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Degree Programs & Requirements

The Department of History offers only a PhD. We do not admit students to a terminal master's degree; however, students in the PhD program may earn a master’s degree on the way to their doctorate.

PhD Degree Requirements

For your PhD, you will be expected to meet the following requirements:

  • 30 credits in 10 history classes, including the introductory Scope and Methods of Historical Studies, and two courses in a chosen comparative area
  • 12 credits from outside the history department related to your course of study
  • 24 thesis credits
  • Reading knowledge of two foreign languages before oral examination (this requirement may vary depending on your field of study and may include competence in quantitative methods)
  • Completion of preliminary written and oral exams
  • Completion of the dissertation
  • Final oral dissertation defense

Note: If you enter the PhD program with a master’s, you will be expected to complete your coursework and preliminary exams by the end of your second year or the first term of the third year.

Master’s Option

Students interested in completing a master’s degree along the way may do so. All students who choose to pursue a master’s must complete 30-31 credits of coursework, have a reading knowledge in one foreign language, and can choose to write a thesis or expand upon three seminar papers.

Graduate Minor in History

Students pursuing graduate degrees in other departments may minor in history if they wish to do so. To earn a master’s minor, students will be asked to take two history courses and craft a thesis with a historical dimension. Students wishing to earn a PhD minor will be asked to take five history courses, including Scope and Methods of Historical Studies. Minor students must also take a written and oral examination, which can be incorporated into their home department, as long as a historian sits on the examining committee.

Non-Degree Graduate Credits

Non-degree seeking students can join graduate seminars as well, more information can be found here.

CLA’s Graduate Programs Office offers graduate students access to funding resources, health and supportive services, diversity initiatives, and other valuable information.