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MA Program

The History Department offers three MA programs and a Qualifying Year option.

MA History (non-thesis)
MA History (thesis)
MA History of Medicine (non-thesis)
Qualifying Year

DESCRIPTION OF MA PROGRAMS

The MA by course and research essay and the MA by thesis are of equally high quality and rigour. Should you wish to apply for a PhD elsewhere after completing your master's, McGill's highly regarded history programs will help make you a strong candidate for further graduate scholarship.

For those thinking of going on for the PhD in History, we recommend the MA by course and research essay, because it gives greater breadth of foundation. Students accepted into the MA in History of Medicine must follow the MA by course and research essay.

MA (Non-thesis) (45 credits)

18 credits: graduate history seminar courses
12 credits: required courses (HIST 684, 685, 686)
15 credits: research paper (HIST 687, 688)

Students take three graduate history seminar courses in the fall term and three courses in the winter term (18 credits in total). Courses taken must be approved by an advisor in the Department of History and Classical Studies. We recommend that you take  the "Historiography”/"Historical Methods" sequence as part of your program.

12 credits: required courses, 1st/2nd semesters
To prepare students for the research paper to be submitted in the third semester, the following three courses are to be taken in the first and second semesters.

HIST 684—Research Proposal (3 cr.), fall
A research proposal is to be submitted by the end of the fall term.
HIST 685—Directed Research (3 cr.), fall
Investigation of a specialized topic under the supervision of a faculty member (linked to research proposal mentioned above).
HIST 686—Bibliography Tutorial (6 cr.), winter
A bibliography is to be submitted by the end of the winter term.
Note that HIST 684, 685, and 686 will be graded on a pass/fail basis.

15 credits: research paper, 3rd semester

HIST 687—MA Paper 1 (9 cr.)
HIST 688—MA Paper 2 (6 cr.)

In the spring and summer, you will develop one of your seminar papers into a major research essay (35-50 pages in length) under the direction of a member of the McGill History Department, probably the person with whom you took the relevant seminar. The research paper is worth 15 credits and is normally due in mid-July.

We anticipate that you will complete this program within 12 months.
Students in the MA program may take, with the approval of the Department,

a) Up to 6 credits outside of the department/university. For courses outside of the university, the on-line “Interuniversity Transfer Form” must be completed. Refer to the websites of History departments at Concordia, Université de Montréal or Université du Québec à Montréal for available graduate seminar courses. Both universities must approve the courses taken, and it is best to make arrangements to register for these courses as soon as possible, as space may not be available. Please note, only credits for courses taken at other universities will transfer to your student record, not the grades. Students must also keep in mind that a McGill History professor must supervise the final major research paper or the thesis.

b) One seminar course (up to 6 credits) may be replaced by the graduate tutorial, HIST 655 Tutorial or HIST 699 Tutorial , if a professor is willing to supervise a paper and a seminar is not available in a field judged necessary to complete the program.

MA (Thesis) (45 credits)

12 credits: graduate history seminar courses
21 credits: required courses (HIST 696 and HIST 697)
12 credits: MA thesis (HIST 698)

In this program, you take 33 credits in the fall term and winter terms, 12 of which are seminars. We recommend that you take the HIST 678 Historiography / HIST 679 Historical Methods  sequence as part of your program.

Under the supervision of a professor in our department, you will also write a master's thesis (maximum 100 pages) that may or may not be related to the subject of your research seminar(s). It is not always possible to write on the exact subject you would wish; the range of subjects depends on the expertise and availability of professors in our department. However, it is best to contact the professor in your field of interest early to be sure that he/she is willing and able to supervise your thesis work. The thesis is worth 12 credits.
Students in the MA program may take, with the approval of the Department,
a) Up to 6 credits outside of the department. Only up to 4 credits may be taken outside of the university. For courses outside of the university, the on-line “Interuniversity Transfer Form” must be completed. Refer to the websites of History departments at Concordia, Université de Montréal or Université du Québec à Montréal for available graduate seminar courses. Both universities must approve the courses taken and it is best to make arrangements to register for these courses as soon as possible as space may not be available. Please note, only credits for courses taken at other universities will transfer to your student record, not the grades. Students must also keep in mind that a McGill History professor must supervise the final major research paper or the thesis.
b) One seminar course (up to 6 credits) may be replaced by the graduate tutorial, HIST 655 Tutorial or HIST 699 Tutorial , if a professor is willing to offer such a course and a seminar is not available in a field judged necessary to complete the program. Note: Students in the MA (thesis) may not ask their thesis supervisor to also supervise the graduate, HIST 655 Tutorial or HIST 699 Tutorial .

MA (Non-thesis History of Medicine)

Candidates must have a background in either history (Honours BA in History, or equivalent) or a degree in one of the health professions.
The program requires the completion of 45 credits, composed of 18 graduate seminars/tutorial credits, plus a major research paper (15 credits).
Graduate seminars in the History of Medicine: (please check the Class Schedule on Minerva in mid-March for an up-to-date listing of seminars offered in the year you will begin your MA Program)

TUTORIALS

HIST 655 Tutorial (approach a Professor regarding supervision of paper) or HIST 699 Tutorial (approach a Professor regarding supervision of paper)

We recommend that you takethe HIST 678 Historiography/HIST 679 Historical Methods sequence as part of your program. Students may also take 6 credits in graduate credits in Social Studies of Medicine.

In the spring and summer, you will develop one of your papers from a history of medicine seminar or tutorial into a major research essay (35-50 pages in length) under the direction of a member or associate member of the McGill History department. The research paper is worth 15 credits and is normally due in mid-July. We anticipate that you will complete this program within 12 months.

FUNDING

For information on graduate funding opportunities and awards, click here

QUALIFYING YEAR

Candidates lacking the regular requirements may be admitted to a qualifying year program, if the Graduate Committee of the Department of History and Classical Studies feels that it would be beneficial to the applicant in acquiring the background knowledge needed to re-apply to the MA program. Normally, candidates in a qualifying year program register for 24 upper-level (300+) undergraduate credits in history, 12 of which must be in 400 or 500 level seminar courses.

NOTE: To continue on for the master's, candidates in a qualifying year must re-apply for the master's program during that year. In the Qualifying Year, a minimum grade of 70% in each course is required, with an overall CGPA of 3.3. Competitive admission procedures apply to all future admissions to the MA program.

Information on fees is available on Student Accounts or your
"e-Billing" account for fee information. Qualifying students will be charged tuition fees at the per-credit rate and will be subject to student society fees, student services fees, registration and transcripts charges, and information technology charges.