

Pursuit of undergraduate coursework requires no special application process; students simply pursue their History B.A. requirements. However, formal admission to the combined program does require some special arrangements (described below).

As part of that process, students need to demonstrate an ability to do graduate work and must meet the standard requirements for admission to the M.A. program as well as a significant part of their History major. These include:

  • a cumulative GPA in Ohio State University courses of at least 3.5 (B+)
  • completion of at least 18 semester hours of history (including courses in which they are enrolled at the time of application)
  • completion of History 2800
  • completion of a 4000-level Seminar in History

The student interested in pursuing the combined degree program should first identify and confer with a faculty member who specializes in the student’s chosen subfield of history at the earliest opportunity. At a meeting, the student and the faculty member will discuss how to complete the appropriate coursework, including a 4000-level research seminar, before applying for the combined degree program. The student needs to secure permission of the faculty member to serve as the MA advisor.

Late in their second year or early in their third year of undergraduate work, the student will complete a Preliminary Application to the combined degree program. This step will serve as an indicator of their interest to apply formally during their third year and will go to the Director of Graduate Studies for review. The Director of Graduate Studies will provide additional guidance to the student, if necessary, prior to submission of a formal application for admission to the M.A. program.

After the Director of Graduate Studies has pre-approved the Preliminary Application, the student during their third year in the B.A. program will apply officially to the M.A. program in the University Graduate School through its online application system. Once that application is submitted, the student will then need to submit the Combined Degree Form on Gradforms. After that form has our approval, the Graduate School will post the admission decision on the official MA application.