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Joint Master of Arts in History

The Joint Master of Arts program is offered by the History Departments of The University of Winnipeg and The University of Manitoba. The main purpose is for the student to develop the ability to undertake independent research and place their findings properly within their historical context; and to ensure that students acquire a comprehensive knowledge of at least two areas of historical study. Specialized work is offered in the following fields: The Americas, Asia and Africa, Britain and the Commonwealth, Canada, Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Modern Europe, History of Science, Modern World and Archival Studies.

Students may choose between four streams: the Major Research Paper (MRP) M.A., the Course M.A., the Thesis M.A., the Archival Studies M.A. Course and thesis direction are offered at both institutions, and students completing the program may elect to receive their degrees from both of the participating universities.

History MA Fact Sheet

Please note: The admission process for this program is administered through the University of Manitoba. For more information, please visit: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/departments/history/graduate/gradapplying.html

Admission Requirements

For admission into any stream in the Joint Master's Program, candidates must hold a B.A. Honours degree or equivalent in History with at least a ‘B’ or second class standing. Students who lack this qualification but who have an acceptable general degree with a history major (and an average of B in their history courses) are generally admitted to the Pre-M.A. program. All potential graduate students, particularly those currently enrolled in B.A. Advanced programs, should discuss their graduate programs with the Chair of either the Joint Discipline Committee (M.A applicants) or the Chair of the Graduate Executive Committee in History (Pre-MA and Ph.D. Applicants).

All M.A. students with no previous training in Historiography and/or Historical Methods are required to take a six credit hour graduate course in Historiography or Historical Method. Students who have completed a six credit hour course in Historiography or Historical method at the senior undergraduate level (e.g. 29.3001 at the University of Winnipeg or HIST 4000 or HIST 4580 at the University of Manitoba) have satisfied this requirement. Students may choose Historiography as their minor.

Although the normal minimum passing grade at the graduate level in History is B, students may graduate with a mark of C+ in a single History course or in an ancillary--provided that their over-all average is B (3.0) or better. Graduate students who fail to achieve 2.5 grade-points (C+) in a History course or in an ancillary, may either repeat the course (with the permission of the instructor) or take a different course to complete the required number of graduate credits; but those who fail to achieve 3.0 grade-points in more than one course, and/or on more than one occasion, are normally required to withdraw entirely from the graduate program in History.

Deadline for Completion of Program

The MRP and Course M.A. are designed as a 12-month program, while the Thesis and Archival Studies M.A. are designed as 2-year programs. All the necessary requirements for the M.A. in History must be fulfilled within FOUR YEARS of the original date of entry into the Joint Master's Program.

Students must also re-register each year until their program is completed. Failure to re-register before the commencement of classes in September will require the student to reapply for admission and pay all outstanding registration, late and re-instatement fees at the current rate.

In extraordinary circumstances, a student may apply for a time extension to complete the program. Such application must be made at least 4 months prior to the expiration of the original deadline. The deadline is not normally extended more than once.

The Major Research Paper (MRP)

Students who pursue the "MRP" M.A. must take 24 credit hours of course work, at least 18 credit hours of which must be at the 7000 level in History and 6 of which may be taken at the 4000 level. Usually students elect to take all 24 credit hours of coursework in History.

In addition, students will be required to complete a Major Research Paper.  The student will meet with their MRP Advisor and develop a topic for the paper. The MRP itself will be a piece of original writing based on research that includes primary sources. It will be roughly 8,000-10,000 words in length. The MRP will be distributed to the Advisor and a Second Reader selected by the Chair of the JMP for grading. Students must achieve a minimum grade of B from both the Advisor and Second Reader to pass the MRP. Students who fail to achieve the grade of B will be permitted to submit the MRP a second time.  Those who do not achieve a grade of B on the second submission of the MRP will be required to withdraw from the program.

The Course M.A.

Students who pursue the "COURSE" M.A. must take a minimum of FOUR full year or equivalent courses (totaling 24 credit hours) courses beyond the B.A. (Honours) level. At least THREE of these courses (or the equivalent 18 credit hours) must be at the 7000 level and at least THREE must be in History. Students may take ONE 4000 level course, and this is normally chosen from an extra-departmental minor field or "Ancillary". Usually, however, students elect to take all four courses from within the History Departments.

Students pursuing the "COURSE" M.A. must be competent in at least THREE areas of historical study. Two of these are classified as minor fields and include the Ancillary. From the major field two graduate courses are normally chosen. At least one of these courses must be a research course. In addition, all "COURSE" M.A. students will sit both a written and oral examination in their major field.

*Please note: The "COURSE" M.A. does not fulfill the primary research component required by some funding agencies.

M.A. Exam Regulations

The Thesis M.A.

Students who pursue the "THESIS" M.A. must take two courses selected from two areas of historical study. The area in which the student is writing her/his thesis is classified as the major field, and he/she is expected to take at least one graduate course in it. A second field is classified as her/his minor. In exceptional cases, candidates may be permitted to take an extra-departmental 7000 as their minor field. A student is not permitted to take a Selected Topics (HIST 7770) Reading course in a topic closely related to that of her/his thesis.

Normally students enrolled in the M.A. program are not allowed to submit a thesis unless they achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in course work.

As soon as is practicable, the student should consult the Chair of the Joint Discipline Committee in History who will initiate the process of selecting an Advisor and thesis topic. A student may express a preference for an advisor, and every effort will be made to meet such a request, but it has to be understood that a supervisor may already be over-burdened and so another assignment may be necessary. Upon consultation and review by the Joint Discipline Committee, students may change advisors.

After the advisor has been determined, the student will prepare a "THESIS PROJECT FORM" in consultation with the advisor. Once completed, the form will be submitted to the Chair of the Joint Discipline Committee who will circulate it to an advisory committee of two appropriate faculty members for comments, suggestions and approval. The Chair of the Joint Discipline Committee will ensure that the thesis is then registered with the Canadian Historical Association.

The M.A. thesis itself should be a piece of original writing based on a variety of research sources, and will make a contribution to the study of its particular field. Length should not be a major consideration, of course, but the thesis does not normally exceed 100 pages of double-spaced text.

M.A. Exam Regulations

The Archival Studies M.A Program

Applicants to the Archival Studies M.A. Program should be familiar with the JMP Admission Requirements.

The Joint Master's Program offers an archival studies stream. Students of archival studies will be preparing to enter the archival profession. The curriculum follows the Association of Canadian Archivists' guidelines for the development of Master of Archival Studies Programs. Although applicants must have second class (B) standing to apply to the Joint Master's Program, students admitted to the Archives Program must have attained the equivalent of a B+ standing. Students will obtain an M.A. in History through successful completion of a curriculum focused on archival studies.

The field has five principal components:

  1. study of the history of recorded communication;
  2. study of archival institutions and functions;
  3. study of Canadian history;
  4. an opportunity for work experience in archives (through an internship);
  5. research in archival studies (mainly through a thesis)

The curriculum takes two academic years to complete.

In the first year of study, students will take three six-credit-hour graduate courses which cover the first three components of the field:

  1. HIST 7372: History of Archiving and Archival Records;
  2. HIST 7382: Archiving in the Digital Age; and
  3. another history course.

More information on the Archival Studies Program.


The University of Winnipeg
Dr. Janis Thiessen - ja.thiessen@uwinnipeg.ca

The University of Manitoba
Dr. Len Kuffert - Len.Kuffert@umanitoba.ca

Graduate Studies Admissions and Student Tracking Officer
Dagmawit Habtemariam - d.habtemariam@uwinnipeg.ca