All students seeking admission must take the general test of the Graduate Record Examination. This is a departmental requirement.
The formal application must include a brief personal statement outlining the applicant’s career goals and expectations of graduate study in Colorado State University’s Department of History.
The applicant must provide three letters of recommendation, at least two of which must be from academics, preferably historians. These letters must be accompanied by the Recommendation for Admission form. This form can be found on our website.
Before beginning classes for the first time, the student should meet with the Graduate Studies Committee’s Chair to obtain appropriate orientation.
After completing 12 semester credits appropriate to the student’s graduate program or by the end of the second term of enrollment as a graduate student (whichever occurs first), the graduate student must formally establish a Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC) by completing the GS form 6. At this time the student must meet with the Graduate Studies Chair for guidance in completing this document and obtain signatures from faculty who agree to serve on the committee. Graduate School rules stipulate that students who fail to complete the GS form 6 will not be permitted to register for subsequent graduate classes.
Composition of Committees. The Graduate School requires that the faculty members of a graduate committee meet one of the four following criteria: 1) be an academic faculty member at CSU; 2) be a current “faculty affiliate”; 3) hold a joint appointment in an academic department; or 4) have Graduate School approval for specific committee service. The Graduate School also requires that the committee include an advisor or co-advisors, additional committee members, and one outside field member. In practical terms, this means that committees include a minimum of two members of the History Department and one representing an outside field, that is, a faculty member not affiliated with the History Department. In addition to these criteria, the History Department also requires that the committee include a specialist in the student’s major field and a specialist in the student’s minor field (see point 14 for a description of major and minor fields).
All students must make “satisfactory progress” in their graduate program, which includes maintaining a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in courses required for the M.A. degree. Additionally, history graduate students will not receive credit toward the M.A. degree for any HIST5xx/HIST6xx course where the grade is lower than B-. If judged deficient by their adviser and/or GAC, they may be recommended for academic probation, termination of assistantships and/or immediate dismissal from the graduate program (see “Scholastic Standards” and “Assistantships” in the current Graduate and Professional Bulletin). The student has the right to appeal these decisions (see “Graduate School Appeals Procedure: Adopted by Faculty Council, October 5, 1999").
Only 6 credits of HIST695 (Independent Study) may be counted toward the M.A. degree in history. When the student’s GAC deems that special circumstances warrant additional work of this kind, it must submit a petition to the Graduate Studies Committee explaining the need for the exemption. The Department subscribes to the University policy that a student’s graduate program consist primarily of “regular course work” - that is, courses other than independent or group studies, open seminars, thesis credits, U.S. travel or study abroad, supervised college teaching, practicum/internship, etc. At present, history regular courses include: 501, 502, 503,504, 511, 512, 515, 520, 521, 530, 531, 532, 533, 540, 611, 621, and 640.
A maximum of 1 credit per semester is allowed for HIST684, Supervised College Teaching, earned as a graduate teaching assistant. Only 3 credits of HIST684 may be counted toward the M.A. degree in history. History graduate students may apply only 6 total credits of HIST699, Thesis, to their 30-33 minimum credit M.A. program. This limit, subject to the discretion of a student’s individual graduate advisory committee, may be appealed to the Graduate Studies Committee. All grades for work in HIST684 and HIST699 will be recorded as S or U.
According the CSU Graduate School's Graduate & Professional Bulletin (H.2.7): "All students admitted to a graduate degree program are required to be continuously enrolled in their degree programs in the fall and spring semesters. This policy applies from the time of first enrollment through the graduate term. Students should contact their advisor if they do not plan to register for at least one credit of course work or research. Students graduating in summer term are required to be registered for at least one credit or Continuous Registration (CR). Students registering for CR will be assessed a fee for each semester of CR registration."
There is a ten-year limit for completion of the M.A. degree. Courses to be applied toward fulfilling degree requirements, including any graduate level courses transferred from another institution, “must have been registered for and completed within the ten years immediately preceding the date of completion of requirements for the degree.” (Graduate and Professional Bulletin)
The grade of “I” (incomplete) is a temporary grade awarded when, for unanticipated reasons, a student cannot complete a course. When an “I” is assigned, the instructor shall specify in writing the requirements that the student must fulfill to complete the course. After one year, or at the end of the semester in which the student graduates (whichever comes first), an “I” will automatically be changed to an “F” (failure) unless the incomplete requirements are satisfied and the instructor submits a grade change. Students must clear all grades of incomplete before taking their final examination recorded on the GS form 24.
At the beginning of the graduation semester the student must complete GS form 25, stating the intention to graduate and noting academic program changes that differ from GS form 6.
A written as well as an oral final examination is required of all graduate students during the semester in which they apply for graduation. These examinations are designed to evaluate the student's historical knowledge in two fields, one major and one minor, at the end of her or his graduate program. Upon forming an M.A. Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC), the student will schedule a meeting of the committee to determine the student's two examination fields. These fields will be based on reading seminars and readings completed in other history courses taken at Colorado State University and will be in World, Europe, U.S., and Public history. These fields will be broad, rigorous, and consistent with the highest standards of the history profession, and will require substantial course work and reading in preparation. The student will master at least 30 books and scholarly articles in the major field. The student will master at least 15 books and scholarly articles in the minor field. The student and GAC together may devise study questions or other study methods that will help guide the student's preparation and that may form the basis of the final examinations.
The student may take the up to 4‑hour final written exam upon completion of all the readings required for the fields and no sooner than the last semester of required course work. Each member of the student's GAC from the Department of History will prepare one exam question and will grade (fail, pass) the student's answer to that question. During the four hour examination, students will have 2 and one half hours to write on a question(s) related to their major field, and one and one half hours to write on question(s) related to their minor field. If the exam is less than four hours, the time allotted for major and minor fields questions will be proportional to the ratio of 5:3 used for a four-hour exam. If the student fails a question, she or he must retake that part of the written exam within one semester. When the student has passed each part of the written exam, the committee chair will notify the student, who will then schedule a final oral examination with the Graduate Advisory Committee in accordance with current Graduate School deadlines.
The final oral examination may take up to 2 hours and may build on the student's written examination as well as cover the student's Plan A thesis or major Plan B seminar papers. At the end of the oral examination, the student's committee will excuse the student and then decide by majority vote if the student has failed or passed. A student who fails a portion of the written final examination, or who fails a final oral examination, may be required to take extra course work or to complete additional readings, as determined by the GAC. A second unsatisfactory performance may constitute grounds for academic probation or dismissal from the program.
When scheduling the final examinations, the student and her or his GAC must keep in mind graduation deadlines (see the Graduate School's website,http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/Grad, for exact dates). The student and GAC should schedule a sufficient interval between written and oral exams to allow students time to remedy weaknesses or failures in the written examinations.
Immediately following successful completion of the master’s oral examination, the student’s GAC members will sign GS form 24 attesting to satisfactory completion of the Master’s degree in history. The student must submit GS form 24 to the Graduate School according to the date stipulated on the form.