Provost's Office

Department of History

William H. Longton, Chairperson
Gerald Thompson, Director of Graduate Studies


All students seeking admission to graduate study are required to provide transcripts, GRE scores, three academic letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. In addition, students whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores. A lengthy description of the history program is available rom the departmental office or online at:

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree

The student may earn the M.A. degree either by completing: (a) 30 graduate credits, including a thesis, of which 6 credits may, with the approval of the student's committee, be taken outside the department; or (b) 36 graduate credits with an examination in lieu of a thesis, of which 10 credits may, with the approval of the student's committee, be taken outside the department. The choice between (a) and (b) will lie with the student's committee and will be made at the time of the student's first advisory conference with the committee. The student must maintain a B average in all graduate work. Each candidate for the M.A. degree must include within the program the following: (a) one course in historiography, (b) one proseminar and (c) one seminar.

Requirements for the Master of Arts and Education Degree

The Master of Arts and Education degree in history requires at least 18 hours of graduate credit in history within the total of 30 hours presented for the degree, including American or European historiography and a proseminar. A comprehensive written and oral examination covering all graduate courses also is required.

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in history requires a minimum of 62 hours beyond the master's degree, including 24 hours for the dissertation. Doctoral students must complete 2 two-semester seminars and a course in historiography.

General Field

The student must stand for examination, written and oral, over one general field, such as U.S. history or Europe since 1600. See program handbook for additional details.

Topical Major Area

The student must stand for examination in one major area of concentration. This normally will be the area in which the student will write the dissertation and in which the student has had course and seminar work. The fields of Urban, Labor, Business, Intellectual, Social, Diplomatic, Local and Regional, the American West, European Expansion, the Andes, and Africa since 1800 suggest the range from which the student may choose.

Topical Minor Area

The student will be examined in a minor area outside the general field. Selection of this field will be made by the student and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Additional Study Outside the Department

The student's committee may require additional course work or readings in a department other than historyfor example, economics, political science, sociology, geography, English, or philosophy. The student will not be examined in the related area, but must satisfy the committee on the quantity and quality of such work. A member of the associated department may participate in the general oral examination.

Foreign Language and Other Tools

Every student in U.S. history, before taking the general or qualifying examinations, must pass an examination in a foreign languagefor example, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or Russian. The choice of the language required will lie with the student's advisory committee, which also may require a demonstration of competence in other foreign languages or in some appropriate skill such as computer analysis or statistics. Students in non-U.S. history must demonstrate competence in at least two foreign languages.

Last Updated: 6/9/16