The MA thesis should take as its model a publishable 40-page article, the preparation of which involves isolating, defining and explaining an historical problem through the use of primary materials. The emphasis of the thesis is on the quality of the historical work, rather than exhaustive treatment of the subject.
Once a research topic is identified in consultation with the advisor, students should prepare a 1-2 page thesis prospectus that indicates the nature of the problem they plan to investigate, the research methods and the literature relevant to the problem, and the availability of relevant materials. This should be completed by the end of the first year. At this stage, students will select a second committee member who will provide advice and assistance throughout the remainder of the process. Students must maintain frequent contact with both supervisor and committee member during the progress of the research and the writing of the thesis. If research prevents a student from being in Vancouver, such reports may be submitted by arrangement with the supervisor by mail or e-mail.
A thesis is evaluated by the supervisor, committee member, and a third independent reader. The grade is decided by a consensus between the supervisor, committee member, and third reader. In matters of disagreement or failure to reach a consensus, the issue will be mediated by the graduate advisor on a case-by-case basis. A thesis may be accepted as presented, returned for revisions, or rejected. A grade lower than 60 will be rejected. If the thesis is rejected, the student will be asked to withdraw from the MA program.
When a thesis has been approved, the Master's Thesis Approval and Program Completion form signed by the student's supervisor and the graduate advisor must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Effective January 1, 2011: Students are expected to submit all final theses/dissertations electronically. Approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies is required for non-electronic submissions. Hardbound copies are no longer required to be deposited in the History Department Ofiice. Electronic Submission procedures and technical requirements for formatting theses may be viewed at the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FoGS).