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Graduate Program

Introduction

Tulane’s graduate program is highly selective. It is both small enough to ensure plenty of faculty-student engagement and large enough to allow students to pursue research within broad chronological, geographic and thematic fields. We encourage students to develop the widest possible range of methodological skills in dealing with historical sources. The faculty in the Department of History have broad teaching and research interests, with particularly strong major fields in United States history (especially the U.S. South), Latin American history; Britain; Europe from the Renaissance to the present; and ancient and medieval Europe. In addition, minor fields are offered in a variety of geographic, transnational and thematic fields.

The city of New Orleans, where Tulane is located, offers varied research opportunities. With its unique French, African, and Spanish heritage and its successive waves of immigrants, New Orleans has been and remains a city with a remarkably rich and multi-layered past. Records of this past–scattered throughout the city–are a constant reminder of the complexity of the human condition even to those whose research interests lie elsewhere.

Overview

Below is a summary of the graduate degree requirements in History at Tulane University. For more complete details and other information, be sure to read the Regulations and Procedures of the Graduate Program.

We offer the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the Master of Arts (M.A.). The Master of Arts program has two different tracks: the "Thesis" and "Non-thesis" options. The M.A. with thesis degree is usually taken by students who wish to earn a Ph.D. degree. The non-thesis option is a terminal degree. The department also offers an Accelerated Master of Arts for Tulane Undergraduate Majors in History only. Undergraduates can apply for admittance to the Graduate Program in History after completing 75 credit hours, and can count 12 credit hours of appropriate level course work in history towards an M.A. degree. Candidates for this degree can select the thesis or non-thesis option, and could reasonably expect to earn a M.A. degree in one year, following their undergraduate degree.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Students must earn their M.A. degree before being admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. Candidates working for the Ph.D. must complete the following program:

  • Obtain the M.A. degree with thesis, including required historiography and methodology courses: HIST 7001 “Seminar in Historical Practice” in the fall semester of their first year and HIST 7003 “Historiography and Methodology I”, before the start of their second year. HIST 7003 is normally taken as independent studies over the summer.
  • Complete at least a further twelve credits of course work, including HIST 7005 “Historiography and Methodology II” before the start of their third year. HIST 7005 is normally taken as independent studies over the summer.
  • Students must include in their course work at least three 7000-level seminars in addition to the required seminar HIST 7001 “Seminar in Historical Practice” (independent studies do not count as a seminar). Courses taken outside of the department of history require approval of your advisor. The course work can be divided into two or three fields.
  • Complete two required writing courses: HIST 7006 “Intermediate Historical Writing” normally taken over the summer before the second year and HIST 7007 “Advanced Historical Writing”, normally taken in the summer before the start of the third year.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in two languages (one language for students whose first field is United States or Britain from 1500).
  • Teach for two semesters.
  • Complete HIST 7008 “Professional Development and Documentation”, leading to the successful compilation and defense of the portfolio.
  • Write an acceptable dissertation, and defend this in an oral examination.

Master of Arts(thesis option)

Candidates for the M.A. degree with thesis must:

  • Complete twenty-four hours of course work at either the 6000 or 7000-level in two fields, with a minimum of twelve and a maximum of 18 hours in a major field. Students must take as part of their course work the required course HIST 7001 “Seminar in Historical Practice” in the fall semester of their first year, the required methodology courses HIST 7003 ‘Historiography and Methodology I” before the start of their second year, and the required writing course HIST 7006 “Intermediate Historical Writing” before the start of their second year. Courses taken outside of the department of history require approval of your advisor.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language.
  • Submit and successfully defend a thesis (usually a revised and expanded research paper produced for HIST 7006 “Intermediate Historical Writing”).

Master of Arts (non-thesis option)

This option is regarded as a terminal degree and should not be chosen by students who plan to proceed to a Ph.D.

To obtain an M.A. without a thesis, students must complete the requirements below by the end of fourth semester:

  • Complete thirty hours of course work at either the 6000 or 7000-level in two or three fields, with a minimum of twelve and a maximum of 18 hours in a major field. Students must take as part of their course work the required course HIST 7001”Seminar in Historical Practice” in the fall semester of their first year. Students should also take as many 7000 level courses as possible. Courses taken outside of the department of history require approval of your advisor.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language.
  • Pass a written comprehensive examination in the major field.

Accelerated Master of Arts Program
Open to Newcomb-Tulane students only.

This option, also termed the "4+1", is available only to Tulane undergraduates and will enable a student to obtain an M.A. in one year.

M.A. in History for Tulane University Employees
Employees at Tulane University may use the employee tuition waiver system to take graduate level courses at in the Department of History to earn an M.A. degree, subject to the limitations and policies of this program.
Click here for the application