Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. is a research degree requiring professional preparation and implying a certain level of both knowledge and technical skill as a historian. We view the training of a historian as an apprenticeship, not as a period when one mechanically follows a set curriculum. Therefore, the requirements for completing the degree will be administered as flexibly as possible within the bounds of the general university regulations.

Requirements for the PhD:

  • Satisfactory completion of 36 credit hours (12 courses), including eight graduate seminars.
  • 54 credit hours in dissertation research and writing (total 90 credit hours for the degree).
  • Pass an examination* in a language other than the student’s native language. The language should be related to the student’s envisioned dissertation research.
  • Perform satisfactorily on a written and oral comprehensive examination in three fields**
  • Complete a dissertation presenting the results of original research.

*Language exams involve translating a history passage of approximately 500 words in length.

**Doctoral candidates must prepare themselves in three fields of history: two in their major area of concentration and a third in an area not included in the first two fields

Brief Timeline

Years one and Two: Coursework
Pass foreign language exam before beginning of the third semester.

Year Three: Prepare for and pass comprehensive examination from dissertation commmittee
Take HIST 578 Prospectus Seminar
Achieve Candidacy

Years Four and Beyond: Research and writing.
*Write a dissertation and successfully defend the dissertation in a public oral examination.
Prospective students interested in learning more about program details should consult the History Graduate Handbook.