History, PhD

The Department of History offers a doctoral program for students interested in earning a PhD in history. Students interested in graduate work may obtain a copy of the current Guide to Graduate Study in history from the Department of History website. The guide is revised periodically to include the latest detailed regulations on study toward advanced degrees and other information for students.

Learning Outcomes

The PhD program is intended for students who wish to pursue original research in history. The end goal is a first-rate dissertation based on that research. Students should acquire a deep knowledge of two fields of history and understand the field's historical and theoretical foundations. They are prepared to pursue careers in and outside of academia, and they fashion their plans of study together with their advisors.

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • understanding of the development of the historiography and historical methodologies;
  • skill analyzing primary source material;
  • skill in contextual analysis and secondary source interpretations;
  • an ability to engage in the broad and ever-shifting philosophical, scholarly, and institutional debates animating the practice of history;
  • the ability to engage in sustained critical thinking;
  • the ability to write clearly and compellingly;
  • a deep knowledge of their two research fields;
  • reading knowledge of a second language of particular relevance to their field of study;
  • the ability to conduct independent research;
  • knowledge and skills necessary to be effective teachers;
  • public speaking skills necessary to present research in professional academic settings; and
  • critical research and writing skills necessary to publish peer-reviewed articles.