Degree Requirements for the PhD


  • First year sequence: 593 "Approaches to History," 594 "Introduction to Historical Writing," and Proseminar
  • Completion of four courses in one major field and two in each of two minor fields -- up to two courses may be transferred from an MA program. At least one field must must be comparative/thematic.
  • Two methods courses
  • Three research seminars (major papers based on primary-source research) or two if entering with MA
  • Demonstration of competence in two languages in addition to English (one when US history is the major field).
  • Preliminary examinations in each of the three fields 
  • Preliminary oral examination, including defense and approval of a dissertation proposal
  • Oral pre-defense of the dissertation
  • Oral defense of the dissertation

The normal time to degree is 6-8 years, depending on whether a student enters with a BA or MA degree and the complexity of the research. Typical progress toward degree: 2 years of course work; 1 year for preliminary exams and defense of dissertation proposal; 1-2 years of full-time research; 2-3 years writing and revising and defense of final dissertation.

For details see "Guide for Graduate Student Progress" under "Current Students"