PhD in History

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 the way to 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 second year or the first term of the third year.

Master’s Options

Students interested in completing a Master’s degree while pursuing their PhD 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.

We are now offering an MA in heritage studies and public history in conjunction with several departments, programs, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the College of Design. This MA provides history professionals with broad disciplinary perspectives in several areas including archival research, archaeology, material culture studies, architecture, preservation, or landscape studies. View more information on the MA in Heritage Studies and Public History.

Graduate Minor in History

Students pursuing graduate degrees in other departments may minor in history. 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 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, more information can be found here.

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College Resources for Graduate Students

Visit CLA’s website for graduate students to learn about collegiate funding opportunities, student support, career services, and more.

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