Graduate Program: Doctor of Philosophy
The Ph.D. degree in history is offered with concentrations in Medieval History, Early Modern European History, Modern European History, American History, and Latin American History. The department also offers coursework in Middle Eastern History and Asian History.
During the first semester of full-time study, doctoral students choose a faculty advisor, who oversees the student's progress in preparing for comprehensive exams and in developing a dissertation topic.
The Ph.D. is a research degree and requires special commitment and skills. While the degree is not granted for routine adherence to certain regulations, or for the successful completion of a specified number of courses, there are certain basic requirements.
Students entering directly into the Ph.D. program are required to complete 39 credits, 36 of which are taken prior to comprehensive exams. All students in the Ph.D. program are required to pursue two semesters of full-time study during the first year and must, in the course of their studies, complete at least two seminars (one of which may be the Dissertation Seminar) and at least three colloquia (the Introduction to Doctoral Studies, one in the major area, and one in a minor area).
During the course of the first semester of study, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and their advisor, students will develop a plan of study leading to the comprehensive examination. This will consist of four fields of concentration.
Usually faculty require that students take at least some formal coursework in each field and expect students to develop and master a reading list of important books and articles. With the approval of the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, students may offer, as one of the two minor areas, a discipline related to history or a topic within that cuts across traditional geographical or chronological boundaries. When considered necessary to a student's program, the department may require advanced-level work in a related discipline, either as a minor field or as supplemental work. This plan of study may be reviewed, evaluated and revised whenever necessary. However, changes must be approved by the faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
|American History||Modern European|
|U.S. to 1877||Europe, 1789-1914|
|U.S. Since 1860||Europe, 1870-1945|
|Intellectual and Cultural||Contemporary Europe|
|Social, Economic, and Labor||Intellectual and Cultural|
|Urban||Social, Economic, and Labor|
|Race and Ethnicity||Diplomatic|
|Gender and Women||Modern Britain|
|Social and Economic||Modern Ireland|
|Religious and Cultural||Pre-Revolutionary Russia|
|Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman||Soviet|
|Early Medieval France and Flanders|
|Colonial Latin America|
|Early Modern European||Modern Latin America|
|Intellectual and Cultural|
|Social and Economic||Other Areas|
|Gender and Women||China||Middle East|
|Early Modern France||Japan||India and South Asia|
Ph.D. candidates, with the exception of medievalists, must pass two language exams. Students concentrating in American History may substitute competency in a field of particular methodological or theoretical relevance to their program of study for competency in a second foreign language. To do so, students must petition the Graduate Committee for the substitution and explain the nature of the field and its importance to the plan of study, particularly the dissertation. The student's faculty advisor certifies that the student has acquired the appropriate skills and knowledge. Medievalists must pass three language exams, one of which must be Latin or Greek.
The student's oral comprehensive examination will be conducted by an examining board composed of four faculty members, two from the student's major area and one each from the two minor areas. A written examination may be substituted for an oral exam at the joint discretion of the student and the student's committee.
Once a doctoral student has completed all academic requirement (coursework, language exams, and oral comprehensive examination) and has a signed dissertation proposal on file, the student will then be admitted to doctoral candidacy. At this stage, students will research and write their dissertation. This should be an original contribution to knowledge in their field, based on extensive primary and secondary research. The completed dissertation must be approved by a committee of three readers - the faculty advisor and two other faculty members - and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. It must also be defended at a public oral defense.