History Department

The Thesis Plan

Students may apply to the department’s Graduate Committee for approval to write a thesis after they have completed nine units in the program. The Graduate Committee will approve thesis applications based on project feasibility, the student’s relevant language training, and faculty workload and availability, and if it can be shown that the proposed thesis will make an original and significant contribution to historical knowledge. Normally, a faculty member cannot chair more than two theses at the same time.

Typically, a thesis should not exceed seventy pages in length.

Before the end of the first academic year, the student must, therefore, constitute and consult with their Graduate Advisory Committee and prepare a thesis prospectus for submission to the Department Graduate Committee, along with a completed Master's Degree Program Plan (PDF) form. The prospectus should describe the student's thesis topic and provide a working list of both secondary and primary sources (listed separately) that will be consulted. The student should seek to demonstrate adequate knowledge of the historiographic literature in their field, and that sufficient and accessible primary materials exist so that a genuinely original work can be produced.

Upon completion of the thesis and its acceptance by the student's Graduate Advisory Committee, an oral examination will be scheduled to which all members of the Department may be invited.  At this oral examination the student will be asked to defend the thesis.

Thesis formatting and submission instructions, Office of Graduate Studies


Recently completed theses: