In the following pages--which represents the History Graduate Student Handbook--you will find information on requirements, advising, fields of study, progressing though the program from courses to dissertation defense, financial support, official forms for various purposes, student groups, and other information.
It is worth consulting these pages regularly (they are continually updated) as appropriate to your stage in the program. If you see problems or explanations that can be improved, let me know. It is also important to consult the policies of the Graduate College--many questions can be answered there: the Graduate College Handbook is available at http://www.grad.illinois.edu/handbooks-policies.
Most important, this is your education and we all want it to be as pleasurable, inspiring, and supportive as possible in the world as it is. There are many requirements and expectations, which are not meant to be merely hoops to leap through. They are designed to encourage intellectual breadth and depth, new thinking about approaches to the study of the past, the importance of making connections across boundaries (geographic, temporal, disciplinary), and offering a wide range of professional skills needed to succeed (in “diverse” careers). At the same time, you cannot be passive in this process. You shape your own program in many ways. You should have frequent conversations about your plans with advisors, other faculty, graduate students, the DGS, etc. We are here to support you in every way we can in pursuing your own vision.
Carol Symes, Director of Graduate Studies