Degree Programs & Requirements


The Department of History offers only a PhD. We do not admit students to a terminal master's degree in history; however, students in the PhD program may earn a master’s degree in history on the way to earning their doctorate. We do offer an interdisciplinary MA in heritage studies and public history.

PhD Degree Requirements

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

  • 27 credits in 9 history classes, including Scope and Methods of Historical Studies (8015) in the first semester and a History Research Seminar (8021), which would focus on prospectus writing to be taken in the second or third year, as well as 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 in at least one language outside of English before preliminary exams (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 fourth semester of full time funding.

Graduate Minor in History

Students pursuing graduate degrees in other departments may minor in history. To earn a master’s minor, you 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 four 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.