Master of Arts with a Major in History Concentration in Race, Ethnicity and Society



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Master of Arts with a Major in History

Concentration in Race, Ethnicity and Society

Degree Overview
The Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Race, Ethnicity, and Society (MARES) provides a unique professional degree program that takes advantage of the study of race and ethnicity by scholars in the Department of History and Geography. The program offers students the opportunity to study the historical construction of race and ethnicity from an international perspective, including Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the United States. At the same time, the degree draws on strong regional resources unique to the Columbus area, exploring topics such as the Civil Rights Movement, slavery, Native American society, European migration, and issues of racial integration of the U.S. military. Courses and research opportunities will provide students with the methods and theory to conduct advanced historical analysis and to engage in professional writing. These methods may include the potential use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool for historical research. Exploring these themes will allows students to develop complex historical views to assess and evaluate the role of shifting ideas and constructions of race as part of social change and to connect these processes to current debates over ethnicity and multiculturalism in the modern world.
Like the general Master of Arts with a major in History program, the MARES concentration is delivered through content courses (5000 level HIST U/G courses) and graduate seminars (7000 level courses). However, students in MARES are required to take HIST 6126 “Theories and Methods in Race and History” in addition to six specialized courses on the topics of race, ethnicity, and society. All MARES degree candidates are highly encouraged to complete a thesis on a subject of their choosing. Language proficiency, whether through traditional languages or GIS, is required. Degree candidates will need to take a reading proficiency exam in a foreign language and show English competency in TOEFL exam if they are non-native English speakers.

Career Outlook
The MARES concentration at Columbus State University provides broad training in research, analysis, and writing, as well as core knowledge in the subjects of race, ethnicity, and history which is crucial to several fields of employment. These include business, information technology, archival and library science, military and government service, law enforcement, journalism, non-profit community organization, and education at the K-12 and community college levels. The degree also prepares students for advanced doctoral research in a Ph.D. program. The expertise and intellectual skills developed in the MARES program allow graduates to fit a variety of employment opportunities in which it is necessary to understand the importance of ethnicity and race in the historical development of the modern world.


GIS and Race, Ethnicity, and Society
Columbus State University offers degree candidates in MARES the unique opportunity to apply Geographic Information System technology to their historical research. GIS takes advantage of the ability to store, analyze, integrate, and manipulate data using spatial analysis by incorporating traditional historical information with geography and mapping technology. As a tool and a method for conducting historical research, GIS allows students to see hidden patterns of historical change through the visualization of complex data over time and space. GIS links historical data such as legal documents, census data, historical maps, land tenure records, and oral history, to its spatial component on the earth’s surface providing data to analyze historical change. Students may explore GIS in race and history in topics such as migration patterns, land tenure and Native American history, Civil Rights activity, slave populations, ethnicity and labor movements, integration of the public schools and military, and cultural exchange and dissemination.

Admission to the Program
Regular Admission to the Program:
Applicants interested in applying to the graduate program in the Department of History and Geography must file a graduate application with the Columbus State University Graduate School office. A student must meet both university and departmental requirements in order to be accepted into the program. These include:


  • B.A. in History or equivalent in the proposed field of study from an accredited college or university; people with a major in a related field may be admitted on a provisional basis if they have completed 15 semester hours in upper division history credit with no grade below a C.

  • GRE Scores: Minimum of 550 on Verbal, 450 on Quantitative, 4.5 on Analytical for exam taken prior to the fall of 2011. For exams take after the fall of 2011, minimum of 156 on Verbal, 141 on Quantitative, 4.5 on Analytical are required; degree candidates must have completed the revised GRE within the last five years, or have been enrolled and have graduated from an accredited graduate program in an equivalent field within two years.

  • G.P.A. of 3.0 overall and 3.0 in History with no grade in History below a C.

In addition to this application, prospective applicants must complete a separate application form and submit it along with other documentation to the graduate coordinator of the Department of History and Geography (on behalf of the Department of History and Geography Admissions Committee). These materials include:




  • College transcripts;

  • Program application form;

  • Statement of purpose outlining research focus, career objectives, rationale for pursuing a degree concentrating in MARES, and undergraduate preparation for pursuing the degree.

  • Writing sample, such as a senior seminar paper, showing proficiency in primary source research, as well as excellent citation of sources and writing skills;

  • Two letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors or other referees able to comment on the applicant’s potential for successful graduate study.

  • Curriculum vitae.

  • GRE Scores.

  • TOEFL Scores (If applicable).


Provisional Admission:
Applicants who fail to meet one of the requirements for regular admission may be accepted on provisional status. Provisional degree candidates who take 9 semester hours of graduate history courses at Columbus State University with no grade less than a B will be reclassified with regular admission.

Program of Study
The Master of Arts degree in History requires 36 hours of graduate course work in history, 6 of which are applied to thesis research and writing.
Required Courses (6 Hours)
To complete the degree, students are required to take two core courses on race and historical studies.
HIST 5195 Historiography 3 hours

HIST 6*** Theory and Method in Race and History 3 hours


HIST 5195 and 6*** must be taken within the first two semesters of enrollment.
Courses in the Concentration of MARES (18 Credit Hours)
Students are required to take six of the following courses, and one of which must be a 7000 level seminar.
5000G Seminars
HIST 5112. American Slavery and Emancipation, 1619-1877 (3-0-3) This course examines the institution of slavery and the process of emancipation in British North America and the United States, from 1619 to the end of the Reconstruction Era. Lectures, discussions, and readings will consider such themes and topics as the Atlantic Slave Trade, racial identity, slave uprisings, abolitionism, slave culture, the impact of the Civil War on slavery, and a comparative look at emancipation in the United States and other parts of the Western Hemisphere. Gary Sprayberry
HIST 5201. American Reform and Radicalism, 1877-present (3-0-3) This course examines the history of American reform movements and their radical alternatives from 1877 to the present. Readings and lectures will consider such themes, topics, and issues as the Populist Revolt of the 1890s, the birth of the modern labor movement, American socialism and anarchism, Progressivism, the 1920s Ku Klux Klan, communists during the Great Depression, the New Deal, the civil rights movement, the rise and fall of the New Left, the anti-war movement of the 1960s, Black Nationalism, modern feminism, and radical environmentalism. Gary Sprayberry
HIST 5547. History of South Africa (3-0-3) This course examines the history of South Africa since the arrival of the Europeans during the seventeenth century to the present day, but will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  This class is designed to provide a general overview of South African history and culture while stressing the diversity within the country.  Particular attention will be paid to developments in race, culture, politics, economics and anti-apartheid activism. Tyler Fleming
HIST 5***. Popular Cultures of the Black Atlantic (3-0-3). This course examines the historical development of diverse forms of black popular cultures – including music, dance, film, literature, theatre, sports and visual arts – across Africa and throughout the African Diaspora.  Throughout the semester, the course traces the development of popular cultures across the Black Atlantic from the 18th century to the ubiquitous cultures of today.  One particular emphasis will be on how popular cultures transcend borders and foster creative dialogues between black peoples throughout Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. Tyler Fleming
HIST 5***. Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (3-0-3) This course will study the historical development of concepts of race and ethnicity as terms of description and identification for human groups.  We will study the general, global significance of these terms, but our area of particular focus will be Latin America.  By studying the role of race and ethnicity in Latin America (and by comparing that scenario with our experience in the United States), we will better be able to grasp how these concepts have been employed in different times and places, as tools of both exploitation and empowerment. Doug Tompson
HIST 5***. Slavery in Latin America (3-0-3) This course will examine the use of forced labor in Latin American history.  Our principal focus will be the system of African slavery as it developed in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas.  By the end of the semester, students should have an understanding of: how slavery compares to other systems of labor; the varied forms of slavery in Latin America and how these compare to slavery elsewhere; how the slave trade changed over time; variations in the process of abolition; and the long-term social and cultural impact of slavery in Latin America. Doug Tompson
HIST 5***. Nazi Germany and the Holocaust (3-0-3) In this course we will study Germany during the Nazi period, particularly the origins of the Nazi regime, and the Shoah or Holocaust.  We will delve into our topic by focusing on historical documents—primary sources—from the period.  This will raise the question of the nature of historical study involving historiography and critical analysis of varying sources.  We will also consider the intriguing question of the relative importance of individuals and environments in shaping the course of history.  Neal McCrillis
HIST 5***. Race and Ethnicity in Colonial America (3-0-3) This course is designed to show that the story of the American colonies from 1607 to 1781 is best told through the interaction of early America’s three main cultural groups—Natives, Africans and Europeans. All these peoples had to adapt themselves to changed circumstances during this time and borrowed cultural elements from one another to survive and in some cases prosper in what proved to be a “New World” environment for all parties. The interaction between black, white and native peoples involved various forms of conflict, collusion and coalescence, and produced in time a distinctly American society and nation. John Ellisor
HIST 5***. Convivencia: Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain. This course introduces students to the problems of interfaith relations and inter-cultural exchange between Muslim, Jewish, and Christian peoples leaving in the medieval Spanish Kingdoms. Students will explore the problems of community interaction, law and society, trade, and the transmission of culture between diverse religious groups making up what scholars call the land of the three religions. Students will study the theories of acculturation and convivencia (coexistence) as explanatory concepts of Iberian history and how this relates to conflict and peace within the peninsula. Daniel Gullo
Future 5000G Seminars
The Department of History and Geography currently is preparing to offer potential courses on the following topics in regular rotation with the above coursework.
HIST 5***. Race, Gender and Integration in the U.S. Military (3-0-3)
HIST 5***. War and Genocide, Past and Present (3-0-3)
GEOG 5***. GIS Approaches to Race, Ethnicity and Society (3-0-3)
5000G Topics Courses
Topics courses offered in the Department of History and Geography may be taken to fulfill the required core courses in Race and Society with the approval of the chair.
HIST 5559. Selected Topics in United States History (3-0-3) Selected topics in United States history. May be taken three times for credit if topic varies. Graduate students will have additional reading and research projects not required for undergraduates.
HIST 5566. Selected Topics in Race and American History (3-0-3) Selected topics in Race and American history. May be taken three times for credit if topic varies. Graduate students will have additional reading and research projects not required for undergraduates.
HIST 5535. Selected Topics in Latin American History (3-0-3) Selected topics in Latin American history, from the pre-Columbian era to the present. May be taken three times for credit if topic varies. Graduate students will have additional reading and research projects not required for undergraduates.
HIST 5546. Selected Topics in African History (3-0-3) Selected topics in African history. May be taken twice for credit. Graduate students will have reading or research projects not required of undergraduates.
HIST 5555. Selected Topics in World History (3-0-3) Selected topics in world history. May be taken three times for credit if topic varies. Graduate students will have reading or research projects not required of undergraduates.
HIST 5575. Selected Topics in European History (3-0-3) Selected topics in European history. May be taken three times for credit if topic varies. Graduate students will have reading or research projects not required of undergraduates.
7000 Topics Graduate Seminars
HIST 7***. Selected Topics in United States History (3-0-3) Selected topics in U.S. history. May be taken twice for credit.
HIST 7***. Selected Topics in European History (3-0-3) Selected topics in European history. May be taken twice for credit.

HIST 7***. Selected Topics in Latin American History(3-0-3) Selected topics in Latin American history. May be taken twice for credit.


HIST 7***. Selected Topics in African History (3-0-3) Selected topics in African history. May be taken twice for credit.
HIST 7***. Selected Topics in World History (3-0-3) Selected topics in world history. May be taken twice for credit.

Degree Electives and Thesis Option (12 hours)

Degree candidates in MARES are required to take four elective courses of their choosing in the area of History, Geography, or related field.


Degree candidates may select to compose an original research thesis on a topic of their choosing if approved by the thesis director, chair, and graduate coordinator. The student may take up to 6 credit hours in coursework for writing a M.A. thesis and preparing for the oral defense. All theses are published and catalogued at the Library of Congress and UMI database for theses and dissertations and must conform to the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style for publication.
Degree candidates may take up to 6 credit hours of elective courses outside of the department if approved by the graduate coordinator and departmental chair.
HIST 7*** Thesis Research and Writing (3-0-3). Prerequisite: Consent of the department chair. Course designed for the preparation and composition of the M.A. thesis. May be taken twice for credit.
HIST 7899. Independent Study (3-0-3) Prerequisite: Consent of the department chair. Area and topic of study will vary with the instructor. May be taken twice for credit.
Graduate Language or Technological Skill Requirement
The department requires reading proficiency in one foreign language as determined by examination or the completion of 6 semester hours in intermediate and advanced GIS courses (HIST 3215 and 5215) with a C or better for students focusing on modern history. Classes taken for GIS language proficiency can be counted towards the Masters of Arts language proficiency requirement, but do count for degree credit in the degree program. The student must receive a B or better in these courses and obtain certification from the instructor attesting to their proficiency in GIS for graduate work. Students working on ancient, medieval, or global history will be required to show reading proficiency in the languages of their primary sources if pursuing a thesis option.

Academic Standing
To remain in good standing, degree candidates must enroll in at least three hours of coursework per semester, not including summers. Those who do not maintain continuous admission must reapply for admission. Degree candidates may not receive credit for a C in any course in the major. Upon receipt of a grade of C or lower in any course the student will be placed on academic probation and will receive advisement. Earning a second C or lower grade will be cause for removal from the program.
Students who do not complete their language or technological skills proficiency by the end of the first year may have their academic funding reduced or ended until the requirement is fulfilled.
All requirements for the M.A. must be completed within six years of matriculation.


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