2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, PhD

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Student Learning Outcomes

1. Understand historiographical theory and method

2. Master requisite foreign language(s) for proposed field of study

3. Design and execute historical research (this may include theoretical models from other social sciences)

4. Identify, gain access to, and utilize historical archives and databases

5. Design, write a proposal for, and conduct research leading to production of a manuscript, worthy of presentation to a peer audience and submission for publication

6. Communicate ideas and arguments in clear, concise, well-organized papers

Program 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. 48 credits (including the credits offered for the M.A.) of coursework are required. Students take an additional 24 hours of dissertation research credits. A 3.0 (B) average must be maintained.


The department requires knowledge of one foreign language. Individual advisors may require knowledge of one or more additional languages. Language requirements are fulfilled by passing a translation 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 minor 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 Society; Gender and Sexuality; Race and Ethnicity; Religion and Society


Ph.D. students take an oral examination in their major and minor 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 must adhere to the History Department Graduate Rules and Regulations and Syracuse University’s regulations.

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