Graduate sample timeline

Ph.D. Year 1

Semester 1
HIST 900 
Primary Field Core Course 1
HIST 970 Digital History

Semester 2
HIST 950 Research Seminar 1
Focus Field Course 1
Secondary Field Course 1

Ph.D. Year 2

Semester 1
HIST 950 Research Seminar 2
Primary Field Core Course 2
Focus Field Course 2

Semester 2
HIST 990 Teaching History
Secondary Field Course 2
Comparative Thematic Class: HIST 951 or 953


End of Year 2: Oral Exam and Review
Students must be reviewed by their PhD Supervisory Committee when they have completed 36 credits, as described below, usually at the end of their second year:

  1. 3 credits in Theory and Methodology (HIST 900)
  2. 21 credits in 3 content areas (Core Historiography)
    • 6 credits in Primary Field
    • 6 credits in Secondary Field
    • 3 credits in Comparative Thematic History
    • 6 credits: Focus Field
  3. 12 credits in 3 skill areas:
    • 6 credits: Research and Writing 
    • 3 credits: Teaching
    • 3 credits: Digital

In addition to fulfilling these 36 credits, students are expected to have made progress toward their foreign language requirements. 

At this point the Supervisory Committee may recommend that the student receive the M.A. and continue on for the Ph.D., graduate with a terminal master’s degree, or be dismissed from the program for lack of progress.

Ph.D. Year 3

Semester 1
Students pursuing a graduate specialization take remaining courses.
Other students prepare for Comprehensive Exams (9 credits). 

Semester 2
Comprehensive Exams may be taken near the beginning of the semester or at the end of the semester.  (9 credits)

For students who are required to learn two or more languages, comprehensive exams might be extended into the fourth year.

Ph.D. Year 4

Semester 1
Students must submit and defend a dissertation prospectus before their Supervisory Committee within six months of passing their comprehensive exams. This document should be 15-20 pages in length. The prospectus is expected to

  1. define the student’s dissertation topic, explain its significance, and describe how it will represent original research in the field;
  2. situate the proposed research in the broader historical debates and the relevant secondary literature;
  3. describe the student’s primary sources and research methodology.

Semester 2
Research & Writing in consultation with PhD adviser and committee


End of Year 4 Checkpoint
Students should meet with their Adviser and/or Supervisory Committee to make a plan for their final year of the program.

Ph.D. Year 5 or Year 6

Semester 1
Draft of Dissertation done by December

Semester 2
Revisions of Dissertation
Defense of Dissertation