Degree Requirements For Graduate Study at UIC

Master of Arts in History (Stand-alone)

MA students concentrate on one major and two minor fields of study.

  • The minor fields must be distinct in space or time from the major field.

MA Degree Requirements:

  • Earn a grade of A or B in History 501, Introduction to the Graduate Study of History. This course is ordinarily taken during the first semester of graduate study.
  • Complete at least 32 credit hours in graduate-level courses. At least 20 of these credit hours must be taken in courses at the 500 level and at least 16 of those credit hours must be in 500 level courses taught by members of the graduate faculty in the Department of History. Students enrolled in courses listed at the 400 level will be expected to undertake extra work or demonstrate a higher standard of proficiency. No student may receive graduate credit for a course below the 400 level.
  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0
  • Earn a grade of A or B in one research seminar. The research seminar requires preparation of a major research paper based on primary sources.
  • Complete the colloquia series required for the student's major and minor fields. (Students majoring in Colonial America and the United States are required to pass History 551 parts 1 and 2. Students majoring in other fields should consult with their faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies to determine which colloquia are required.)
  • Demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language. This is normally done by taking the Foreign Language Exam. Faculty advisors may require that students demonstrate competence in additional languages if they deem it necessary for the field of study.
  • Successfully pass Comprehensive Exams in two minor fields and one major field.

Note: Any exceptions to these requirements must have the support of the student's faculty advisor and the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee

New Students see also:http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/newstudentinformation.html

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Master of Arts in History (Doctoral-track)

The requirements for the MA (Doctoral-track) are the same as the requirements for the MA (Stand-alone), except:
Students do not take Comprehensive Exams, and

Students must pass a review of their work in their final semester, including (but not necessarily limited to) grades, recommendations, and a writing sample. Students who do not pass this review will need to fulfill the requirements of the MA in History (Stand-alone).

Master of Arts in Teaching of History
See Master of Arts in Teaching Website: http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/teacherEd.html

See also : http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/TeacherEd/degrees.html

New Students see also:http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/newstudentinformation.html

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PhD Program

The graduate faculty offers training at the PhD level for a select number of advanced graduate students. Admission is restricted to those students who, in the opinion of the graduate faculty, have demonstrated the potential to make a significant contribution to scholarship. All incoming PhD students must consult with a faculty advisor to plan an appropriate program of study. It is particularly important that students make the necessary arrangements to obtain adequate preparation in the one major and three minor fields in which they are to be examined. The graduate faculty expects full-time students to take their preliminary examinations during their second year and to defend their dissertation at some point within the next four years. The Graduate College requires students to complete their PhD degree within seven years of their admission to the PhD program, and within five years after passing the preliminary examination.

Students entering the PhD Program with a master's degree from another department or discipline may be required to complete additional coursework which is specified upon admission.

Note: Any exceptions to these requirements must have the support of the student's faculty advisor and the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee

New Students see also:http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/newstudentinformation.html

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Requirements for the PhD

  • Earn a grade of A or B in History 501-Introduction to the Graduate Study of History. This course is ordinarily taken in the first year of graduate study. This requirement can be waived for students who took History 501 as UIC MA candidates or who completed an equivalent course in another History MA program.
  • Earn a grade of A or B in History 591-Preparation for Preliminary Examinations and Dissertation Prospectus (eight credit hours).
  • Earn a grade of A or B in two research seminars. Research seminars require preparation of a major research paper based on primary sources. (Students entering the program with an MA degree in History may be exempted from one of the research seminars.)
  • Complete 64 credit hours in graduate-level courses (400 or 500 level) beyond the MA (includes 48 hours of thesis research, see below...) . At least 12 of these credit hours must be in courses that are taught at the 500 level by members of the graduate faculty in the Department of History. No student may receive graduate credit for a course at the 100, 200, or 300 level. Should a student enroll in a 400-level course, which is also open to advanced undergraduates, the instructor has the right to require the student to undertake extra work or to demonstrate a higher standard of proficiency.
  • Students must take 16 of these credit hours prior to the preliminary examination. The remainder may be earned in History 599-Thesis Research-in which the student enrolls while preparing the dissertation.
  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 4.00.
  • Successfully complete any colloquia required for the student's major or minor fields. Students majoring in the history of colonial America and the United States are required to pass the two-semester historiograpical colloquium series History 551A and 551B. Students majoring in other fields are required to complete colloquia on appropriate topics. To find out which colloquia are required, students should consult their faculty advisor. The faculty advisor can waive all or part of these requirements if the student already obtained an MA in history.
  • Demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language. This requirement is usually met by passing the Foreign Language Exam. The requirement may be waived for students who received an MA in history from UIC.
  • Successfully pass Preliminary Examinations in one major field and three minor fields.
  • Successfully pass an oral dissertation prospectus defense. Students must prepare a dissertation prospectus, and defend it before a committee consisting of the student's advisor and at least two other dissertation committee members.
  • Complete and defend a dissertation that is an original and significant contribution to historical scholarship.
  • Note: Any exceptions to these requirements must have the support of the student's faculty advisor and the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee.
  • Note: Students will receive credit at the PhD level for any requirements that they have fulfilled at the MA level.

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    The Dissertation in History at UIC

    Prospectus Defense
    Following successful completion of preliminary exams students begin to develop dissertation proposals. Students must work closely with their advisors to prepare for an oral defense of the proposal. The student and the chair agree on a proposal committee consisting of at least three faculty members. The chair, who is usually the student's mentor, must be a member of the graduate faculty. The chair is responsible for ensuring that the student prepare a dissertation prospectus for submission to the dissertation prospectus committee for discussion, comment, and approval. Should the student subsequently change topics, he must inform the committee of this fact in writing and submit a new prospectus.

    Dissertation Prospectus
    The dissertation prospectus is a prospective description that students write about their proposed dissertations. It typically contains four parts:

    1. The topic or question that is to be investigated, and the conclusion(s) that is (are) expected to be reached.
    2. The base of sources that will be used as evidence. If oral interviews are to be conducted, then the prospectus will show how these will be conducted in a way that is consistent with professional ethics and UIC regulations.
    3. The state of the question in scholarly publications, and the dissertation's relationship to it.
    4. The way(s) in which the conclusion(s) of the dissertation constitute(s) an advance in knowledge.

    The prospectus will be 20-25 pages in length (including bibliography). In order to demonstrate good academic progress toward the degree, the doctoral student will normally defend the prospectus within six months of passing preliminary exams, and not more than 12 months thereafter. The committee judging the prospectus will normally include at least three people who are likely to serve on the dissertation defense committee.

    The prospectus does not increase the student's time to complete the dissertation, because the work undertaken to complete the prospectus is work that needs to be done to write the dissertation.

    When the prospectus has been successfully defended, the student becomes a doctoral candidate. The eventual dissertation may differ from the prospectus through addition, subtraction, or modification, but to the extent that the dissertation follows its prospectus, it cannot be substantially criticized or rejected for having done so. In other words, the successfully defended prospectus constitutes a compact between the student and the department as to what kind of product will be deemed acceptable to the department.

    Dissertation Research
    Candidates should work closely with their advisors and keep their dissertation committees informed of their progress. It is the responsibility of dissertation advisor to decide when the candidate is to submit all or part of the work-in-progress to the other members of the dissertation committee. Students should register their dissertations with the American Historical Association so that they can be listed in Dissertations in Progress.

    If for some reason the student's original mentor no longer wishes to supervise a candidate's dissertation, the faculty member must inform both the candidate and the Director of Graduate Studies in writing. If a candidate wishes to change mentors, the candidate must secure the consent of another member of the graduate faculty and notify the current mentor and the Director of Graduate Studies in writing. If a mentor is for any reason unable to supervise a candidate, the candidate, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, is responsible for securing an appropriate alternate.

    When the candidate in the judgment of the mentor, is nearing completion of the dissertation, the proposal defense committee will be broadened to include a total of five members. The committee is nominated by the student's mentor and approved by the Dean of the Graduate College. Graduate College regulations mandate that the dissertation defense committee consist of five faculty members, at least two of whom must be tenured members of the graduate faculty, and at least one of whom must have an appointment outside the Department of History. At the request of the adviser, the Graduate Secretary will schedule the dissertation defense.

    Dissertation Defense
    The dissertation defense is oral and focuses on the dissertation's finding, methods, and significance. In attendance are the members of a specially constituted dissertation defense committee. The dissertation defense is ordinarily scheduled approximately within five weeks after the mentor and a second reader have given the dissertation their tentative approval. This time period is intended to give the remaining members of the committee sufficient time to evaluate the dissertation.

    The committee may accept the dissertation as it stands, reject it outright, or accept it conditionally pending certain revisions. The revisions can range from minor editorial changes to a major recasting of a substantial portion of the text. Ordinarily, the committee delegates to the mentor the responsibility for ensuring that these conditions are met. All dissertations must meet the format and stylistic requirements of the Graduate College.

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    Foreign Language Requirement for Graduate Study in History at UIC
    Graduate students who are candidates for the MA and the PhD need to demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign langauge.

    1. Students can satisfy the requirement either by passing the exam or by getting a grade of "A" or "B" in either a foreign language reading course for graduate students, or in a foreign language course at the 104 level (fourth semester of college language) taken within two years before taking comprehensive or preliminary exams. Students who fail the exam three times will not be allowed to continue in the program.
    2. Students who fail the foreign language exam the first time will be strongly encouraged to take a course in the language. Students who fail the foreign language exam a second time will be instructed to take a course in the language.
    3. Students must satisfy the foreign language requirement for the language most relevant to their studeies and research, and the student's advisor will determine what that language is.
    4. A student may, with the approval of his or her advisor, petition the GAC to be excused from the foreign language requirement if no foreign language is relevant to his or her studies and research.
    5. This requirement must be completed the semester before the student takes the comprehensive and preliminary exams.

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