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Brown University suspends terminal master’s in history

Historians in the News
tags: academia, Brown University, History Profession, history in crisis



The University will no longer offer terminal master’s degrees in history beginning in the 2019-20 school year.

The decision came after the University compared its single-year program with longer, thematically-focused options at peer institutions and determined its degree program was not robust enough.

The suspension of the terminal master’s program, which offered a one-year program to individuals not previously enrolled at the University, leaves most outside applicants unable to obtain a Brown master’s in history. Outside applicants can still earn a transitional master’s through the University’s PhD program, and current students can enroll in the fifth-year master’s program.

“We compared Brown’s (master’s degree) to peer programs nationally and found that the vast majority of successful, competitive (master’s) programs are two years and most of them have a strong thematic or professional focus,” wrote Chair of History Robert Self in an email to The Herald. “Since ours was neither … we suspended it for further consideration.” The program may return if the University and the Department of History decide that it would be in their “best interests to develop a focused and competitive two-year program,” Self added.

Associate Professor of History Rebecca Nedostup said the history department is thinking about “how to create a more distinctive and robust program down the line.”

Read entire article at The Brown Daily Herald

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