Frequently Asked Questions
General Program Requirements
Minimum admission standards are a grade point average of 3.0 in the applicant’s major and 2.85 overall GPA in the last 60 units taken; a score of at least 500 on the verbal portion of the GRE exam; and 12 to 15 units of upper-division coursework in history. Please note that these are minimum standards and do not guarantee admission to our increasingly competitive program.
The Official Program is an official list of the 30 units that a student will use to satisfy the requirements for the MA degree. It is the document that the Graduate Division will use to evaluate the student's application for graduation and completion of their degree. Successful filing of the official program triggers the student's "Advancement to Candidacy," which establishes her/his eligibility for graduation. A student may file an official program with the university after completing 12 units of coursework (which may be as early as the beginning of the second semester). However, since the department's future offerings may not be known at this time, it is advisable for most students to wait until their third semester on campus to file their official program. Students must complete official programs and advance to candidacy before the beginning of the semester in which they will graduate.
Once the official program has been filed, there are strict rules governing alteration. Completed courses may not be removed from an official program once it has been approved. It is possible to petition the Graduate Division for a substitution for courses that have yet to be completed.
Absolutely! Our MA degree graduates receive individual and special recognition at our History Department graduation ceremony (following the College of Arts and Letters ceremony) and are the first to receive their degrees. Don’t miss it!
Yes. There is often a delay of several weeks while the Graduate Division reviews the official program, so you should file at least six weeks before you plan to enroll in History 797 or 799.
The History Department controls access to History 797. Students must obtain a Special Study form from the History Department office. Working with one advising professor, they complete a brief description of the research project and the specific requirements for the semester. Once the form is completed, the student must receive signatures from the advising faculty member, the History graduate adviser and the chair of the department. After submitting a completed form to the department office, the student receives an add code for the course.
Access to History 799A is controlled by the Graduate Division. Students may only obtain a Thesis Committee Form from the Graduate Division after having been advanced to candidacy (see FAQ 11 above). To complete the form, students must secure the signature of three faculty members who are eligible and agree to serve as advisers to the project. (This is your thesis committee.) After receiving signatures from three readers and the History graduate adviser, a student submits the Thesis Committee Form to the Graduate Division and receives an add code.
Note that the university's new add/drop deadlines apply to 799 courses. Students who wish to enroll in 799A should not wait until the beginning of the semester to form their committees. Also, students should be aware that the Graduate Division asserts the right to hold them to precisely the title they indicate on the thesis form. Titles or topics that diverge (too greatly) from the thesis form may not be acceptable to the Graduate Division at the time of submission.
Community College Teaching Certificate
**Please note: The courses for the community college teaching certificate are not currently being offered by the ARPE department.
The department has approved a Plan C that combines the Community College Teaching Certification Program with the History MA. Since this still requires approval by other committees at the college, university, and state level, it cannot be enrolled in formally yet. Nevertheless, the History Department has an agreement with the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education that history graduate students who take ARP 611 and 631 will qualify to enroll in ARP 760, an internship in community college teaching. This currently is an option whether you choose Plan A or Plan B.
In addition to the financial assistance offered by SDSU, the department offers work-based financial aid for graduate students in three forms. Graduate assistants serve as graders for large lower-division courses. Teaching associates serve as discussion leaders and graders for large-lecture courses. They may also be assigned to the Freshman Success Program, to lead one study session per week linked to a lower division lecture course in the fall semester. Research assistants assist faculty with their research.
GA, TA, and RA positions are selected on a competitive basis through applications submitted each spring. Generally, the department offers financial aid to students to cover the whole of the coming academic year. Applications remain on file and new students may submit applications mid-year. Vacancies or additional positions may be filled from this pool of applicants.
See our Support page for more information.