Academic Catalog

History (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy in History is an academic degree and the culmination of a historian’s academic training. Our doctoral program prepares students professionally for both academic and non-academic careers, with an emphasis on career diversity.

Completing the Ph.D. typically involves at least four years of full-time study for students entering with a master’s degree and at least six years for students entering with a bachelor’s degree. Students who are admitted without a master’s degree may choose to earn an M.A. by completing a thesis or essay as part of their coursework.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Earning a graduate degree is an undertaking which requires a considerable commitment of time and financial resources. The Department of History expects applicants to its graduate program to arrive well-prepared to undertake a rigorous course of study.

The department normally considers only applicants whose undergraduate and/or master's grade point average is at least 3.00 overall and at least 3.25 in a minimum of eighteen semester credits in history and related subjects. Attainment of an M.A. in History is not required of doctoral applicants. Applicants should have or be in the process of acquiring relevant foreign language preparation to enter the area in which they wish to study. The department requires that all applicants submit a statement of purpose, a writing sample, two letters of recommendation from former instructors, a resume or curriculum vitae, Graduate Record Examination scores, and copies of transcripts from each college or university previously attended. Please consult the Department of History graduate handbook for detailed instructions for preparing application materials.

The application deadline is January 15 for Fall admission.

The Ph.D. program requires ninety credits of course work beyond the B.A. degree. 

Program Requirements
HIS 7830Methods and Research in History (normally taken in the first fall semester of enrollment)3
HIS 7832History Practicum (normally taken in the first winter semester of enrollment)3
At least four 8000-level HIS research seminars12
At least 15 additional credits in HIS classes numbered 7000 or above15
HIS 9991Doctoral Candidate Status I: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
HIS 9992Doctoral Candidate Status II: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
HIS 9993Doctoral Candidate Status III: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
HIS 9994Doctoral Candidate Status IV: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
Successful completion of Responsible Conduct of Research training
Attainment of Skill Area Competence in three fields outside of traditional academic history

Please consult the Department of History Graduate Handbook for a detailed explanation of these requirements.

Admission to Candidacy requires completion of the following requirements:

  1. Filing of an approved Plan of Work with the Graduate School;
  2. Satisfactory completion of written and oral qualifying examinations in two major and one minor history fields. 

Dissertation: The dissertation is a work of original historical research and presentation on a topic selected by the student with the approval of the student’s advisor and accepted as successfully completed by both the advisor and a dissertation committee. Upon completion of the dissertation, the student will be required to make a public lecture presentation-defense and to submit the dissertation for certification to the Graduate School.

Academic Scholarship: All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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