Requirements for LSU M.A. in History
The basic requirements for the master’s degree are specified in the LSU Graduate Catalog. It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with these requirements and fulfill them. The program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit (students frequently take more) with a thesis—24 hours of coursework and at least 6 hours of thesis research; 36 hours are required for a non-thesis MA. Half the coursework hours for both degrees must be at or above the 7000 level. Graduate students may also take 4000-level courses with a member of the graduate faculty who will assign additional work to earn graduate-level credit. Students may take 7902, Independent Study, no more than twice for a total of 6 credit hours. A non-thesis M.A. is regarded as a terminal degree.
Students in all concentrations must select a major professor with whom they will complete substantial study, including the thesis if the student is writing one. A minor field outside the department is not required for the MA but may be elected; the department’s internal minor field requirement consists of nine semester hours of credit. Reading proficiency in a foreign language is not a general MA requirement, but may be required by a major professor for students working under their direction. The Content Knowledge Concentration requires the same number of hours (30 with thesis; 36 without), but no specific courses are required as the student accumulates those hours.
A final examination committee is chosen when the student nears the end of their program. The student selects 24 hours of study, including work with the major professor, upon which to be examined. The examining committee includes the major professor, the minor professor if a minor field was elected, and one or two others in the department whose specialties coincide with other history work offered for examination. If a student writes a thesis, the examination will be a defense of the thesis. Both thesis and non-thesis MA candidates must complete this examination. The examination on this material is oral. After the completion of the examination, the committee will make a formal recommendation in writing about the suitability of the student for PhD-level work, unless it is a non-thesis MA.
The sequence of courses depends on the area of concentration and on whether or not one writes a thesis. Course work will primarily be in research and reading seminars.
All MA students in an Area Studies Concentration must take a research seminar sequence (HIST 7908 and HIST 7957 for U.S. history; HIST 7908 and HIST 7909 for all other fields of history). If a seminar needed to fulfill the requirements for the course of study is not offered in a given semester, the student may fulfill the requirement through independent study in consultation with the major professor.
All MA students in an Area Studies Concentration must take a minimum of four reading seminars. For students in Modern European or British history these reading seminars will number between HIST 7915 and 7930. Students in American history will take HIST 7904, HIST 7951, HIST 7952, HIST 7956 and HIST 7958 plus two Special Topics seminars numbered HIST 7958 and 7959.
Concentration in US History
First Year (18 hrs)
|7908: Introduction to Historical Research (3 hrs.)||
7957: Research Seminar in American History (3 hrs.)
|7951: Reading Seminar in American History from 1607 to 1815 (3 hrs.)||7952: Reading Seminar in American History from 1815-1890 (3 hrs)|
|7958 or 7959: Special topics in American History (3 hrs.)||7958 or 7959: Special Topics in American History (3 hrs.)|
2nd Year (18 hours) with Thesis
|7904: American Historiography & Criticism (3 hrs)||Thesis research (8000)|
|7956: Reading Seminar in American History, 1890-present (3hrs)|
|3 hours of Thesis Research (8000)|
HIST 8000 may be taken for up to 9 hours a semester. However, only 6 hours will count toward fulfilling the requirements for the M.A.
2nd Year (18 hours) without Thesis
|7904: American Historiography & Criticism (3 hrs.)||9 hours of history electives|
|7956: Reading Seminar in American History, 1890-present (3 hrs.)|
|History elective (3 hrs.)|
Concentration in Latin American History
A program will be devised to meet the student’s preferences, to include 4 reading seminars, 1 or 2 research seminars, thesis research if applicable, and additional history electives and/or outside minor fields.
Concentration in European or British History
The specific course selection and sequence will vary to fit the concentration chosen.
1st Year (18 hrs) with Thesis
|7908: Intro. to Historical Research (3 hrs.)||7909: Research Seminar in European Hist. (3 hrs.)|
|7915 to 7930:1 Reading Seminar, depending on offerings (3 hrs)*||7915 to 7930: 1 Reading Seminar, depending on offerings (3 hrs.)*|
|1 elective in History or Minor Field (3 hrs.)||1 elective in History or Minor Field (3 hrs.)|
2nd Year (18 hours) with Thesis
|7915 to 7930: 2 Reading Seminars, depending on offerings (6 hrs.)*||8000: Thesis Research (3 hrs.)|
|8000: Thesis Research (3 hrs.)||Electives (6 hrs.)|
1st Year (18 hrs) without Thesis
|7908: Intro. to Historical Research (3 hrs.)||7915 to 7930: 1 Reading Seminar, depending on offerings (3 hrs.)*|
|7915 to 7930: 1 Reading Seminar, depending on offerings (3 hrs.)*||7909: Research Seminar in European History (3 hrs.)|
|1 Elective in History or Minor Field||1 Elective in History or Minor Field|
2nd Year (18 hours) without Thesis
|7915 to 7930: 2 Reading Seminars, depending on offerings (6 hrs.)*||3 Electives in History or Minor Fiel|
|1 Elective in History or Minor Field|
At the end of their second year non-thesis students may elect to write a thesis and extend their residency and registration accordingly.
* Students concentrating in Europe to 1650 may substitute a History Elective for one of the Reading Seminars.
Content Knowledge Concentration
Students in our content knowledge concentration can take any combination of area-focused seminars whether they be in British, European, Latin American, World, or U.S. History. Students in this concentration can also take 4000-level courses with a member of the graduate faculty who will assign additional work to earn graduate-level credit. Content Knowledge Concentration students may also take HIST 7902 (Independent Study with a member of the graduate faculty) no more than twice for a total of 6 credit hours.
Despite the requirement differences, students in the content knowledge concentration are required to complete 36 hours OR 30 hours with a thesis (for which they take 6 hours of HIST 8000). Students complete exit exams – whether thesis or non-thesis – in the same way students in the Area Studies Concentrations do (see above). Although many students in this concentration may opt to attend part time, students will still be required to meet the Graduate School’s five-year time clock for completion of the MA. The Dept. of History intends to provide two courses for graduate credit each summer, making it possible for a student taking one class each regular semester and two classes each summer to complete the MA in three years.
Dual Degree Program in History and Library and Information Science
The basic requirements for the dual degree program are the same for the regular non-thesis MA program in the Department of History and the MLIS program in the School of Library and Information Science. The dual degree program, however, has been designed to allow the student to complete the 36 credit hours for the MA and the 36 credit hours of the MLIS by completing a total of 60 hours. A Request for Dual Degree form must be submitted to the Graduate School in order to be admitted to this program.
Elective courses in the School of Library and Information Sciences eligible for credit for the History M.A. degree:
LIS 7200, 7201, 7202, 7203, 7408, 7504, 7505, 7509, 7604, 7611, 7700, 7701, 7702, 7703, 7010 on a case-by-case basis, and 7913.
Elective courses in the Department of History eligible for credit for the MLIS degree:
Any two three-hour graduate courses at the 7000-level in the Department of History.
For more information on the MLIS program visit: