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Washington State University
History | Graduate Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will understand and evaluate the main methodologies and historical arguments in the primary fields of study. By the time the student completes the program they should be able to identify key methodologies and historical arguments in the primary field of study accurately and the implications of each, to demonstrate an integrated and mature understanding of the primary field, to integrate different methodologies and historical arguments into own research independently and to place new scholarship within the framework of own primary field.


  1. Students will interpret and apply the major trends in historiography and the methodological innovations associated with changes in historiographical theory. By the time the student has completed the program, they should be able to identify and integrate major historiographical debates into a mature and coherent understanding of the discipline as a whole, to identify trends in historiography and historical methodology, competently place themselves within these debates and identify key changes over time in historiographical theory and can place themselves on this timeline.


  1. Students will apply appropriate theories and methods to the major field through independent research projects. By the time the student has completed the program they should be able to identify multiple methodological contributions to the field relevant to their own independent research and to integrate appropriately those discussions within a master’s thesis or dissertation. They should also understand not only the implications of appropriate theories and historical methods to their own research, but also the implications of their own research to previous scholarship.


  1. Students will demonstrate mastery of historical exposition. By the time of completion of the program, the student should be able to identify multiple forms of historical exposition and effectively apply appropriate forms for a particular research project. Their communication should be not only clear and concise, but eloquent and persuasive. They should demonstrate not only awareness of the types of reasoning used, but also the broader historical and historiographical implications of the decision to use those forms of reasoning. The student should demonstrate not only an awareness of the connection between argument and argumentative structure, but the historical and historiographical implications of the decisions they makes in this regard.


  1. Students will describe historical research within the professional apparatus of the discipline, and develop communication skills for diverse professional purposes. Upon completion of the program, the student should demonstrate successful application of the diverse sets of skills required for the presentation of historical research, including professional-level oral presentation, book reviews appropriate for professional journals, journal-length articles suitable for submission to peer reviewed journals and (for doctoral students) the production of monograph-length written projects suitable (once revised) for submission to an academic press for publication. The student should use communication choices to convey identified purpose and message effectively, create the desired effect (visceral impact, tone and credibility), and manage rapport with (multiple) intended audience(s) or participant(s). The student should choose and adjust delivery, media, activities, rhetorical moves, tone, and style to engage target audience effectively and organize information, ideas, and activities with smooth transitions.


  1. Students will design and construct a successful and nationally commensurate master’s thesis or dissertation by defining a viable research project and conducting research according to nationally recognized professional standards. Upon completion of the program, the student should be able to identify a viable research project and complete their master’s thesis or PhD dissertation according to the national standards of professional conduct, outlined by the American Historical Association. The student should accurately and convincingly demonstrate the integrity of their own historical interpretation, provides a reliable, complete and traceable record of historical evidence, as well as demonstrate creativity and depth of thought in moving from the analysis of evidence to the development of a clear, persuasive and historically significant argument


  1. Students will develop skills associated with the teaching of history at the college level. By the time the student complete the program, they should be able to organize historical narratives for students and integrates various teaching modes to communicate those narratives effectively to the students, appropriate to their level, explain historical events clearly and to communicate the wider significance of those events in terms that students can understand. Thet should also demonstrate effectively for students the process of historical inquiry and debate and should have elements of teaching aimed at allowing students to learn the process of historical interpretation and debate for themselves. This student’s teaching methods should be adapted skillfully to learners’ responses to content and teaching methodologies and they should demonstrate the successful improvement of teaching practices as a result of integrating feedback from students and/or teaching mentors.