History, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First awarded in 1937, the Doctorate in History at the University of Maryland is conferred for superior achievement in historical study and research. The major portion of the degree is the dissertation, an original and noteworthy contribution to historical knowledge. In anticipation of this research, students must master the historical literature in their fields, bibliographic tools, research and writing methods, and general, special, and minor fields of study. Competence in these preliminary steps will be measured by successful completion of course work and by comprehensive examinations.

Doctoral students must complete 42 credits including 12 credits HIST899.  Unless they have taken comparable courses elsewhere, students must complete the general seminar(s) in their major field, HIST601 (History and Contemporary Theory), a minimum of nine hours of reading courses, six hours of research seminars, and nine hours in a minor field.

Depending on the field of study, doctoral students may be required to demonstrate competence in one or more foreign languages and/or special skills. 

Advance to Candidacy: In addition to course requirements, students must also pass a language exam, pass the Major Field written exam, an oral exam, and pass the Prospectus Defense.

Students who enter with a master's degree in history or a related field are expected to sit for a set of written and oral comprehensive examinations within five semesters. Those who enter with a bachelor's degree typically take the comprehensive exams within six semesters. Upon successful completion of all examinations, doctoral students are expected to prepare a dissertation prospectus and advance to doctoral candidacy within one or two semesters.

Post-Candidacy: Complete at least 12 credits of HIST899 doctoral dissertation research as well as successfully defend and submit an original dissertation. 

The requirements for the doctoral degree are intended to be completed in five to six years. For more information, see the History Department website.

Course Title Credits
HIST601History and Contemporary Theory3
General Seminar in Major Field3
Three readings courses in Major Field9
Three readings courses in the Minor Field9
Two Research Seminars6
Dissertation Research Requirement
HIST899Doctoral Dissertation Research12
Total Credits42