The Graduate Curriculum
The CMU History Department offers a rigorous curriculum, which brings together students in the traditional MA, the Joint MA and the Joint PhD programs, all of whom are able to tailor their studies according to their interests and academic background. Doctoral students and those eyeing admission to doctoral programs can fill their schedule with colloquia (600-level) and seminars (700-level). MA students, who may desire a more gentle transition into their graduate studies or have particular interests in pubic history or game-based pedagogy, can take up to twelve hours at the 500 level.
For an up-to-date list of graduate courses offered by the history department, including course descriptions, please consult the course descriptions page of the latest Graduate Bulletin.
Overview of Types of Courses
500-level classes are designed for advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students. Graduate students must meet higher standards than undergraduates, usually including longer papers, additional readings and assignments.
600-level Colloquia are restricted to students admitted to the graduate program and are limited in size. These courses typically involve a substantial amount of reading in a specific field, often one or two books a week as well as additional articles. The class format is discussion based. Additional assignments may include short papers or reviews and longer historiographical essays.
700-level Research Seminars focus on the production of a major scholarly paper based substantially on primary sources and grounded in the historical literature. In content and scope the model for seminar papers is the professional journal article. Graduate students must complete a minimum of either two seminars (Plan B) or a seminar and a thesis (Plan A). Occasionally, graduate seminars are combined with their undergraduate equivalent (HST 496), with different expectations and requirements in each case.
Required Courses vary depending on the program in which a student is enrolled. All graduate students must complete HST 600 Historiography and are encouraged to do so early in their program, as this is a foundational course on which other courses build. Joint MA and PhD students are also required to take HST 610 Transnational and Comparative History. The actual topic of this course varies. Recent offerings have included European Borderlands, Colonialism/Imperialism and Global Indigeneity. Finally, funded students must take HST 700 Teaching Practicum, a course that prepares them for classroom teaching.
For information on other special courses in the curriculum (e.g., HST 695, HST 700), students should consult their advisor or the director of graduate studies. Many of these are also addressed in more detail in the handbook.