Students who have demonstrated superior research and writing ability may elect, subject to the discretion of the Department, to undertake the scholarly enterprise called a thesis. Working on a thesis is valuable training for students who are planning to pursue the Ph.D. Upon successful completion of the thesis, students will be awarded six hours of graduate credit. Students enrolled in the thesis track should use their work in HIST 602: Graduate Research Seminar to launch their thesis.


  • You must have earned an A- or better on your research paper for HIST 602: Graduate Research Seminar and an A- or better for your course grade.

  • You have signed and dated the Thesis Agreement form and turned it in to the Department of History's Administrative Assistant.

  • You must have your Thesis Prospectus approved before you will be able to register for your first three (3) credits of thesis (HIST 700). 

  • You must not have any Incomplete "I" grades on your transcript when beginning the Thesis process.


  • In the spring semester of your first year, plan to take HIST 602, Graduate Research Seminar, with a possible thesis topic in mind. Work on that subject throughout the spring semester. If you do well on the final paper (receiving an A- or better) and want to continue, contact the professor who would be the most appropriate advisor for your topic. If the professor expresses interest, proceed by contacting another faculty member to serve as the second reader for your thesis. 

  • Submit a Thesis Prospectus to your thesis advisor no later than August 1 of the summer before you graduate.

  • Have that Thesis Prospectus approved by the advisor, second reader, and department chair by the end of the second week of August so as to register for three (3) thesis credits, HIST 700, for that fall semester.

  • Plan to register for your last three (3) thesis credits, HIST 700, for your final semester (spring).

  • With the help of your thesis advisor, establish a schedule for completing chapters so as to ensure that your thesis advisor may have read all chapters (except perhaps conclusion) in draft form by mid-February of the semester in which you intend to graduate. 

  • Submit a completed revised thesis manuscript to thesis advisor and second reader (one copy each) no later than the established deadline indicated on the Registrar's academic calendar in the second week of March in the semester in which you intend to graduate.

  • Submit the final, approved thesis to the library and to the Department of History by the Registrar's academic calendar deadline as indicated in April.