Master of Arts in History

The Department of History at Hardin-Simmons University offers history as a major or minor for the Master of Arts degree, and students can choose from two programs leading to the MA in History. Lecture courses are available in both American and European history, and faculty members offer special-topics seminars and tutorials in their areas of specialization. History is available as a major or a minor for the Master of Arts degree, and as a minor for the Master of Education degree.

Only a select number of student are routinely admitted into the program.  The quality of education available to graduate students in the Department of History is enhanced by the small number of candidates routinely enrolled in the program. This limited size traditionally assures that each MA student receives an optimum amount of faculty attention during their tenure of study, a practice likewise cultivated in the department for the benefit of history undergraduates.

Together, the two history programs at Hardin-Simmons University create a vibrant, integrated academic community under the direction of a dedicated faculty of professional scholars. The merit of this approach to both graduate students and undergraduates is validated in the subsequent success of the department’s alumni in gaining admission to other institutions of higher learning. A sampling of Universities which have admitted HSU MA graduates into their doctoral programs include Texas Christian University, the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), York University (Canada), Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, North Carolina State University, the University of Kansas, and Simon Frazer University (Canada).*

*HSU history undergraduates have been accepted for post-graduate studies at institutions like Vanderbilt University, University of Oklahoma, Rice University, Duke University, Louisiana State University, University of Connecticut, Seton Hall University, University of Chicago, Wake Forest University, Columbia University, Southern Methodist University, University of St. Andrews (Scotland), University of Alabama, and Harvard University.

Contact Us

Don Taylor-Pofessor of History Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Donathan Taylor

Professor of History, Graduate Program Director 325-670-1294

Degrees

  • Master of Arts, History (M.A.)

Why earn a Masters of Arts in History at HSU?

HSU students in lecture hall taking notes

Individual Attention

This limited size of the HSU History MA program traditionally assures that each student receives an optimum amount of faculty attention during their tenure of study.

Thesis Program

The Option I Thesis Program (30 hours) is intended for individuals who wish to pursue graduate work in the field of history in anticipation of further advanced research studies beyond the Masters level. Applicant accepted into the program may choose either the Option I and Option II program.

History books stacked

Non-Thesis Program

The Option II Non-Thesis Program (36 Hours) is designed for individuals who seek exposure to advanced studies in history where a thesis research component is unnecessary. Applicant accepted into the program may choose either the Option I and Option II program.

Program Details

Curriculum

Upon acceptance into the graduate program in history, the graduate advisor and the student will prepare a tentative program of study. This tentative program will identify the specific courses the student will take to prepare for the oral examinations and the semesters during which those courses will be taken. The student may elect to concentrate his or her coursework in American, European, or Latin American history or a combination of the three. The tentative program of study will include:

Option I: Thesis Program (30 hours)

MAJOR 12 hours of history 12

MINOR (approved) may be in history 12

HIST 6391 Thesis 3

HIST 6392 Thesis 3

TOTAL 30

Thesis

During the last semester of course work, the student and the graduate advisor will agree on a thesis topic and a thesis advisor. The thesis advisor will be the graduate faculty member in history who specializes in the area in which the student wishes to write the thesis. The thesis advisor will closely supervise the preparation of the thesis and arrange for its reading and approval by the other members of the graduate history faculty. Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style format will be used. Guidelines by the HSU Department of History and the Office of Graduate Studies must be followed. After beginning work on the thesis, continuous enrollment in Thesis or Thesis Renewal is required for all fall and spring semesters until completion of the thesis. Summer enrollment is required if the student anticipates working on the thesis or completing his/her degree during either summer term. Note: A thesis processing fee will be assessed.

Option II: Non-Thesis Program (36 Hours)

MAJOR 24 hours of history 24

MINOR (approved) may be in history 12

TOTAL 36

Foreign Language Requirement

A student pursuing an MA in history thesis option must show proficiency in the reading of at least one foreign language approved by the HSU Department of History. This requirement may be met by the satisfactory completion of 12 or more semester hours of undergraduate credit in a foreign language or its equivalent with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. The language requirement must be fulfilled before the student may enroll in thesis.

There is no foreign language requirement for the Option II (non-thesis) program.

Advancement to Candidacy

The HSU History Department faculty review the student’s progress after 12 hours of graduate work has been successfully completed (3.0 GPA is required). The student will be advanced to candidacy unconditionally, advanced with certain restrictions or additional requirements, or denied candidacy and dropped from the program.

Comprehensive Exam

During the semester in which course work for the degree will be completed, the student will petition the graduate advisor in history to take the comprehensive oral examination. The graduate advisor in history will then arrange a time and place acceptable to all concerned. After the examination, the graduate advisor will present the results to the dean of graduate studies, who will notify the student of the results. If the student fails the examination, he or she may then petition the graduate advisor in history to schedule another examination during the next long semester after the failure. If the student fails to pass the comprehensive examination on the second attempt, he or she will be dropped from the program. Students selecting the thesis option should expect to take the examination after acceptance of the thesis.

Graduation Requirements

Successful completion of the curriculum, successful completion of thesis (if applicable), successful completion of comprehensive exam, and successful completion of 12 hours (or equivalent) of a foreign language.

Time Limit

Students must complete all requirements for the degree within five years from initial semester of admission.

Minor

A graduate minor in history may include six semester hours of advanced    course work and must also include six semester hours in seminar work.

Courses

Note: By action of the Graduate Council and graduate faculty, all students must have a minimum of 50% of their curriculum in 6000 level courses.

HIST 5099 Special Topics

Designed to meet special needs of individuals or special students. Offered as needed. May be repeated when topic is changed.

HIST 5301 Texas History (3-3-0)

Study of Texas from its discovery and exploration to the present with due emphasis on social and political subjects. Colonization and the Texas Revolution are accentuated and the last quarter of the 19th century receives special attention.

HIST 5302 The American West (3-3-0)

A study in the regional history of the Trans-Mississippi West from pre-European contact through the 20th century. Emphasis will be placed on the conquest, colonization, and development of the region as well as the intercultural and environmental relations among the diverse peoples vying for occupancy and opportunity in the American West.

HIST 5303 Colonial and Revolutionary America, 1492–1789 (3-3-0)

A thorough examination of the foundations of the American colonies, their development and regional differentiation, and their relationship to and eventual break with England.

HIST 5304 The Roots of Democracy, The United States, 1789–1840 (3-3-0)

A study of politics, economics, and culture in the Early Republic, this course will examine the development of party politics, the growth of capitalism, and the lives of ordinary Americans during this time, including women, African-Americans and Native Americans.

HIST 5307 The Old South and a Nation Divided (3-3-0)

A study of politics, economics, and culture during the mid-19th century in the United States, this course will examine the continuing divergence of two distinct regions and trace the divisive issues that culminated in civil war. Emphasis is also placed on the role that the war and reconstruction played in creating the modern patterns of industrial, political, and cultural America.

HIST 5308 From the Gilded Age and Progressive United States, 1877 to 1917 (3-3-0)

Study of the development of the United States from a mostly rural, agrarian society to an urbanized and industrialized world power. Emphasis on political, economic, social, and cultural history from the end of Reconstruction to the eve of U.S. involvement in World War I.

HIST 5309 World Wars, Roaring 20s, and Depression: United States, 1917–1945 (3-3-0)

Study of the development of the United States from the eve of U.S. involvement in World War I through victory in World War II. Emphasis will be on domestic and foreign policy as well as on economic, social, and cultural trends, which characterized the prosperous 1920s, the Great Depression, and two world wars.

HIST 5310 The United States Since 1945 (3-3-0)

An intensive study of the political, economic, and social forces that shaped the U.S. from World War II to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on both domestic and foreign policy. Particular emphasis will be given to the concept of limited war as used in Korea and Vietnam. The consequences of the Civil Rights Movement, the New Frontier, the Great Society, and other political and economic movements from Nixon to the present are included.

HIST 5312 Women in American History, 1600-Present (3-3-0)

A thorough examination of the lives, roles, progress and influence of women and the evolution of gender as an ideology in American history.

HIST 5321 Mexico and the Caribbean (3-3-0)

A study of the colonial heritage of the region and its emergence in the 20th century. A close look will be taken at the development of Mexico since 1810. Those developments will be related to the efforts of their neighbors in the Caribbean Basin.

HIST 5323 Latin America in the Twentieth Century (3–3-0)

A study of the development of Latin America in the 20th century both internally and externally. Special attention will be given to those problems which have delayed the progress of Latin America. The countries of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil will be used as examples of an emerging Latin America.

HIST 5345 Recent History of the Middle East (3-3-0)

A survey of Middle Eastern history from 1888 to the present. The course will focus on the social institutions of native Middle Eastern cultures and the impact on those cultures of modernization and Zionism.

HIST 5350 Modern France (3-3-0)

Survey of French history from 1715 to today.

HIST 5352 Renaissance and Reformation (also CHST 5352) (3-3-0)

The introduction will include the impact that medieval institutions and thought had on the period 1300 to 1650. Major emphasis will focus on the basic economic, social, and political changes in Europe during this time, including the flowering of a culture oriented toward ancient Greece and Rome and the religious crisis of the period—the Protestant Revolt and Catholic Reform.

HIST 5354 Ancient Greece and Rome to 133 BC (3-3-0)

A study of ancient Greek and Roman history from the Mycenaean Age to the emergence of a Roman empire. Emphasis will be placed on the social, political, religious, and intellectual development in the classical world from the early Helladic period of Greek history to the beginning of the Late Roman Republic. Attention will be given to the contributions of these cultures in the areas of government, scientific development, philosophy, religious thought, and the art of war.

HIST 5355 Rome: Republic to Empire, 146 BC – AD 476 (3-3-0)

An examination of Roman history from the Late Republic to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Emphasis will be placed on the social, political, religious, and intellectual development in the Roman world from the end of the Third Punic War to the demise of Roman political authority in Western Europe. Attention will be given to the contributions of this culture in the areas of government, scientific development, philosophy, religious thought, and the art of war.

HIST 5361 Modern Britain (3-3-0)

A survey of the history of England, the empire, and commonwealth since 1688, with emphasis on 20th century England. Special attention will be given to the social, political, intellectual, and diplomatic development of the English nation from a regional European power to a global empire, with final analysis on the United Kingdom as it enters the 21st century.

HIST 5363 History of Modern Germany, 1871 to Present (3-3-0)

A survey of German history from Bismarck to the present.

HIST 5366 Modern Russia (3-3-0)

A survey of Russian history from 1689 to the present. Special attention will be given to the structure and ideology of Imperial Russia, the origins and nature of the revolutionary movement which emerged in the 19th century and eventually evolved into the Bolshevik (Communist) Party, the Russian Revolution, and the Stalin period. The course will provide a balanced coverage of the political, diplomatic, social, economic, and intellectual heritage of modern Russia.

HIST 5369 The Social and Intellectual History of Modern Europe (3-3-0)

A survey of the evolution of European Social institutions, social movements, and the ideas underlying them from 1789 to the present. Major topics to be explored include Marxism, Utopian socialism, the evolution of liberal democracy, modernization, and totalitarianism.

HIST 5370 European Imperialism (3-3-0)

Study of the causes and consequences of the rise of the European overseas empires and their subsequent decline in the 20th century. Special emphasis will be focused on the British Imperial experience particularly in Africa and the Indian sub-continent. Attention will be paid to changes in European society and politics and their impact on colonial affairs, warfare, and aspects of race and colonial cultural relations.

HIST 5374 Modern Asia (3-3-0)

A study of 19th and 20th century Asian history (China, Japan, India) with emphasis on the impact the West has had on Asia and on developments in Southeast Asia.

HIST 5375 History of the Middle Ages (3-3-0)

Study of the creation of Europe from the fusion of the Roman world with the frontier cultures of northern Europe. Emphasis will be placed on the social and political evolution of the region from 400–1300 with attention to such topics as the rise of new technology, the impact of the Roman Catholic Church on society, the Crusades against Islam, and the ethos of chivalry as evidence of the emergence of a new expansionist civilization.

HIST 5099 Directed Studies (1–3 hours credit)

Subject to the approval of the department and the instructor, a graduate student may enroll to study a special area of history not being offered during that semester. The course may be repeated when the topic of study changes. The course will include outside readings, oral and/or written reports, and a research paper. Prerequisite: Graduate student status.

HIST 6099 Special Topics (1–3 credit hours)

Designed to meet special needs of individuals or special students. Offered as needed. May be repeated when topic is changed.

HIST 6301 Seminar in Early United States History (3-3-0)

Research and/or reading seminar in some aspect of U.S. history from colonial times through the war between the states. The subject matter will vary from time to time to reflect the interest of the professor. May be repeated when a different aspect of history is studied.

HIST 6302 Seminar in Recent United States History (3-3-0)

Research and/or reading seminar in some aspect of U.S. history from the war between the states to the present. The subject matter will vary from time to time to reflect the interest of the professor. May be repeated when a different aspect of history is studied.

HIST 6310 Seminar in Environmental History (3-3-0)

Intensive reading and research seminar into the ways in which human activities have influenced the ecological systems of the earth.

HIST 6321 Seminar in Latin American Studies (3-3-0)

Lectures and directed readings on Latin American topics. The field of study will vary from time to time, and the course may be repeated when a different phase is studied.

HIST 6361 Seminar in Ancient History (3-3-0)

Research and/or reading seminar in some aspect of ancient history from approximately 700 B.C. to 500 A.D. The subject matter will vary from time to time to reflect the interest of the professor. May be repeated when a different aspect of history is studied.

HIST 6362 Seminar in Medieval History (3-3-0)

Research and/or reading seminar in some aspect of medieval history from approximately 500 A.D to 1500 A.D. The subject matter will vary from time to time to reflect the interest of the professor. May be repeated when a different aspect of history is studied.

HIST 6363 Seminar in Modern European History (3-3-0)

Research and/or reading seminar in some aspect of modern European history from approximately 1789 to the present. The subject matter will vary from time to time to reflect the interest of the professor. May be repeated when a different aspect of history is studied.

HIST 6371 Seminar in Asiatic Studies (3-3-0)

Lectures and directed readings on Far Eastern topics. The field of study will vary from the Traditional Far East, Modern China, Japan, and Southeast Asian topics. May be repeated when a different era or area is studied.

HIST 6391, 6392 Thesis (3-3-0)

HIST 6193 Thesis Renewal (1-0-0)

A graduate student who has already enrolled for six hours of thesis credit (6391 and 6392) must be continuously enrolled for all fall and spring semesters until completion of the thesis. Summer enrollment is required if the student anticipates working on the thesis or completing the degree during either summer term. It does not apply toward the total semester hours required for the degree.

A thesis processing fee will be assessed. Note: After beginning work on the thesis, continuous enrollment in Thesis or Thesis Renewal is required for all fall and spring semesters until completion of the thesis. Summer enrollment is required if the student anticipates working on the thesis or completing the degree during either summer term.

Admission Criteria

Applicants for graduate study in history must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Admission to the program requires the program director’s endorsement, which will be based on the following requirements:

  1. Prior academic performance, which will be evaluated in regard to (1) overall GPA (2) GPA in all course work in history, (3) overall upper level GPA, (4) fulfillment of necessary prerequisites (see below), (5) previous graduate course work, and (6) the dates of completion of previous course
  2. Vita.
  3. Three recommendations, at least two of which must be from faculty members at institutions of higher learning attended by the applicant, that speak to the applicant’s academic potential and potential to succeed in the field of
  4. Provide a quality sample of scholarly or critical

Academic Standards

  1. GPA of 3.0 in all upper-level course work (junior and senior level courses) OR overall undergraduate GPA of 70.
  2. GPA of 3.0 in all undergraduate course work in history (a minimum of 18 hours in upper- division work).
  3. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of 153 (500+ prior scale) or better on the verbal sub- test and a minimum score of 4.5 on the analytical writing section of the aptitude test is required of all

Prerequisites

Admission requires a minimum of 18 upper-level undergraduate hours in history. All undergraduate prerequisites and/or transfer work must be approved by the director of the program and the dean of graduate studies.

Departmental Endorsement

Admission to the program requires review and recommendation by the director of the program after endorsement by the History Department faculty.

Application Deadline: October 15 for Spring admissions and February 20 for Fall admissions.

A Master of Arts degree in History at Hardin-Simmons University permits a student the opportunity to apply their passion for historical studies to a career in public education, toward a Ph.D., to employment in the private sector, or a position in local, state or national government.

Students who apply themselves to their studies in the HSU History MA program develop a fundamental knowledge and understanding of and an appreciation for many of the most important people, scientific discoveries, technological advances, and social/political/economic/religious movements that have shaped history within their specific content field.

In addition, students have opportunity to access historical information through the use of library, archival, and technological resources, and communicate the result of their research both orally and in writing.

Those students who select the thesis option, will write a Master’s thesis or scholarly paper based on original research, using primary historical documents and materials.

The members of the history faculty at Hardin-Simmons University possess sound academic credentials and offer a diverse array of courses which reflect their areas of specialization.  These include European, United States, and Classical history, with special strengths in Modern Germany, Imperial Rome, 20th Century United States, Texas and American Southwest.

Mark Beasley, Ph.D. (Texas Christian University, 1997) – Modern United States history, U.S. Diplomatic history, and Texas history; Head, Department of History.

Tiffany Fink, Ph.D. (Texas Tech University, 2003) – History of the American Southwest, and Texas history.

Donathan Taylor, Ph.D. (University of Arkansas, 1997) – Ancient Greek history, Roman Imperial history, Classical Warfare, and Medieval history; Rupert N. Richardson Professor of History.

Rich Traylor, Ph.D. (University of Missouri, 2003) – Colonial U.S. history; Nineteenth-Century U.S. history, Early American religious history, and Early American cultural and intellectual history.

Carol Woodfin, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University, 1997) – Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century European history, Women in History, and European intellectual history.

The Hardin-Simmons Department of History will be an academic community that provides a top-quality history education in a supportive environment both in and out of the classroom.  Our students’ success will be facilitated by a committed faculty who will inspire students to become engaged, thoughtful citizens and life-long learners as they embrace the importance of understanding the richness and complexity of the human experience across cultures, continents, and time.  We will endeavor to teach them critical, analytical, and research skills applicable to numerous potential career paths.