Degree Specification for the MA in History, University of Maine

Institution: University of Maine

Location: Orono, ME

Tuner: Michael Lang

Year: 2014

Degree Name: Master of Arts, History

Purpose of the Degree

To offer an advanced knowledge of history with expertise in a particular area of concentration; an understanding of historiographical and methodological complexity; the development of sophisticated research and analytical skills; the development of large-format historical arguments; and a basis for the professional use of history.

Characteristics of the Program

The degree offers two options, normally completed in two years. Both options require obtaining a grade of "B" or better in all courses, a course on historiography and methodology, and demonstrated competence in a foreign language.  The Thesis Option requires ten graduate courses, including at least one research seminar, and the passing of an oral examination on the completed thesis.  Thesis work is credited for two courses.  The Non-Thesis Option requires ten graduate courses, including at least two graduate research seminars, and the passing of an oral examination upon completion of coursework.  Studies in U.S. or Canadian history constitute the majority of M.A. degrees.

Career Pathways for the Graduate

M.A. students most often enter the program with a specified professional intention for their degree.  Most would like to continue to a Ph.D. program in history.  Many others are employed teachers supplementing their certification.  

Educational Style

All graduate courses are seminar format and include extensive writing components.  A student may enroll in two upper-level undergraduate courses for graduate credit; in such a case, the syllabus is augmented by additional assignments.  In addition, a student may conduct up to two individualized readings courses with a faculty member.  Each student is advised by a three-member faculty committee.

Program Competencies and Outcomes

M.A. graduates develop advanced competencies in qualitative analysis and presentation; they obtain a historiographical understanding of the discipline; they become capable of assessing methodological differences and choosing appropriate research strategies; and they become prepared for using history in professional settings.