History M.A. FAQs
Where can I find out more about the M.A. program in History at Western?
Information about the program, history faculty, admission requirements and application information is available on our website at http://www.wou.edu/las/socsci/history/ma_history.php
The History Department application procedures indicate I need to submit GRE scores. What are these?
The GRE is the Graduate Record Examination. It is one method that the history department uses to evaluate your preparation and readiness for graduate-level work. The GRE General Test consists of three parts -- Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The history department at Western does not require students to take a subject test, only the general test. For more information about the examination, preparation, and scheduling please visit the GRE website at http://www.ets.org/gre/
Yes! MA students may use HL 218 as a shared study room. MA Students will comply with the agreement between the history department and library regarding the use of this study room.
The Office of Graduate Studies at Western requires students to apply for graduation in the term before the term in which they wish to graduate (10-15 weeks before their expected completion date).
Students need to complete a form titled "Application for Completion of Master's Degree" and file that with a $50 application fee at the graduate office (Administration Building 107).
Here is the form: Application for Completion of a Masters Degree
How do I apply, prepare for and complete comprehensive examinations?
MA students must notify the History M.A. Graduate Coordinator in writing of their intention to take comprehensive exams prior to the term in which they plan to take comprehensive exams. Before proceeding with the next step, students must meet with History M.A. Graduate Coordinator to complete and secure signatures for the Exam Clearance form.
Students must complete all coursework required for the degree in the term prior to the one in which they take the comprehensive exams (i.e. comprehensive exams may not be taken during the same term in which the student is enrolled in coursework required for the degree). Comprehensive exams may be taken in Fall, Winter, or Spring term. Comprehensive exams are not offered during Summer term. Students should plan their program so as to complete all course requirements prior to the term in which they plan to graduate.
After securing all required signatures on the Exam Clearance form, the student must contact the History M.A. Graduate Coordinator to arrange the time and date of the written examination. Students must complete both their written and oral comprehensive examinations no later than two weeks before the end of the term in order to graduate that term.
The History M.A. Graduate Coordinator will send each student a notice of the date and time scheduled for the comprehensive written exam at least one week prior to the date of the exam, and students must confirm, in writing, receipt of this information and their intention to participate no later than the day before the date for which the exam is scheduled.
The questions are intended to examine the student’s preparation in the field for which the faculty offered coursework. The questions are not necessarily restricted to the specific material covered in the particular course(s) in which the student enrolled. Students preparing for the comprehensive exams, therefore, should schedule a meeting with each member of their examining committee to discuss what they should do to prepare for the exams, and to discuss the general scope of the questions that they will be expected to answer. Regardless of how faculty construct the questions that they offer, they are restricted to offering an allocation of questions based on the following ratio: each graduate-level course that they offered and which a graduate student successfully completed qualifies that professor to offer no more than two questions for the written portion of the comprehensive exams for that particular graduate student.
The History M.A. Graduate Coordinator will compile the written exam in consultation with the student’s primary area advisor of record, using questions offered by members of the examining committee. Questions will be grouped into two separate sections of the exam: primary area questions, and secondary area questions. The exam will be structured to reflect the general ratio of coursework in which the student enrolled in each area. This means that students should expect to answer more questions from faculty with whom they took a greater number of courses, and fewer questions from those with whom they took a smaller number of courses.
Students will report to the Social Science Division Office (HSS 231) to begin their exams at the time scheduled by pre-arrangement with the History M.A. Graduate Coordinator. Students will write their exams in blue books or on a secure computer provided to the Division office by the graduate school, following the time constraints and other guidelines specified in the exam at the time they report to the division office to begin the exam.
Students will answer a total of seven questions on the written exam, which will be structured so as to allow for a response time of approximately one question per hour.
Students will complete the written exam within one day, including a 4-hour primary area section, a 1-hour break for lunch, and a 3-hour secondary area section.
Pass With Distinction
Students who fail the written portion of the comprehensive examination will be required to retake one or both areas of the exam, at the discretion of their examining committee, before they will be allowed to proceed to the oral portion of the comprehensive exams.
In order to qualify for a re-take of any portion of the written exam, the student must first secure “clearance” for the retake from their primary area advisor, the History M.A. Graduate Coordinator, and the director of graduate programs at Western Oregon University. This clearance process will require the student to meet individually with each signer, and the primary area advisor and History M.A. Graduate Coordinator also may require meetings with other members of the examining committee before authorizing the student to proceed further with the clearance process.
There will be one retake allowed for the written portion of the exam.
Upon receiving notification that the student has successfully completed the written portion of the exam, the student’s primary area advisor will work with the History M.A. Graduate Coordinator to schedule the oral examination.
The oral may last for up to two hours and will be scheduled accordingly.
The oral will have the same grading scale as for written examinations.
At least two faculty members from a student’s primary area and one from the secondary area will attend the oral.