The Master’s degree is offered on two tracks--United States
and Global history. Students in the history of the United
States will inaugurate their study in the context of global/
comparative history and historiography, develop their
knowledge of the U.S. in graduate course work, and their
specific interests in either two research papers or a
thesis; students in global history will begin their studies
with an introduction to historiography and global and
comparative history, followed by graduate course work on the
histories of various areas of the world, with specific
topics developed either in two research papers or a thesis.
Students may develop their interests by working with faculty
knowledgeable in Classical history, Medieval history, early
modern and modern Europe, Russia, the
Islamic world, sub-Saharan Africa, the Atlantic world, Latin
America, East Asia, South Asia, as well as the
various regions, periods, and themes of the United States.
Students are required to take 30 credits as distributed below:
HIST 6315: Global and Comparative History OR another
departmental graduate course specifically including
comparative methods and theories.
HIST 6300: Historiography.
Six other courses at the 5000 or 6000 level in the
History Department--up to two courses in
other departments, programs, or schools (such
as the Schools of Arts or Education) may
substitute as approved by the adviser and
Director of Graduate Studies. With approval students
following the U.S. or Global tracks must take
one, but no more than two courses in the alternate
HIST 6398/6399: THESIS--research and writing for
students following this option (i.e., those with the
appropriate language skills and usually planning to go
on for a Ph.D.); their adviser and two other professors
form the three-person thesis and oral defense
Two additional graduate courses for those students in
the NON-THESIS option. And two research papers written
in any course at the 5000 or 6000 level in the History
Department. Non-thesis students are also examined orally
over coursework, texts, and other materials chosen for
thematic coherence by their adviser and two other
On admission students should have two years of
college-level study in a language in addition to English.
Colloquia and Practica: Definitions
Most undergraduates are familiar with the research seminar, a format which brings students together to share problems of research and writing on a common theme. Undergraduates are less familiar with the terms of colloquia and practica. Colloquia at SMU are courses which contain a few students who engage in intensive reading and discussion of the key books in their field. Practica are individualized courses which combine theoretical training with practical experience in an apprenticeship situation in an archive, museum, oral history program, or classroom.
Graduate School Regulations
The Graduate School of the College has certain regulations which apply to all advanced degree programs. A few of those follow, but see the Graduate Bulletin for more details, including guidelines for preparation of the thesis.
- At least 12 semester-hours of the courses included in each student's program for a master's degree shall be those numbered 6000 or above.
- Not more than six semester-hours of work from another institution shall apply on a candidate's graduate program. All credit for work transferred is subject to the approval of the major department.
- No credit will be allowed toward the master's degree for courses taken more than six years before the date at which the degree is to be conferred.
Updated Sept. 6, 2012