Graduate Courses

Theory and Methodology

HIST 900: The Professional Study of History introduces incoming graduate students to the culture, expectations, and practices of professional historians. It exposes students to some of the most significant historical theories, approaches, and methodologies in the field. This class is offered every fall and required of each student during their first year in the program.

Content Areas

We offer classes in three separate content areas:

1) Core Historiography Seminars

These core seminars introduce students to major historiographical interpretations and debates in each of these broad fields. They emphasize critical reading, analysis, and discussion of significant books and articles of broad geographical and chronological scope. Students will gain familiarity with writing book reviews and historiographical papers. These classes will also lay the foundation for comprehensive exams by providing extensive recommended reading lists.

For students who plan to pursue an academic position at a college or university, these seminars provide a foundation for teaching in the broad fields of U.S. History, European History, or World History.

  • HIST 931: European Historiography before 1700
  • HIST 933: European Historiography  since 1700
United States
  • HIST 941: U.S. Historiography to 1877
  • HIST 943: U.S. Historiography since 1877
  • HIST 961: World Historiography
  • HIST 963: Topics in Non-Western Historiography (rotates between faculty specializing in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East)
2) Thematic and Comparative Classes

Our thematic and comparative classes offer students the opportunity to explore particular topics or approaches to history across multiple time frames and geographical areas. Approach-oriented courses include Transnational History, Intellectual History, Legal History, and Cultural History. More thematic-oriented courses include Revolutions, Slavery, Urban History, Global Environmental History, and the History of Science.

  • HIST/WMNS 951: Comparative Readings Seminar in Women and Gender
  • HIST 953: Comparative Topics and Approaches (rotates among various faculty with different areas of interest and expertise)
3) Focus Field Classes

Focus field classes enable students to develop expertise in particular content areas related to their planned dissertation research. Currently the University of Nebraska-Lincoln History Program offers focus fields in North American West; Race, Ethnicity, and Identity; 19th-Century U.S.; 20th-Century International; German and Central European Studies; and Early Modern Europe/Atlantic World.

900-level focus field classes include:

  • HIST/ENGL/MODL 918: Interdisciplinary Seminar in 19th-Century Studies
  • HIST/ENGL/MODL 919: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the 19th Century
  • HIST/ETHN 983: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity
  • HIST/GERM 985: German and Central European Studies
  • HIST/POLS 987: 20th-Century International History
  • HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 988: Intro to Interdisciplinary Study of Middle Ages
  • HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 989: Intro to Interdisciplinary Study of the Renaissance
  • HIST/GPSP 991: Readings and Problems in North American West

Skills Based Classes

These classes offer students training in particular skills that historians will use in a variety of professional positions in the 21st century, including primary-source research, writing, digital history, teaching history, editing and publishing, and working in museums and archives.

HIST 950: Seminar in Researching and Writing History

This broad-based research and writing seminar is suitable for any Ph.D. student in any field. Students will consult with their advisers regarding topics and sources. The class will provide a guided research and writing experience, culminating in a substantial research paper or digital project based on primary sources and modeled on articles published in professional historical journals or digital projects of a similar scope. Students will take two of these courses in the first two years of the Ph.D. program.

HIST 990: Seminar in Teaching History introduces students to the theoretical literature on teaching and learning, familiarizes them with a variety of approaches to classroom instruction, and provides opportunities to work on course design and effective discussion and lecture techniques. This course is required of all doctoral students.

Digital History

Our department is a leading innovator in the new methodology of digital history. Students should take at least one class from the following options:

  • HIST 870: Digital History introduces students to analysis of the theory, methods, and readings in humanities computing and digital history.
  • HIST 895: Digital Humanities Practicum offers active participation in an ongoing digital humanities project in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities
  • HIST 946: Interdisciplinary Readings in Digital Humanities
  • HIST 970: Digital History Research Seminar enables students to develop digital projects based on their research interests.
Other skills based classes

In cases where students wish to develop alternative skills, a student may substitute one class from below for the digital history class.

  • HIST 993: Press Internship. Students work with the History Acquisitions editor at the University of Nebraska Press.
  • HIST 995: History Practicum. Students work at a museum, historical society, or archive with the supervision of a history faculty member.

800-level graduate classes

The department also offers a number of 800-level graduate classes. Normally these classes are offered as advanced undergraduate 400-level seminars with a graduate component. These classes may be useful in helping students to fill in gaps in their knowledge in their fields of interest and in preparing for Ph.D. comprehensive exams. For a list of these classes, see the Graduate Catalog.

Typical Rotation of Graduate Classes

Every Fall Semester
  • HIST 900: The Professional Study of History
  • HIST 941: U.S. Historiography to 1877
  • HIST 931 or 933: European Historiography (rotates between 931 and 933 each year)
  • HIST 950: Seminar in Researching and Writing History
  • HIST 970: Digital History
  • Focus Field Class: HIST 918 or 919; HIST 988 OR 989; HIST 983; HIST 985; HIST 987; or HIST 991
Every Spring Semester
  • HIST 950: Seminar in Researching and Writing History
  • HIST 943: U.S. Historiography since 1877
  • HIST 961 or 963: World Historiography or Topics in Non-Western History (rotates each year)
  • Thematic class: HIST 951 or 953
  • HIST 990: Seminar in Teaching History (every other year)
  • Focus Field Class: HIST 918 or 919; HIST 988 OR 989; HIST 983; HIST 985; HIST 987; or HIST 991