Graduate students may opt to complete a thesis in order to fulfil the research requirement of their degree (6 credit hours)
A thesis is usually 80 to 100 pages in length, focusing on a topic of the student’s choice, with approval of the professor directing the thesis (the thesis advisor).
In order to complete a thesis, a student must develop a research project and find a member of faculty within the History Department to serve as a thesis advisor. The thesis advisor must be ranked faculty. Lecturers and adjuncts may not serve as thesis advisors. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the member of faculty with whom they wish to work. However, faculty are not obliged to take on students and any project must be within the thesis advisor’s general field of expertise.
It is recommended that prospective students considering the thesis option ensure that the history department can offer supervision in their area of interest. Acceptance onto the Thesis track is not automatic, but dependent on:
- The ability of the department of offer supervision in the student’s chosen field.
- The quality of the student's thesis proposal.
- The student’s academic record.
- And the feasibility of the student's thesis project.
Approaching a Thesis Advisor
In approaching a potential thesis advisor, students must be able to demonstrate the viability of their project. Most professors will expect students to see a preliminary thesis proposal before they agree to supervise a thesis. A preliminary thesis proposal should contain the following information:
- A clear outline of the historiographical question with which the student intends to engage.
- An outline of the primary sources that the student intends to utilize in their thesis.
- A preliminary bibliography of academic works related to the topic of the thesis.
Students should also ensure that they will have access to the source sets that they intend to make use of as well as be able to demonstrate that they have any required linguistic and/or technical competencies.
Once a member of faculty has agreed to serve as a thesis advisor, the student should arrange with them to register for six hours of HST 799. These should be taken over the course of two semesters (in 3-hour increments), although they do not have to be taken in consecutive semesters.