The Master of Arts degree requires a total of 32 semester credit hours, including a 12-hour required core and 20 hours of elective credit. Students have a choice of three summative project options: a traditional thesis; a capstone project; or, a comprehensive exam.
Courses are available as Weeklong Summer courses at our Ashland, Ohio campus during June and July, and as Live Online courses on various schedules year round. Degree-seeking students in the MAHG program must take at least 16 of the 32 required semester credit hours via on-campus Weeklong Summer courses. The remaining 16 hours may be taken away from campus via Live Online courses, up to 6 semester hours of transfer credit from other institutions, and credit earned for AHG 670, AHG 690, AHG 691, or AHG 692.
Are you looking for a program that may be completed substantially online? Consider Ashland’s Master of Arts with a Specialization in Teaching American History and Government.
Designed to provide the student with a survey of the major events and ideas which shaped the modern United States, the full 12 semester hour core is required of all students.
Course Number Course Title Hours Prerequisites AHG 501 The American Revolution 2 None AHG 502 The American Founding 2 None AHG 503 Sectionalism and Civil War 2 None AHG 504 Civil War and Reconstruction 2 None AHG 505 The Progressive Era 2 None AHG 510 Great American Texts 2 None
Rounding out the program, all students must earn 20 hours of elective credit.
Course Number Course Title Hours Prerequisites AHG 601 Sources of the American Regime 2 None AHG 602 European Discovery and Settlement 2 None AHG 603 Colonial America 2 None AHG 604 The Early Republic 2 None AHG 605 The Age of Enterprise 2 None AHG 606 America between World Wars 2 None AHG 607 America during the Cold War 2 None AHG 610 American Foreign Policy 2 None AHG 611 The American Way of War 2 AHG 610 AHG 620 The Reform Tradition in America 2 AHG 503, 505, or 607 AHG 621 Race and Equality in America 2 None AHG 622 Religion in American History and Politics 2 None AHG 623 Gender and Equality in America 2 None AHG 630 American Statesmen 2 None AHG 631 American Political Rhetoric 2 AHG 630, 632, or 633 AHG 632 The American Presidency I, Washington to Lincoln 2 None AHG 633 The American Presidency II, Johnson to Present 2 None AHG 640 The Congress 2 None AHG 641 The Supreme Court 2 None AHG 642 Political Parties 2 None AHG 660 Topics in American History and Government 2 None AHG 670 Directed Study 2 None AHG 690 Research Methods 2 Completed 20 Hours AHG 691 Thesis 4 AHG 690 AHG 692 Capstone Project 4 AHG 690 AHG 693 Comprehensive Examination 2 Permission
Students may choose the thesis, the capstone project, or the comprehensive exam track. In choosing a track, students should consider their professional and educational goals and needs in consultation with their academic advisor. The comprehensive examination and capstone project tracks are appropriate for students who do not plan to continue their studies beyond the master’s level. The thesis track is open to any student, however it is strongly recommended for those students who plan to continue their studies beyond the master’s level.
Each option serves the same goal: that is, by completing the comprehensive examination, capstone project, or thesis a student will demonstrate mastery of the topics taught in the program. In addition to content mastery, students must also display well-developed analytical and interpretive skills in the use of original documents and their relationship to the broader subject of American history and government.
The student need not choose a track until the semester during which he or she reaches 20 hours in the program. With the permission of the program chair, the student may switch tracks after he or she has made an initial decision.
Comprehensive Examination Track
Students who choose this option must earn 12 hours of core course credit and 20 hours of elective credit. At the time the student registers for his or her final semester the student should contact his or her academic advisor to schedule and prepare for the comprehensive examination.
The comprehensive examination is composed of essay response questions based upon the core and elective courses taken by the student as part of their curriculum. Students will be provided with a list of possible questions for study and review purposes; the actual examination questions to be answered will be selected by the faculty from this list. Students may repeat the examination once. If the student fails to successfully pass the exam after their second attempt, the student may face dismissal from the program.
Capstone Project Track
Students who choose this option must earn 12 hours of core course credit, 14 hours of elective credit, and successfully complete AHG 690 and AHG 692.
The Capstone Project allows a student to demonstrate his or her mastery of subject matter, as well as analytical and interpretive skills in a practical, useful, or creative format of the student’s choosing. A capstone project combines different kinds of practical experience (e.g., as a docent or historical reenactor) or other written work (e.g., lesson plans or historical fiction) with analytical and interpretive writing in the form of one or more essays. Capstone projects may include:
- Creation of a selection of materials (e.g. primary documents) to enhance a curriculum, with essays providing justification of the selections and analysis and interpretation to assist in their use.
- Participation in a Civil War battle reenactment, with interpretive essays explaining the significance of the battle in the military and political outcome of the Civil War.
- Development of an exhibition at a school, library, or museum, along with analytical and interpretive essays explaining the significance of the exhibition.
Students will work individually with the program’s faculty to plan their capstone project proposal during AHG 690 (Research Methods). Students may register for and begin work on AHG 690 around the time that they complete 20 hours in the program. The capstone project requires the approval of the program’s faculty committee, which will review proposals to make sure they meet substantive and methodological requirements of a master’s program. Once the proposal is approved by the program’s faculty committee, the student may begin work on the project. Each student will have a capstone advisor to help him or her complete the capstone project.
Students who choose this option must earn 12 hours of core course credit, 14 hours of elective credit, and successfully complete AHG 690 and AHG 691.
The Thesis allows a student to demonstrate his or her mastery of subject matter, as well as analytical and interpretive skills in a traditional written format. A thesis is a written work stating a claim or interpretation and supporting it with data and argument. For example, a thesis might claim that a certain type of protestant theology is responsible for political reform movements in the United States and support that claim by examining, in one of a number of different ways, the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Students will work individually with the program’s faculty to plan their thesis proposal during AHG 690 (Research Methods). Students may register for and begin work on AHG 690 around the time that they complete 20 hours in the program. The thesis requires the approval of the program’s faculty committee, which will review proposals to make sure they meet substantive and methodological requirements of a master’s program. Once the proposal is approved by the program’s faculty committee, the student may begin work on the thesis. Each student will have a thesis advisor to help him or her complete the thesis.