We offer a distinctive Ph.D. program in History that emphasizes both broad and focused historical knowledge as well as skills training for the 21st-century historian. Ph.D. students gain a mastery of primary and secondary fields in North American, European, and/or World history. As their focus field, students concentrate in one of six areas:

Our department is an innovator in digital history, and our program offers intensive training in teaching history with opportunities to intern in the editing and publishing industry and at museums and archives. Our graduates use their diverse skillset and creative scholarship to obtain positions in academic and public institutions throughout the country.

Applications are due by December 1 for admission for the following August.     Apply


The following Ph.D. requirements apply to students entering the program in Fall 2018 and beyond; the 2018 Graduate Student Handbook is available here. Students who entered the program between 2015 and 2017 may use the 2018 handbook or the 2015 Graduate Student Handbook; students who entered the program before 2015 may elect to follow either program or that listed in the 2009-2014 Graduate Handbook.

90 total credit hours*

HIST 900

HIST 950 (to be taken twice)  6
2 Core Courses in Primary Field (European = HIST 931/933; American = HIST 941/943; World = HIST 961/963) 6

2 Core Courses in Secondary Field (European = HIST 931/933; American = HIST 941/943; World = HIST 961/963) 

1 Course Comparative Field (HIST 951, HIST 953, or HIST 983 [HIST 983 cannot be used as the comparative requirement for those in the Race, Ethnicity, and Identity focus field])  3

2 Courses in Focus Field (North American West; Race, Ethnicity, and Identity; 19th Century U.S.; 20th Century International; Germany and Central Europe; Early Modern Europe/Atlantic World)

HIST 990     3
1 Course in Digital History (HIST 895, HIST 946, or HIST 970) or students can take HIST 993 or HIST 995 in lieu of Digital History         3
Electives  18
HIST 999 (Dissertation) 36

We also encourage our graduate students to pursue interdisciplinary graduate certificates or specializations, which supplement historical skills and knowledge and may give students greater flexibility in their future careers. These programs typically require 3-4 classes outside the history department, and may add an additional semester of coursework to the Ph.D. Specializations are offered in:

*Additionally, all Ph.D. students are required to fulfill foreign language requirements, either by passing four semesters of coursework in at least one foreign language (two for students in non-U.S. fields) with an average grade of B or better or by demonstrating equivalent comprehension by taking a placement exam; coursework can be completed while a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. All Ph.D. students must also pass a document-based reading fluency exam before advancing to candidacy for the Ph.D.; this exam is offered only during finals week in the fall and spring semesters. With the endorsement of their adviser, Ph.D. students may appeal to the Graduate Committee for an alternative assessment of particular cases such as coursework in a spoken language that generates few written documents, or a previous degree from a foreign-language institution.