PhD in History

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field Applicants must have either an undergraduate major in history or a minimum of 16 semester hours in history.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study. A GPA of 3.50/4.00 is recommended.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required,  preferably from former professors.
  • Personal Statement Required.
  • Writing Sample Required.
  • Other Requirements for Applicants to the PhD in History If they wish to enroll in a departmental concentration (WRGUW or Encounters), which is recommended, applicants should indicate in their required personal statement which concentration (WRGUW or Encounters) they wish to study. Application instructions are available on the Department of History website.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate. At least 64 hours beyond the master's degree.
  • Coursework Candidates for the PhD must have credit for the following:
    • 16 hours of 500-level coursework
    • 8 hours of HIST 591
    • 8 hours of HIST 552
    • 4 hours of the 500-level colloquia in the student's major area
    • HIST 501, taken by all entering graduate students
    • 48 hours of HIST 599

In some cases, students may be required to take additional colloquia in their major field. Credit toward the degree is not given for any course in which the student receives a grade of less than B. 

Students entering the PhD program with a master's degree in history may have some of these requirements waived, while those entering with a master's degree in a different discipline may be required to complete additional didactic coursework. This determination will be made at the time of admission, based on the student's prior coursework and educational experience. See the Department of History website for further details. 

PhD Concentration in the History of Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World (WRGUW)

The WRGUW Concentration offers students a foundation in labor, immigration, and history of capitalism; race and African American history; and/or gender, women’s, and gay and lesbian history. Though framed around a modern U.S. history core, the program nevertheless encourages a transnational perspective on its central themes. Moreover, of the student’s two required minor fields, one will address non-U.S. or comparative topics. Students concentrating in WRGUW entering with a BA must satisfactorily complete four WRGUW-themed courses (HIST 593, 16  hours), while those entering with an MA must complete three such courses (12 hours). Participation in the WRGUW Concentration involves no increase in the total hours needed to graduate. Students work closely with their advisors in designing their program of study. Completion of all requirements for the PhD is necessary to graduate with a Concentration in WRGUW.

PhD Concentration in the History of Encounters, Ethnographies, and Empires (Encounters)

The Encounters Concentration draws upon the expertise of faculty with regional specializations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. The concentration offers students specializing in any one of these areas the opportunity for comparative study and research on topics related to encounters between different peoples, cultures, and continents. Framed around a core in world and European history, with attention to both the early modern and modern eras, Encounters is designed to help students become conversant with issues that cut cross across regional specializations. Encounters students entering with a BA must satisfactorily complete four Encounters courses (HIST 594, 16 hours), while those entering with an MA  must complete three such courses (12 hours). Participation in the Encounters concentration involves no increase in the total  hours needed to graduate. Students work closely with their advisors in designing their program of study. Completion of all requirements for the PhD is necessary to graduate with a Concentration in Encounters.

Other Requirements

  • Examinations

    • Comprehensive Examination: None.

    • Preliminary Examination: Required for one major field and two minor fields of study.

  • Dissertation Prospectus Required; written and oral.
  • Dissertation Required.
  • Other Requirements Students must demonstrate reading knowledge in one (non-English) foreign language relevant to their course of study. Any additional foreign language requirements will be determined by student’s advisor.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include: