MA Degree Evaluation Criteria

The principle considerations in evaluating MA students are whether they are performing at a level to be expected of masters students, and whether they are proceeding expeditiously with a coherent program of studies. To be considered to be making satisfactory progress toward the MA degree and to have potential for consideration for promotion to the PhD program an MA student must meet the following criteria:

An MA student must receive grades of at least 3.5 in History graduate courses or other graduate-level content courses (400-500 level), and credit (CR) for HSTRY 600. A student must maintain quarterly and cumulative GPAs of at least 3.5.

The student must complete the requirements for the degree in a timely fashion:

  • The MA seminar paper must be completed
  • MA language requirement must be fulfilled no later than the quarter preceding the MA Exam.
  • Incompletes, X grades and N grades must be removed from the student's transcript by the end of the following quarter. (Students intending to take the MA exam must remove all Xs, Is and Ns from the transcript prior to the quarter in which the MA exam will be taken.) "Removed from the transcript" means not only that the work has been completed by the student, but also that the faculty supervisor has submitted an online change-of-grade and the X, N or I grade has been replaced with a numerical grade or CR.
  • MA students are expected to complete the requirements for the MA degree in the Autumn Quarter or Winter Quarter of their second year in the graduate program. Extending the time to completion of the degree beyond these limits can be cause for concern about the student's progress in the masters program and, consequently an extension will be granted only in cases of extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. A student who must postpone the completion of the MA beyond the expected norm must submit an explanatory petition, supported by a letter from the Chair of the MA Committee, for the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

The student's written and oral work must demonstrate a solid capacity for graduate-level work at the MA level, as evidenced by the quarterly written evaluations provided by their faculty, and faculty assessments of student progress such as those included in letters of support for funding, the application for promotion to the PhD program, etc.

The nature of the relationship between students and their advisers will, of course, vary, but it is the expectation of the Graduate Studies Committee that faculty advisers and student advisees will meet at least once each quarter before classes begin, and again during the Spring Quarter, to review progress and plans.

End-of-the Quarter Evaluations: At the end of Autumn, Winter and Spring Quarters, History faculty are given forms by which they evaluate the performance and progress of each History graduate student in their class(es) or for whom they supervised HSTRY 600 or HSTRY 800 credits that quarter. The completed evaluation forms are submitted to the History Graduate Office and placed in the student's academic file. The End-of-the-Quarter Evaluations are not confidential and can be read by the student (see Student Academic Files below).

Student Academic Files: A History graduate student can review the contents of his/her academic file, with the exception of confidential materials such as the letters of recommendation submitted as part of the graduate application materials and faculty letters submitted for promotion from the History M.A. program to the Ph.D. program, faculty comments for evaluation for graduate admission and for promotion to the History Ph.D, faculty letters in support of funding nominations, and annual review letters. A student who wants to review his/her file must contact the History Graduate Office to make an appointment. Academic files cannot be removed from the History Graduate Office.

The History Graduate Office conducts a yearly (usually in Spring Quarter) satisfactory progress/ performance review of the Department's graduate students. Students are alerted to issues regarding their performance and progress in the program. These include Xs, Is, and Ns on the transcript, deadlines for establishing graduate committees, and signing up for exams. Students are warned a year in advance if they are approaching the Graduate School's time limit to complete degree requirements.

All History graduate students must meet with their faculty Chairs early in Winter Quarter to complete the Department's required Annual Review. At this meeting the Chair and the student will review the student's progress and performance in the graduate program and discuss the student's educational and research plans for the upcoming year. The faculty Chair must submit the completed Annual Review form to the History Graduate Office.

Students who are judged not to be performing at a level expected of masters students and/or who are not making satisfactory progress will receive written notification of this assessment and will be advised on what steps they should take to correct any problems or concerns expressed by the Committee or faculty. Failure to comply with these instructions may lead to a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School for alteration of a student's standing, i.e. warning, probation or final probation. See Graduate School Memorandum #16.

Completion of the MA degree within six years: This is a Graduate School requirement.

  • Time spent on-leave and/or out-of-status counts toward the six year limit