Master of Arts
Candidates for the degree of Master of Arts in History are required to pass eight semester courses (24 credits including work in seminars and colloquia) and, for those outside United States and European history, an oral examination of one hour covering two special fields of history, and write a thesis. Candidates must also meet the foreign language requirement. This is usually done by showing at least two years (or the equivalent) of satisfactory work in a foreign language on the undergraduate transcript. Candidates who cannot do this must pass a proficiency-level language examination.
Doctor of Philosophy
Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History are required to pass 18 semester courses (54 credits including seminar and colloquium requirements), a set of written exams, and a two hour general oral examination covering one major field, a special field within the major field, and a special field outside the major field. This examination must be taken after the colloquium requirement has been met, after the written exams have been passed, and after at least one mastery-level foreign language examination has been passed.
All candidates must demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. Reading knowledge of a second foreign language is regularly required in most non-American fields, and a third or even fourth language may be necessary in certain fields.
After submission of the dissertation, a final oral examination is given in which the candidate must defend the dissertation.
All fields of study are chosen in consultation with the major professor. At least 15 credits must be in topical history research seminars and colloquia, including at least two such seminars beyond the required seminar work of the first-year program. Candidates are also required to present three credits in a related field, in a department other than history, selected with the approval of the major professor.
Program in Legal History
The history department, in cooperation with the School of Law, enables students to develop special competency in American legal history and in English legal history. For the M.A. degree students must offer at least one field in legal history in the M.A. oral examination. For the Ph.D. two special fields in legal history are required. A joint committee of the faculty in history and in law administers the program. Admission to the program is through the usual procedures of admission to the Department of History.