Ph.D. Program

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. Students may concentrate in one of six areas:

Our department is a leading innovator in digital history, and our skills-based program offers intensive training in teaching history with opportunities to intern in the editing and publishing industry and at museums and archives.

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


The following Ph.D. requirements were adopted on September 29, 2014 and apply to students entering the program in Fall 2015-Spring 2018; revised requirements and an updated graduate student handbook for Fall 2018 are in production. The complete 2015 Graduate Student Handbook is available online.  Students who entered the program before 2015 may elect to follow this program or that listed in the 2009-2014 Graduate Handbook.

90 total credit hours*

HIST 900 - Professional Study of History

HIST 950 - Research Seminar (to be taken twice)  6
2 Core Courses in Primary Field (941/943 American, 931/933 European, 961 World History, 963 Non-Western History) 6

2 900-level Core Courses in Secondary Field(s) (941/943 American, 931/933 European, 961 World History, 963 Non-Western History) 

1 900-level Course in Thematic/Comparative Field (951 and 953: Women and Gender; Revolutions; Slavery; Global Environment; Science; Urban; Transnational; Cultural; Intellectual; Legal)  3

2 Courses in Focus Field, one of which must be a 900-level class (North American West; Race, Ethnicity, & Identity; 19th-Century U.S.; 20th-Century International; German and Central European Studies; Early Modern Europe/Atlantic World)

HIST 990 - Seminar in Teaching History          3
1 Class in Digital History (HIST 895, 946, 970)           3
Additional classes    18
Dissertation (HIST 999)  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:

*Additional requirements that do not count toward the required hours: foreign language proficiency (one language for students pursuing a primary field in North America, two languages for students pursuing a primary field in Europe).