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History | PhD Program

History (PhD)

Offered by the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants normally have completed an MA in History or a related field, have earned a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Exam (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic), and have made a substantial beginning in one tool of research. Admission is based on academic record, letters of recommendation from three professors with whom work was taken recently, a sample of recent written work of substantial length (MA thesis, research paper, or interpretative essay) and favorable judgment by the department's graduate committee and department chair.

Degree Requirements

  • 72 credit hours of approved graduate work
  • Tools of research
    • One or two of the following, the number and type determined by the student's advisor: relevant foreign languages, quantitative methods, history and new media, oral history, or a methodology approved by the graduate committee of the Department of History
  • Comprehensive doctoral examination in three fields
    • Comprehensive doctoral examinations are tailored to the individual student's fields of study.
    • One field must be a historical field outside the student's main area of concentration, a comparative or multidisciplinary field, or a field in another discipline.
  • Dissertation proposal and oral defense
  • Dissertation and oral defense

Course Requirements

Specific course requirements depend on whether students received their MA in History from American University. For more information, consult the Department of History.