The objective of graduate study in history at Providence College is to provide students with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive grasp of the past so that they might more fully appreciate the heritage of Western Civilization and the problems that confront it today. The program emphasizes impartial inquiry into the past as a guide to the attainment of objective truth. It is designed and scheduled to aid in developing professional competence of teachers of history, but it also provides the opportunity for those seeking a deeper and broader knowledge of historical scholarship as a preparation for doctoral studies.
Candidates for the master's degree are required to complete thirty credits of graduate-level history, or twenty-four credits plus an acceptable thesis written under the direction of a professor in the student's major field.
At least eighteen (but no more than twenty-one) credits must be taken in the major field, three credits of which must be a seminar in the major field. Three additional credits must be taken in Historical Methodology. The remaining credits (six or nine) must be taken in an area other than the major field; a minor field may be designated for these credits. All students are strongly encouraged to take a course in historiography in their major field.
The areas of concentration in the master's program in history are American or Modern European. Areas for a minor field are American, Modern European, Medieval, or East Asian.
A full-time student may take four courses a semester. Historical Methodology and seminars in American and European History are offered every year. The other courses are offered every two or three years. A "B" average must be maintained.
Candidates for the master's degree in history must give evidence of a reading knowledge of a foreign language. French and German are the recommended modern languages. However, substitution of another language may be made with the approval of the Director of the Graduate Program in History. In some instances, a student may be allowed by the Program Director to substitute a designated computer language course (with a minimum grade of "B") for the language requirement.
After the completion of all course work, a candidate for the master's degree must pass an oral examination covering the major field.