Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.H.)
General information and requirements
The M.A.T.H. in History is a 30-credit program designed primarily for elementary and secondary teachers of history and social studies. The M.A.T.H. degree does not, however, lead to a Nevada public schools teaching certificate for grades K-12; such certification is available at UNR only through the College of Education. Most students in the M.A.T.H. program already have received this certification.
No competence in a foreign language is required for completion of the M.A.T.H. program. The M.A.T.H. program does not require a thesis. Requirements and information pertaining to the application process to our M.A.T.H. Program can be found on the M.A.T.H. webpage.
M.A.T.H. admission requirements
Applicants to the M.A.T.H. program must hold the baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, with a major or a 24-semester-credit minor in history, education (history or social-studies emphasis), or a closely related discipline. A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (unless the applicant has demonstrated unusual promise during junior and senior years), a statement of purpose, and two letter of recommendation are also required for admission to Graduate Standing in History. Applicants must have at least one year's teaching experience or its equivalent at the primary and/or secondary level before the semester in which they seek to enter the M.A.T.H. program. The GRE examination is not required for M.A.T.H. applicants.
How to apply
Before applying to the M.A.T.H. program we suggest that you contact the Graduate Program Director to ascertain if you meet minimum qualifications for admission and to determine if your goals for study and research can potentially be realized at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Application to the M.A.T.H. Program is online. The following are required as part of the application:
- Official copies of your complete Transcripts of all college and university work.
- A Statement of Purpose (uploaded to the online application) that describes:
- Employment and history as a secondary teacher and your goals for advanced study.
- The specific area(s) of historical research you would like to pursue, and which faculty member(s) you would like to work with and why (please also include if you have been in contact with members of the department).
- Any other pertinent experiences that allow the admissions committee to understand your background, preparation, and motivation.
- Two Letters of Recommendation.
The deadline is February 1st for matriculation in the Fall semester.
Degree requirements (M.A.T.H. program)
- Time Limit. All requirements must be satisfied during the six calendar years immediately preceding the granting of the degree.
- Grades. A graduate student in the Department of History will not be granted credit toward the degree for any course (including transfer courses) in which the final grade is below a "B" (3.0).
- Course Expectations. A term paper or its equivalent (essays and other written assignments, lesson/unit plans, etc., as specified by the instructor) will be required in each course taken for graduate credit in the Department of History.
- Continuous Registration. By Graduate School regulations, graduate students must maintain continuous registration of at least three graduate credits per semester to remain active in the pursuit of a degree. This means that students studying for comprehensive exams or writing theses must (even if they are not in residence) register for at least three graduate credit hours each semester (summers excluded) until they graduate. Failure to enroll in at least three credits per semester - or to request an official Leave of Absence - will result in a student's being dropped from Graduate Standing; the Department may subsequently decide whether or not to readmit the student. Students who wish to interrupt study must apply for a leave of absence which must be approved by the History Department and by the Graduate Dean.
- Residence. By Graduate School requirements, at least 23 of a student's credits must be earned in on-campus courses at the University.
- Paperwork. The student is responsible for a knowledge of the degree requirements and for the timely submission of all Graduate School forms. Early in their graduate careers, students should become familiar with the most important of these forms: the Program of Study, the Notice of Completion, and the Application for Graduation.
Before proceeding beyond nine credits of Graduate Study, the student must have accomplished the following:
- Historiography. All candidates for the M.A.T.H. in History are required to take two historiography courses: the general HIST 783 (Historiography) and a historiography course related to their field of interest.
- Declaration of Faculty Advisor. M.A.T.H. students must secure the agreement of a member of the department faculty to supervise their work before the end of their second semester, at which time the student files the Declaration of Advisor form available on the Graduate School website.
- Fields of Concentration. With the approval of their faculty advisor, students must select two fields of concentration (leading to comprehensive course work and reading covering a broad spectrum of historical material) from the list of M.A.T.H. Fields. No more than one field may be selected from Group III. In one field, comprehensive work leads to a three-hour examination; in the other field, comprehensive work is evidenced in a teaching unit plan with extensive annotated bibliography of scholarship on the topic (see below).
- Graduate Committee/Initial Meeting. Each student in the M.A.T.H. program will have a faculty advisory committee, composed of three members. Two should be members of the History faculty, who will supervise the student’s examination field and curriculum unit field; one of these serves as chair of the committee. The third should a faculty member from outside the Department of History. All committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty. Once the student’s committee has been determined, a meeting of the student and the committee takes place. At this meeting, the student discusses the proposed fields of study, and the faculty members recommend courses that will prepare the student for the examination or the unit plan in those fields.
After beginning the M.A.T.H. program but before taking the comprehensive examination, the student must accomplish the following:
- Specific Course Work Requirements. The M.A.T.H. degree requires a total of 30 credits, which should include the following (substitutions may be made with the approval of the Graduate Program Director)
- Historiography: two seminars (6 credits)
- 24 credits in additional graduate-level courses, as follows:
- Graduate-level history courses (at least 12 credits)
- College of Liberal Arts graduate-level courses outside History, approved by faculty advisor (at least 3 credits).
- Graduate-level courses in the College of Education, to be approved by faculty advisor. (at least 6 credits)
- History 795: Comprehensive Examination (1 credit)
- 700-level Requirement. Of the courses above, at least 15 credits must be in 700-level courses. The historiography requirement and comprehensive examinations (History 795) count toward fulfilling this requirement.
- Independent Study/Readings. Students are expected to take nine credits in the field in which they will take the comprehensive examination, including at least one 3-credit independent readings course with the faculty member supervising that field (see #12 below). Students are also expected to take nine credits in the field in which they will prepare their teaching unit plan. In some cases, a course will contribute toward both fields.
- Changes in Committee Members/Examination Fields. A student may change the examination fields or committee members only with the approval of the Graduate Program Director. Such changes may require the student to take additional courses.
- Program of Study Form/Meeting. In consultation with the Graduate Program Director and the committee members, the student completes the "Advisory-Examining Committee/Program of Study" before completion of 24 credits. Student should list all courses that they have taken and plans to take en route to the degree, including comprehensive examinations (History 795). To complete the Program of Study form, the student arranges a meeting to be attended by all members of the committee, including the Graduate Program Director. At this meeting, the student explains how the fields have taken shape through the course work. Committee members review the Program of Study form to ensure that it includes all courses necessary for the chosen fields and satisfies all requirements of the program. At this meeting, the committee members also determine which, if any, of the student's credits completed as a Graduate Special student or in graduate courses outside the University of Nevada, Reno may count toward the total degree requirements.
- Transfer Credits. Credit completed as a Graduate Special student or in graduate courses outside the University of Nevada, Reno may or may not count toward the total degree requirements, at the discretion of the student's graduate committee. In no event may more than nine credits earned as a graduate special student or outside the University (or combination thereof) be applied to the degree.
After the Program of Study meeting, if credits from non-University of Nevada, Reno courses are to be counted toward the degree, the student should submit the "Graduate Transfer Evaluation Request" to the Graduate Program Directory for processing. The Graduate School staff checks to be certain that the transfer courses were offered for graduate-level credit and computes the equivalent number of semester hours (if the courses were taken on a quarter basis).
- Graduation. Students must complete an online Application for Graduation in the semester when they wish to graduate. Deadlines will be listed on the Graduate School Website. (There is no longer a policy allowing graduation applications to "roll over" to a subsequent semester.)
The application for graduation provides a final list of all courses the student has taken in order to complete the program. If that list in any way deviates from the one on the Program of Study form, the student must attach a "Change in Program of Study" form detailing the changes. If a student's committee has changed, the student must attach the "Change of Advisory Committee" form.
- Description. In one of the student's two fields of concentration, the student must pass a comprehensive examination, based upon nine credits of course work -- at least three credits of which should consist of an independent-reading course (History 703 or 705) with the supervising faculty member. The comprehensive examination is a 20-30 page synthetic “bibliographic essay” prepared by the student over the course of a semester and guided by member of the committee responsible for the examination field. This essay can take the form of historiographical responses to written questions, but is prepared in advance by the student on the basis of an agreed-upon reading list.
- In the other field of concentration, the student must develop a teaching unit plan (3-4 weeks of a primary or secondary class curriculum). This unit plan should be based upon substantial readings in historical scholarship and relevant pedagogical scholarship, should reference appropriate state, county, and national history curriculum standards, and should contain a historiographical essay and an annotated bibliography of relevant scholarship.
- Reading Lists. In the examination field, the student is responsible for a reading list drawn in part from the readings in the courses taken with guidance for a faculty member. The independent study with the supervising faculty member should occur toward the end of the student's course work, so that the faculty member can prescribe readings to address gaps in prior work. Reading lists for the M.A.T.H. comprehensive examination consists of twenty to thirty books or their equivalent (where three or four articles are the equivalent of a book).
- Schedule. Students should plan to write their “bibliographic essay” in the semester when they complete their course work. Examinations are administered within a one-week period, generally around the thirteenth week of the semester. The teaching unit plan is due at the beginning of the week of comprehensive examinations.
- Evaluation. All comprehensive examinations are read by at least two members of the Department of History. The Department may permit the student to arrange for re-examination in case of failure. After a student's examination has been evaluated, readers' reports will be made available to him or her. The teaching unit plan will also be evaluated by two members of the faculty, generally one from the Department of History and one from a related College of Liberal Arts department or the College of Education. The readers will either approve or recommend revisions to the unit plan.
- Final Oral Presentation. After the readers have approved the student’s teaching unit plan, the student will give a presentation of approximately twenty minutes in a meeting lasting about one hour. The presentation should demonstrate engagement with the historiography of the subject matter and awareness of contemporary methods of studying and teaching that subject matter. The presentation is a public event, to which the History faculty and graduate students are invited. Upon passage of the presentation and acceptance of the unit plan, the committee members sign the "Master's Degree -- Notice of Completion." Deadlines for submitting this form are published on the Graduate School's website and in each semester's course schedule. It is the responsibility of students to plan their work so as to meet these various deadlines.