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FAQs--Being a Graduate Student in History


Q: How long does the Graduate History Program take to complete?

Typically our graduate students can finish their programs in four semesters if they elect to take nine credits (three classes) per semester. The McAnulty Graduate School of Liberal Arts requires that all Master's students complete their degrees within six years of matriculation.

M.A. in Public History Students

Our Public History students are required to complete 36 credits (10 classes and 2 internships). Most Public History students follow one of these schedules:

1st semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
2nd semester: 9 credits (2 classes and 1 internship)
3rd semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
4th semester: 9 credits (2 classes and 1 internship)

OR

1st semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
2nd semester: 9 credits (2 classes and 1 internship)
Summer term: 3 credits (1 class OR 1 internship)
3rd semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
4th semester: 6 credits (1 class and 1 internship OR 2 classes)

M.A. in History Students

Our Graduate History students are required to complete either 30 credits of coursework (10 classes) or 24 credits of coursework (8 classes) and 6 credits of thesis research and writing. ALL M.A. in History students are required to complete two comprehensive examinations (one written and one oral). Students typically follow one of these schedules:

THESIS TRACK:

1st semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
2nd semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
3rd semester: 6 credits (1 class and 3 credits of thesis research)
4th semester: 6 credits (1 class and 3 credits of thesis writing) and both comprehensive exams

NON-THESIS TRACK:

1st semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
2nd semester: 6 credits (2 classes)
3rd semester: 9 credits (3 classes)
4th semester: 6 credits (2 classes) and both comprehensive exams

Q: Can I be enrolled part-time?

Absolutely. Some of our students have full-time jobs, families, and/or other responsibilities that require them to take only 3 credits (one class) per semester. Keep in mind, however, that part-time students will take longer than four semesters to finish their programs. The McAnulty Graduate School of Liberal Arts requires that all Master's students complete their degrees within six years of matriculation.

Q: Do I have a graduate advisor?

Yes. As a graduate student in History, you have Dr. John C. Mitcham, Graduate Director, History and Public History, as an advisor. Dr. Mitcham will help you select courses each semester, answer questions about transfer or cross-registered courses, and assist you in other program- and career-related items. The Graduate Director is your first resource for anything related to your graduate program.

As a graduate student in the McAnulty Graduate School of Liberal Arts, you also have Ms. Linda Rendulic, Assistant to the Dean, as an advisor. Ms. Rendulic can assist you with specific College- and University-related inquires, such as leaves of absence, graduation, and health insurance. When we refer to your graduate advisor, we will be speaking specifically of Dr. Mitcham. But you may receive correspondence from the University listing Ms. Rendulic as an advisor as well. 

You can also speak with the Department Chairperson, Dr. Jay Dwyer, at any time.

Q: How do I register for classes and internships?

Our graduate students are required to meet with their graduate advisor, Dr. John C. Mitcham, prior to the registration period each semester to discuss course selections and to make sure they're on track in the program. Once Dr. Mitcham has approved your course selections, you can go online to the Duquesne Online Resources and Information (DORI) site and register for your courses.

Registering for internships requires a few extra steps, all of which can be discussed with Dr. Alima Bucciantini.

Q: Are there places on campus just for graduate students to study quietly?

Yes. The Gumberg Library has a quiet study room just for graduate students. There are also private study carrels in the Library. The Department of History has a History Graduate Student office, located just down the hall from the main office, where students can go during the day or evening to study or work on papers and other course assignments. There are several computers in the History Graduate Student office, as well as mailboxes for each student. There is also a lounge on the 6th floor of College Hall that you may reserve for quiet study.

Q: What if I need to take time off from the program?

Under special circumstances, a student who is a degree candidate may be given a leave of absence for one semester (serious illness, job transfer out of the country, uncertainty about completing the degree and needing a time of discernment, or military duty).

A student requesting a leave of absence may not:
• have registered for courses or thesis/dissertation credits.
• have an "I" (Incomplete) grade on his/her record.
• plan to take a language and/or comprehensive exam OR
• plan to graduate during the semester for which a leave of absence is requested.

The student writes a letter to the department chair or graduate program director outlining in detail the reasons for requesting a leave. The chair/director will determine the appropriateness of granting the leave, add his/her recommendation to the letter and forward it to the Dean. If the request is approved by the Dean, the Graduate School office will place the student on hiatus. Extension of the leave beyond one semester may be granted, upon review by the Dean. The student must submit a written request to the department chair or program director for the extension.

Q: Do students in the Graduate Programs work while being enrolled?

Yes, some do. Because your graduate coursework will be more demanding than what you experienced as an undergraduate, it will be important for you to find the right balance. Some students who work while in our program only take one or two courses. If you are offered an assistantship in our program and find that you still need outside employment, you are required to fill out and submit to us a Graduate Assistant Outside Employment Approval Form.

Q: I need to be a full-time student for health insurance or other reasons. What does that mean at Duquesne and in the program?

The McAnulty Graduate School of Liberal Arts considers six credits (two classes) each semester to be full-time. You may take six credits each semester in our graduate program, but doing so will require more than four semesters to complete the degree.