Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in History

The Ph.D. program in history trains students for professional careers as research scholars, college and university professors, public historians in archives, museums and government and community organizations, and curriculum specialists in secondary and elementary education.

ADMISSION - granted once a year for the Fall semester: (1) Master's Degree, with a thesis or the equivalent thereof in history, or a related field (minimum of 9 graduate credits in history required), from a regionally accredited college or university, (2) 3.3 G.P.A. in all previous post-baccalaureate work,  (3) three letters of recommendation, (4) sample historical essay,  (5) successful interview with the department's doctoral committee, (6) students for whom instruction has not been in English must also submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

In addition, official GRE (general exam) scores must be submitted.  Students entering the program with GRE verbal scores below 400 are required to enroll in and pass with B or higher Advanced Expository Writing - ENGL 581 (no credit toward the degree).  The student must also submit upon application a statement of goals and proposed concentrations, on major and two minor: (1) African-American History, (2) African Diaspora History, (3) 20th Century US History.

Department Requirements - Coursework

1. Pre-requisite History Courses (500+) = 0-6 non-degree credits. History credits earned previously in post baccalaureate study will be evaluated upon matriculation. Students, who have not completed prerequisite credits required for admission in previous post baccalaureate study, will be required upon entering to take up to 6 credits of prerequisite courses at the 500 to 700 levels.

2. Professional Competency = 0-6 non-degree credits, in two of the following skills/methods related to their research:

  • Foreign Language. Competency in foreign language may be met by a proficiency examination administered by the Department of Foreign Languages or by enrollment in an undergraduate foreign language class (no language credits toward the degree).
  • Second Foreign Language
  • Oral History. The oral history requirement may be met by taking the prerequisite theory course - HIST 708 -Oral History (credits for which may be applied toward the degree as a course in 20th century U.S. History, or as an elective) and then HIST 808 -Oral History Practicum (no credit applied toward the degree).
  • Archival History. The archival history requirement may be met by taking the prerequisite theory course - HIST 707 (credits for which may be applied toward the degree as an elective) and then HIST 807-Archival Practicum (no credit applied toward the degree).

3. Content and/or Theory Courses = 30 credit hours. Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA in all of their course work at the end of each academic semester:

  • 3 hours: 804 (Advanced Historiography)
  • 12 hours: major concentration
  • 6 hours: 1st minor concentration
  • 6 hours: 2nd minor concentration
  • 3 hours: history elective

4. Pass written comprehensive examinations. Exams will be given for both the major and minor concentrations. Each examination may be repeated only once.

5. Dissertation credits = 9 credit hours

  • 3 hours: 901 (Dissertation Proposal) - must be taken first
  • 6 hours: (Dissertation Seminar)
  • Thereafter, until the dissertation is completed, students must be in residence by registering each semester for either three hours of 997 (Dissertation Guidance - no credits toward the degree) or six hours of 999 (Dissertation II - no credits toward the degree). The dissertation must involve significant, original historical research representing a contribution to historical knowledge.

6. Dissertation Defense. Candidates must be enrolled at the time of the oral defense. Students are required to complete the degree within seven years from entering the program.