Earn your master's degree!

Undergraduate History Majors with outstanding performance at Midwestern State University can obtain a BA and a MA by enrolling in the intensive Five-Year Path Program.  This program requires the successful completion of 150 credit hours and is designed to provide students with advanced training in history, making them competitive for a wide variety of careers.  Because students complete the BA and MA in five years, students are expected to write an article length (~30 pages) original paper of publication quality in lieu of the thesis. The paper is just as important as the thesis; it is, however, more in line with what historians do as evaluators of primary and secondary evidence and publishing researchers.

Students can enter the program during the fall of their junior year. Students can opt to take one 5000-level course in the spring and one in the summer. Students will enroll in two graduate courses during the senior year, thus allowing the student to enter the MA program with between six and twelve completed graduate hours. At the end of the senior year, and at the completion of 120 credits, the student will be awarded a BA in History. In the fifth year, the student will take nine to twelve (depending on credits awarded as juniors and seniors) graduate credit hours each academic semester and will be awarded the MA upon successful completion of the fifth year. 

Admission to the program is competitive.  All students wishing to be considered will need to apply to the Graduate Committee by 1 October of the fall semester of their junior year.  Students must have an overall GPA of 3.25 or better in history, and must submit three recommendations from faculty members (two of which must come from the history department).  Students must also apply to the graduate school.  Acceptance into the program will also be contingent on successfully earning a grade of B or better in History 3903: The Writing of History.  Students will be notified of their acceptance by 1 December. 

Students admitted to the program must consistently demonstrate academic success to remain in the fast-track program by earning grades of B or higher.  Students earning any grade lower than a B will be dropped from the program.  Dropped students may still earn an undergraduate degree in History, and any dropped fast-track students may apply for the traditional MA program.  Up to six MA credits successfully completed in the fast-track program may be transferred into the traditional MA program.

*Please note: If you are considering applying to this program please know that it may affect your financial aid.  Students enrolled in the program receiving financial aid will be required to complete the FAO-112 form for the combined BA/MA program.

Structure of the Program

  • Sophomore Year:
    • Earn B or better in History 3903: The Writing of History
    • Complete core courses and language requirements by end of year
  • Junior Year
    • Apply for program (all materials due 1 October, notification by 1 December)
    • Spring and/or Summer semesters: take one 5000-level course if desired
  • Senior Year
    • Fall Semester: Take one 5000-level course
    • Spring Semester: Take one 5000-level course
    • Graduate with BA after successful completion of 120 hours
  • Enter MA Program
    • During Fall Semester, take Methods and Historiography (HIST 6103), one seminar (HIST 6003), and one or two 5000-level courses. 
    • During Spring Semester, take Preparing Historians (HIST 6503), one seminar (HIST 6003), and one or two 5000-level courses. 

To graduate, Five-Year Path students must also present and defend a polished exit paper based on research conducted in their coursework. 

Applying to the Five-Year Path Program

Admission to this program requires:

  • B or better in HIST 3903: Writing of History
  • Application to McAda Graduate School
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts (from all institutions attended other than MSU)
  • Writing Sample (of up to 10 pages)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (please use this form).

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the interim Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Mary Draper (mary.draper@msutexas.edu).