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Master Thesis

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A Master's Thesis (HST 701)

Some students may choose to emphasize the research element of their programs by writing a master's thesis. The thesis is a 3 credit project for those matriculated before Summer 09, a 6 credit project after that.  As a 6 credit project it should be spread out over at least 2 semesters.  Students who choose to do a thesis must have a 3.8 GPA or the written permission of both the first and second reader.  Students who are approved for a 6 credit thesis can eliminate 1 elective from their course of study.  Thesis is graded and a B grade is necessary for fulfilling the requirements of the MA.  If the readers cannot come to an agreement about the grade, the Graduate Committee will mediate. Students who earn an A or A- will have their theses bound in the library.  Those students must submit three copies of the final revised version in the correct format.

Obviously, a thesis is a major undertaking and will require some advanced planning on your part.  It is not a project that can be developed quickly or on the spur of the moment.  A master's thesis involves extensive research on a clearly defined and limited topic. It also includes a clear sense of where your original research into primary sources fits into the larger historiography of your topic.


EXPECTATIONS and CONTRACT for History 701 (Thesis)

Student must fulfill the following:

  • Have a 3.8 GPA or a letter from both their first and second reader explaining why the student should undertake a thesis.
  • Ask two faculty to serve who are appropriate for your topic (if you do not know who to ask please ask the graduate director for advice).
  • Present to these readers a thesis proposal (in writing) and a list of possible primary sources prior to signing the contract.
  • Finalize the project’s parameters with readers prior to signing the contract
  • Meet regularly throughout the semester/summer with the first reader
  • Submit drafts (number specified by the first reader) of the thesis to the first reader.
  • Submit a full draft to both readers in plenty of time for revisions prior to the filing deadline.
  • Organize a thesis defense with both readers with plenty of time for revisions.
  • Make final revisions and turn in a clean copy to the readers for final approval prior to the filing deadline.
  • Prepare the final copy according to the guidelines issued by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (available from the Graduate Director) if the thesis is given an A or A-.  The history department secretary will arrange for copying and binding of three copies.


Faculty readers must fulfill the following:

  • The first reader must provide clear grading criteria prior to signing the contract.
  • The first reader must approve the project proposal and make any changes in writing prior to signing the contract.
  • The first reader will advise/approve of primary sources available to the student prior to signing the contract.
  • The first reader will return drafts of the thesis in time for the student to make any needed revisions in order to graduate at the agreed date.
  • The second reader will approve the proposal and primary sources prior to signing the contract.
  • The second reader will return the final draft of the thesis in time for the student to make revisions.
  • Both readers will approve the final revisions, decide on a grade and sign the finished copies if the grade is an A or A-.  The grade will be submitted to the Graduate Director.

Last Updated 7/21/10


Congratulations to Dr. Jose R. Torre on winning the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching!

History major Michael Zagari has been accepted into the Duquesne University School of Law this coming fall on a full academic scholarship! During his time at Brockport, Mike has played on the NCAA men’s ice hockey team and has won the Jack Crandall and Robert Griswold History Department Awards.

History major Gabrielle Brannigan received a scholarship to enter the MA program in Social Studies and Special Education at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education.

History professor Jose R. Torre to direct NEH Landmarks Workshop for K-12 teachers. The Rochester Reform Trail explores Rochester’s nationally important antebellum reform history. This July, 72 K-12 teachers from as far away as California, Florida and Oregon will visit Rochester and learn why national figures like Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony chose to live and work for social justice in Rochester, New York.


Robert Marcus Memorial Lecture, Thursday, 4/14/16, 7:30 pm, McCue Auditorium (LibArt 104 A/B), Dr. Raymond Craib (Cornell University), Title: "The Cry of the Renegade:  The politics and poetry of subversion in Santiago, Chile"