Department of History



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Pattern II

Three session-length (1.0) courses (or equivalent in one-term courses), plus a Master's cognate essay [HIST-898], recommended length 40-50 pp., maximum length 50 pp. The Pattern II M.A. is designed to be completed within twelve months. Part-time students may enroll in one course per session, and must take the minimum two graduate history courses in the department for their degrees.

Courses: All incoming full-time students enrolled in degree programmes must take, in their first year of study, a minimum of three session-length (two-term) courses or their equivalents. One session-length (1.0) or two term-length (0.5) courses in Pattern II may be taken in another department or at RMC. One of the courses must be closely related to the subject of the student's cognate essay. The three courses are not to be taken in the same field. History 895*, 896* or 897 ‘Directed Reading' courses are not encourage and may make up no more than one session-length course in the student's programme. Students must have the approval of the prospective instructor of a reading course and the Graduate chair before registering for it in the summer preregistration period.

Cognate essay: The Master's cognate essay (50 pages maximum) is usually the outgrowth of a term paper from one of the student's courses. It may be based on primary research, or it may be an interpretive essay based on secondary sources. The cognate essay topic must be submitted to the Graduate Committee for approval by the end of the second term of the first academic session of M.A. study (May 15). The Graduate Committee's approval must be obtained before the candidate commences work on the essay. The cognate essay proposal must be approved (by signature or email) by the proposed supervisor(s) prior to submission to the committee.

Examination of the cognate essay: The Master's essay will not be subject to an oral defence and there will be no grade awarded. It will be read by one member of the department in addition to the essay supervisor. The format of the cognate essay must conform to the high standards expected of graduate students in order to secure approval of the supervisor and second reader. In particular, cognate essays should be typed, doubled spaced, single-sided and with reasonable margins (at least one inch), include footnotes or endnotes, and a bibliography formatted to a recognized style in the discipline, and a title page that clearly identifies the student's name, student number, title, supervisor, year of submission, and the phrase "cognate essay submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree Master's of Arts in the Department of History."

The student, supervisor, and second reader will select a date when the essay is to be submitted to the graduate office of the department. The supervisor and the second reader will report on the essay within 14 days of receiving it. These reports will pass, fail, or recommend minor revisions to the essay. If minor revisions are required, then the revised essay is to be resubmitted to the supervisor and second reader within 14 days of the student being informed of the assessment. Students are entitled to a copy of the second reader's report.

If major revisions are required, then a failing grade is assigned. Should the second reader and the supervisor differ on their assessment of the essay, the graduate chair will attempt to resolve the differences, but will provide compulsory arbitration of any dispute should this be necessary. The student is entitled to resubmit an essay judged to have failed within three months of being informed of the original assessment. The supervisor's permission is advisable but not compulsory to have the essay resubmitted. In addition, normal academic grievance procedures apply.

After receiving approval of their cognate essay, candidates will provide the Department with two copies of the corrected text with plastic binding, one copy to be kept by the Graduate Chair and one copy to be kept by the supervisor.

Completion of the M.A.: There shall be no switching from Pattern II to Pattern I or from Pattern I to Pattern II after January 15 of the first year of registration in the programme. (A shift from Pattern I to Pattern II more than 2 weeks after the commencement of courses may entail an additional year of study).

The time limit for completion of the M.A. programme is five years from initial registration. Any request for extensions will be carefully reviewed by the department and the School of Graduate Studies, and M.A. students are encouraged to complete their programmes within 12-16 months from initial registration (20 months at most).