Graduate study places students in a learning community involving faculty, fellow graduate students, and colleagues from throughout the profession. Since only about half of all applicants to MU's graduate program in history are accepted, students who are given the opportunity to study at Marquette accept certain responsibilities. Just as the faculty are committed to helping students develop into first-rate scholars and teachers, so, too, should students commit themselves to the process of becoming historians.
The most common setting for a student's graduate work is the classroom, where faculty and students come together to conduct the business of history. The professor, in addition to assigning readings and evaluating student discussions and papers, creates an atmosphere conducive to learning and offers his or her own research and interpretations as examples of historical method and critical thinking. Students, for their part, must come to the seminar table or lecture hall fully prepared to participate in class work. Student preparedness is vital to the success of the individual and of the class. All readings, reports, and papers should be completed with the highest degree of professionalism. It is imperative to complete reading assignments and papers on time, to read one another's work critically but generously, to share equally in the journey of discovery that each course becomes. Engaging in discourse and discussion is the unique feature of graduate course work and every student should be prepared to participate fully.
With this in mind, students are also expected to take an active role in the profession outside the classroom. Students are encouraged to present papers at conferences, revise seminar papers and submit them to professional journals, attend conferences and lectures, and read independently. These activities help the student develop professionally and benefit the discipline. Support is available for students traveling to conferences to deliver papers through the department's Klement Fund and Casper Fund.