Course Requirements

The Ph.D. in History requires a minimum of 25 credit hours above the M.A. degree and a minimum of 18 credits of History 690 (Dissertation Writing). Note that the precise credit/course requirement will be determined by the student’s doctoral committee chair in consultation with the student and the other committee members.

All students will declare a Major Field of emphasis (normally 12 credits of course work), as well as two minor areas.

Preference will be given to applications submitted before January 31st for admittance in upcoming Fall semester. No applications will be considered after March 31st. If you wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship, please submit application by February 15. For Spring admit, the application deadline is November 1st.

Major Fields Include

  • Environmental History
  • US History and History of the American West
  • History of Science, Technology, and Society

Minor Areas

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Class, labor, and economy
  • Religious studies
  • Historical theories and methodologies
  • Comparative frontiers
  • Science, technology, and society
  • Environmental studies
  • Philosophy of science
  • Museum studies
  • American West

The Ph.D. program in History offers students the opportunity to obtain a Minor Field in Public History. To obtain the minor, students are expected to take an additional 15 credits that include History 502 (Public History and Material Culture). Students are normally expected to complete at least 9 credits of History 598 (Internship).

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelors or Masters degree in history or related field
    • If students enter the program with a Bachelors Degree, they will need to complete at least 60 credits; of which 27 must be coursework and a minimum of 18 dissertation credits
  • Letter of intent that addresses the applicant’s areas of intended study and the applicant’s qualifications for doctoral-level work
  • Three academic letters of recommendations
  • Writing Sample (major research paper or M.A. thesis chapter)
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts

Mastery of Subject Matter

Mastery of the major field will be determined by:

  1. the Dissertation
  2. a record of excellence in all departmental courses
  3. submission of a “Syllabus Requirement,” in which student designs and defends a detailed course syllabus in their major field or the submission of another applied exercise, such as the design (script) of a museum exhibit
  4. a four-hour written exam generated by the faculty in the major field
  5. two two-hour exams generated by other members of the committee
  6. a two-hour final oral examination with the Graduate Committee


All written examinations must be completed prior to enrolling in History 690 (Doctoral Thesis). The Major Field written exam will be four hours in length and administered by the student’s major advisor and read by the student’s committee. The minor area written exams will be two hours in length and administered by the student’s graduate committee.

Foreign Language Requirement

All students are required to demonstrate reading knowledge of at least one foreign language as determined by an examination administered by the Department.

Contact Information

For more information about the History and Philosophy Department Graduate programs, please contact Tim LeCain, Director of Graduate Studies,, or call the main History Department office: (406) 994-4395.