Ph.D. students may major in American, European, or Latin American history. The department is also particularly strong in African American and Mexican-American history, family and gender, the history of medicine, international business, military history, public history, and social history.
Prerequisites for entering the doctoral degree program are as follows:
- A Master of Arts, a Master of Science, or an equivalent degree in the appropriate field from a recognized institution
- A grade point average of at least 3.67 (A=4.00) on all graduate work attempted
- Acceptable scores on the general aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examination
- An adequate academic background, as determined by the departmental graduate committee.
Students may begin doctoral work only in the fall or spring semesters.
The requirements for a doctoral degree stress qualitative, rather than quantitative, accomplishments and will usually entail between three and five years of full-time study beyond the Master of Arts degree, depending on the student’s area of specialization, level of training, and experience. The requirements are as follows:
- At least one academic year of full-time residency.
- Foreign language competency.
- In U.S. history, the ability to demonstrate a reading competency in a modern foreign language acceptable to the department early in the student’s doctoral program.
- In continental European history, the ability to demonstrate a reading competency in two foreign languages following the criteria for language competency in U.S. history.
- In English history, the ability to demonstrate a reading competency in a language or languages appropriate to the student’s field of specialization following the criteria for language competency in U.S. history.
- In Latin American history, students will demonstrate competency in Spanish.
- See M.A. section for information on how the foreign language requirement can be fulfilled.
- Such qualifying, comprehensive, and dissertation examinations as the department may specify.
- Completion and approval of a Dissertation Proposal within one long semester of passing the comprehensive examination.
- Completion of a minimum of 66 semester hours of graduate credit, including work for the Master of Arts degree, and a maximum of six semester hours for the thesis and of 9 semester hours for the dissertation. At least 9 semester hours must be in a minor area. All credit beyond the Master of Arts degree must be exclusively in graduate courses. Courses with grades less than a B will not be accepted as credit for degree work.
- Completion of a dissertation demonstrating significant independent research as well as an oral examination by the student’s dissertation committee.
Exceptionally promising students may be admitted into an expedited Ph.D. track. The student is required to complete 30 hours of course work, but not a Master’s thesis. In lieu of the thesis, the student will take a three-hour Special Problems course, which entails a 30-page paper based on primary source research and subject to an oral exam. Students completing the requirements with a GPA of 3.67 or better may advance to the Ph.D. program without a separate application.
Additional information concerning required courses in major and minor fields, examinations, and the like should be obtained from the Department of History’s graduate director.