Graduate Program FAQs
Salisbury University offers a Master of Arts Degree in
History with concentrations in the following areas Chesapeake Studies;
Colonial and Revolutionary America; Modern (19th-20th century) United States;
“What types of jobs do most of your graduates find?”
The M.A. in History provides
students with a solid background in research, interpretation, analytical skills,
and logical and incisive writing. As a result students who have finished the
program are well suited to many occupations. Many, of course, will go into
education, either at the secondary or post-secondary level. Others have
found satisfying work in such areas as museum studies (curators, researchers,
etc.), the law profession, many different positions in local, state and federal
government which place a premium on the skills acquired in the master’s program,
as well as in the business world.
“Can I go on for doctoral work after completing the
Master’s degree? Will I be competitive?”
Several of our past graduates have
gone on for further work at the doctoral level and have successfully completed
their work at other institutions. Some have gone on to work in collateral
fields such as anthropology or archaeology, while others have opted to acquire a
second Master’s degree, often in education. We believe that all of our
degree candidates are as fully prepared for further post-graduate work as
possible, but the competitiveness depends to a great extent on such factors as
GRE scores, the over-all GPA, faculty recommendations and the personal
commitment to the pursuit of a doctoral degree.
“How long will it take me to complete the program if I
go full time?”
With a requirement of 30 hours to
complete the program, it is possible to complete the program in a calendar year.
However, most graduate students limit themselves to 9-12 hours per semester,
which is considered to be a full-time student. A more reasonable
expectation is completion within 2 years from the time of initial enrollment.
University regulations set a limit of 7 years to complete all requirements for
the degree from the semester in which the first graduate class is taken.
“Can I be accepted into the program if I was not an
undergraduate History major?”
In general, acceptance into the
program presupposes a solid background in history at the undergraduate level.
The department expects students to have had at least 30 hours of undergraduate
work, including a course in research and writing. Students who lack this
preparation may be admitted provisionally and are expected to make up any such
deficiencies prior to or concurrent with registration for graduate courses.
Specific requirements will be determined by the Graduate Director and the Chair
of the department. All deficiencies are in addition to the 30 hours
required for the M.A. degree.
“Is a thesis required for the M. A.?”
The department offers two options
for completion of the degree, one with a thesis and one without. Students
may decide, in consultation with the Graduate Advisor, which option is most
advantageous. Most often, students who plan on pursuing a doctoral degree
are better advised to choose the thesis option which will provide them with a
stronger foundation for doctoral studies.
“Is there a comprehensive examination required?”
Yes. The department does
require a comprehensive examination based on the student’s work at the graduate
level. At the time of admittance into the program, each student will select one
of the four areas of concentration as a major area and at least one other as a
The examinations are in two parts:
a written exam and an oral exam. The written portion will consist of a
4-hour comprehensive examination in the major area focusing on demonstrated
competency in research and writing, as well as understanding major topics,
themes and events; and a 1-to2-hour examination for each minor area to show the
understanding of topics, themes and events as well as a basic knowledge of the
research and writing of the area. For purposes of definition a major area
is considered to be a minimum of 12 graduate hours and a minor area to be a
minimum of 9 graduate hours. The oral examination is given following
successful completion of the written examination and will entail a 1-2-hour
period involving the student’s committee and focusing primarily upon the major
area of study (including the thesis, if that option is selected). Students
who fail either the written or oral examinations will be allowed a second
attempt, but must do so within one calendar year.
“Will I be able to take classes in the evenings?”
Yes. Since many of our
courses at the graduate level are seminar courses, which meet for a 3-hour
period once a week, and because many of the students in the program hold
day-time jobs, the majority of 600-level courses are offered in the evening as
are many of the 500-level courses which may be taken for graduate credit.
“Is financial aid available?”
At present the department has
limited funds available for graduate assistantships on a highly competitive
basis. Students are invited to inquire about the availability, but should
also contact the financial aid office for further information concerning loans
and other sources of aid.