2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Sep 27, 2023  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, PhD

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Major Requirements

The Ph.D. in history requires a broad knowledge of several fields of history. This knowledge must be acquired through the independent initiative of the student under the direction of the faculty. The Ph.D. requires at least three years of full-time study or its equivalent. Normally, 48 credits (including the credits offered for the M.A.) of coursework are required. Students generally take an additional 24 hours of dissertation research credits. No more than 12 credits may be taken in undergraduate courses carrying graduate credit. A 3.0 (B) average must be maintained.


The department requires knowledge of one foreign language. Individual advisors may require knowledge of one additional language. Language requirements are fulfilled by passing a standardized departmental exam. Coursework taken in support of a language requirement may not be included in the 48 credits of coursework required for the Ph.D., but may be counted as part of the total 72 credits for the Ph.D. Doctoral students must complete one language requirement during the first year of graduate study. A second language requirement, if required, must be completed before taking oral comprehensive exams.


At the beginning of graduate work, M.A. candidates with their advisors should select a field of specialization in which they will take a comprehensive oral examination or write a thesis at the completion of their hour requirements. Students working toward a Ph.D., in consultation with their advisors, should select a major field in which they plan to write their dissertations. They should also select two specific fields. Two of the three fields offered must be in history. Specific major fields currently offered by the department include:

  • Africa - Pre-Colonial, Modern
  • East Asia - Pre-Modern China, Modern China, Pre-Modern Korea, Modern Korea
  • Europe - Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Modern
  • Latin America - Modern, Colonial, Mexico, Caribbean
  • United States - Early North America, Modern United States, Women, Religion, Native American, African American
  • South Asia - Modern and Contemporary
  • Thematic - Empire, Nation and Citizenship; Labor and Social Movements; Mediterranean World; Modern Atlantic; Political Violence; Intellectual History;
  • Crime, Law and Deviance; Gender and Sexuality; Race and Ethnicity; Religion and Society


Ph.D. students take an oral examination in their major and specific fields. Upon successful completion of these exams, students also must pass an oral defense of the dissertation proposal.


Each candidate for the Ph.D. must complete and defend a dissertation.

All students are to adhere to the History Department Graduate Rules and Regulations and Syracuse University’s regulations.

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