M.A. in Global History: Joint degree with King's College London
The Joint Master's Degree in Global History exposes students to two sets of international history faculty in two major global metropolises: King’s College London and Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The History Department at King’s College has notable strengths in European, British, and Imperial History. These fields are neatly complemented by Georgetown’s distinctive strengths in Middle Eastern, Russian & East European, East and South Asian, Latin American, African, U.S., and Global Environmental History (as well as Early Modern and Modern Europe). Together these combined strengths offer students an extraordinarily rich array of thematic, geographic, and cultural perspectives from which to study global history. The two institutions’ locations in the capital cities of the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively, also afford students direct access to a tremendous array of archival sources for the pursuit of their research projects.
2010-2011 saw the founding of the King’s College, London-Georgetown University Global History Forum. In September 2010 the Forum met at Georgetown, opened by University President John DeGioia. Six Georgetown History faculty (Gabor Agoston, Alison Games, John McNeill, David Painter, Aviel Roshwald, and John Tutino) joined four colleagues from King’s College London in a day of sessions devoted to rethinking historical processes of empire and globalization. In May 2012, the Forum met again at King’s College London. Professors Games, Painter, Roshwald, and Tutino were joined by newcomers Katie Benton-Cohen and Judith Tucker in two days of seminars with eight King’s faculty.
This joint-degree program welcomes applicants with strong analytical, language, and writing skills who are seeking a program offering integrated global, international and comparative historical perspectives. The program will consider applicants who have completed a BA or equivalent degree in History, a social science, or literature and culture. In exceptional cases, we will consider strong applicants with majors in other fields. An undergraduate GPA above 3.3 is expected, and above 3.5 is encouraged. For applicants applying from Britain, the minimum requirement is a good upper second-class BA degree in History or a cognate discipline. Basic reading knowledge of a foreign language will also be expected, so that with two semesters of language study the students will be in a position to pass a foreign-language reading proficiency exam before the end of their second semester (a pre-requisite for continuing on to the second year of the program).
Please direct inquiries to the directors of this program:
Applications should be submitted to both institutions, which will make admissions decisions jointly. The final deadline for applications for fall admission is April 1st. Applicants who prefer early admission must apply by January 1, and will receive notification of a decision by March 1. Instructions on application procedures can be found on the following web pages: Georgetown application procedures and/or King’s College London application procedures.
COURSE OF STUDY
This degree program runs for four semesters, commencing in the fall of the student’s entering year. All students are required to enroll on a full-time basis for the duration of the program, spending two semesters apiece at the two institutions. Students can matriculate into either Georgetown or King’s College, continuing at the other institution for their second year. The curriculum consists of twelve courses (three per semester), to be divided as follows: 3 core courses (“Advanced Skills for Historians” at King’s and both “Comparative History” and “Global and International History” at Georgetown), a two-semester thesis seminar to be taken in the second year (at whichever institution the student is enrolled that year), and seven electives. The electives are to be split four and three between two regionally or thematically defined fields (e.g. Modern European & East Asian History or Global Environmental History & Imperial History).
Each course is worth three credits in the Georgetown system, which is equivalent to twenty credits in the King’s College system. King’s also offers a small number of year-long 40-credit (equivalent to Georgetown’s 6-credits) courses, each of which counts for two electives if chosen. The program thus requires students to take a total of 36 credits (240 King’s College credits) to graduate.
The master’s thesis is to be written on a topic associated with one or both of these two fields. The thesis must be based on original sources and will be a minimum of 8,000 words long; ideally, it will be of a quality suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.
At both Georgetown and King’s College, students will write their theses during the second year in the framework of either a) a two-semester topical research seminar, or b)a sequence of a one-semester reading seminar followed by a one-semester research seminar. The first semester will focus on historiographical work, preliminary archival explorations, and the development of a detailed research proposal. The second semester will be structured around a writing and presentation schedule that will give students the opportunity to have their work critiqued by their peers.
A typical program beginning at Georgetown might look as follows:
Year One: Georgetown
Fall semester: Core Course on Comparative History, two electives
Spring semester: Core Course on International History, two electives
Year Two: King’s College
Fall semester: Core Course on Advanced Skills for Historians, first half of Thesis Seminar, one elective
Spring semester: Second half of Thesis Seminar, two electives
A typical program beginning at King’s College might look as follows:
Year One: King’s College
Fall semester: Core Course on Advanced Skills for Historians, two electives
Spring semester: Three electives
Year Two: Georgetown
Fall semester: Core Course on Comparative History, First Half of Thesis Seminar, one elective
Spring semester: Core Course on International History, Second Half of Thesis Seminar, one elective.
OUTSIDE ELECTIVES AND ADDITIONAL FEATURES
During their year at Georgetown, students may take up to one of their electives outside the History Department (either at other departments within Georgetown, or at other universities in the Washington-area consortium). At King’s College, students can take up to 40 credits (i.e. two courses) in other departments and programs within the School of Humanities or one course at other colleges within the University of London system and one in other departments within the KCL School of Humanities. Graduate students at King’s are all entitled to free membership of the University of London’s Institute of Historical Research. The IHR runs numerous seminar series, all of which MA students may attend. It also hosts the History Lab, a social and intellectual network run by and for graduate students and which organizes its own seminars, workshops and other events. In addition, all graduate students at King’s are automatically members of the department’s own staff-student seminar, which meets regularly throughout the year to discuss the work-in-progress of graduate students and faculty. Graduate students at Georgetown are invited to participate in the Georgetown Institute for Global History’s research seminars/workshops. These are periodically convened sessions in which scholars from around the country present their current research in the form of pre-circulated papers.
The specifics of each student’s academic program are to be worked out with a pair of academic advisors at the two institutions. (Both at Georgetown and at King’s, one dedicated member of the faculty will serve as the main academic advisor for all students in the master’s program.) The advisor at the campus where the student is located in a given year will have chief advising responsibility for that year, but will keep his/her counterpart on the other campus informed of the development of the student’s academic program.
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Students will be required to pass a reading proficiency exam in a non-English language of their choice no later than the end of their second semester in the program as a precondition of their continuing into their second year. For students beginning the two-year program at Georgetown the initial language exam is taken at the beginning of the first semester. Students beginning the two-year program at King's may arrange to take the exam immediately prior to matriculation. Students at both Georgetown and King’s College are able to enroll in language classes for no extra charge. Language courses will not count towards the twelve-course degree requirement.
In certain cases, the MA in Global History may lead to acceptance into the department’s Ph.D program. There will be no presumptive advancement. Students will be required to apply directly to the Ph.D. program and must pass through the standard evaluation process for admission and financial aid. If a student is admitted to the Georgetown Ph.D. program, all Georgetown History coursework completed at the 500-level or above may be credited to the Ph.D. requirements. Students would still be required to complete the Doctoral Core Colloquium (HIST 501), the research seminar relevant to their doctoral studies, and any other courses and language training required to prepare for comprehensive examinations and dissertation research.
updated May 2013
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