Oct 22, 2020  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 
    
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History Ph.D.


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The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is the ultimate expression of the History Department’s mission to generate and disseminate new knowledge of the past through research, reflection and publication. The doctoral program in history at UNLV has two tracks: United States History and European History. The degree aims at providing graduates with the capacity for original research and thought as demonstrated by the completion of a doctoral dissertation of substantial length combining imagination and excellence.

Admission Requirements

  1. B.A. or equivalent from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.00, with at least a 3.30 in history courses, or an M.A. or equivalent from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.50. Applicants must have completed significant course work at the upperdivision or graduate level in either American history (and preferably the American West) or the (cultural/ intellectual) history of the United States or Europe.
  2. Competitive scores on verbal, quantitative and analytical measures of the Graduate Record Examination.
  3. Recommendations from three former instructors addressing the applicant’s preparedness for doctoral level work in United States History and European History.
  4. A statement of purpose in which the applicant describes specific interests in and approaches to United States History and European History. The statement should also include a description of the applicant’s background and training for advanced work in this field as well as academic and professional goals.
  5. A writing sample in the form of a master’s thesis or original research paper of substantial length and quality. If possible, the writing sample should engage either United States History and European History.

Degree Requirements


A minimum of 57 credits beyond the B.A. or 39 credits beyond the M.A. in History or closely related disciplines. In either case, credits must be distributed as follows:

1a. United States History


Major Field

  • 9 credits in histriography: HIST  a, e, f, g, h
  • 9 credits of colloquium: HIST  ,  ,  ; three credits of which must be in a non-U.S. field: HIST  ,  ,  ,  ,  
  • 8 credits of seminar: HIST  ,  ,  ,  ,  

Minor Field

  • Twelve credits of history work in a non-U.S. field of history. Six of these credits may be taken in an appropriate academic discipline other than history. Courses outside the field of history must be approved by a student’s academic advisor.
  • All students are required to take the one credit  

Students must choose one of the following areas of concentration:

  • North American West:  Students are expected to take courses with as many members of the faculty who specialize in the history of the North American West as possible.  Students are encouraged to take more than the minimum number of courses. As part of the minimum number of credits listed above, course work above must include:  f,  g or  h;  ,  
  • North American Culture and Society:  Students are expected to take courses with as many members of the faculty who specialize in the history of North American Culture and Society as possible. Students are encouraged to take more than the minimum number of courses. As part of the minimum number of credits listed above, course work above must include:  g,   h,   ,  

1b. European History: Culture and Society


Major Field

  • 9 credits of historiography: HIST   b, g, h
  • 9 credits of colloquium: HIST  ,  ,  ,  ,  ; three credits of which must be in a non European field HIST  ,  ,  
  • 8 credits of seminar: HIST  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  

Minor Field

  • Twelve credits of history work in non-European field of history. Six of these credits may be taken in an appropriate academic discipline other than history. Courses outside the field of history must be approved by a student’s academic advisor.
  • All students are required to take the one credit  
  • Students are expected to take courses with as many members of the faculty who specialize in the history of European Culture and Society as possible. Students are encouraged to take more than the minimum number of courses.

2. Foreign Language Requirement

This requirement can be met in any of the following three ways, tough the chosen option must be approved by the chair of the student’s examination committee:

  1. Demonstrated reading knowledge of two foreign languages.
  2. Demonstrated reading knowledge of one foreign language and advanced reading knowledge of the same language, assessed through the writing of a substantial historiographical essay in English based on scholarly literature in that foreign language.
  3. With the approval of the student’s committee and the Graduate Coordinator, a student may demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language and the successful completion of  .

3. Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations

Students write a total of eight out of sixteen essay questions. Students prepare extensive reading lists of books and articles for each field of study in conjunction with the members of their advisory committee. The lists are based on scholarly works read in coursework, but substantial additional reading is required. Coursework alone does not constitute preparation for comprehensive exams. For purposes of examination, and through close consultation with the student’s committee chair and members of the committee, coursework and supplemental reading will be divided into four examination areas, each of which is comprised of four questions from which the students write on two.

3a. United States History Track


Major Field

United States History: the written examination focuses on the first or second half of U.S. History (1600 to 1877, or 1850 to Present), but students are required to answer questions on the full sweep of U.S. History in the oral examination. A student writes on two or four questions.

Area of Concentration

North American West, or North American Culture and Society: this field requires students to master the literature in their area of specialization. A student writes on two or four questions.

Theory and Methods

A student chooses Applied Theory, Comparative History, or Public History. A student writes on two of four questions.

Minor Field

A student chooses one of the following fields: European History, World History, or Public History. A student may only be examined in Public History in one field. A student writes on two of four questions.

3b. European History


Major Field

Students, in consultation with their advisors, will define the parameters of the major field. Specific chronological parameters will vary but students are required to answer questions on the full sweep of European history in the oral examination. A student writes on two or four questions.

Area of Concentration

European Culture and Society: this field requires students to master the literature in their area of specialization. A student writes on two or four questions.

Theory and Methods

A student chooses one of the following fields: Applied Theory, Public History, or Comparative History. A student writes on two of four questions.

Minor Field

A student chooses one of the following fields: United States History, World History, or Public History. A student may only be examined in Public History in one field. A student writes on two or four questions.

4. Prospectus Colloquium


The prospectus colloquium must be held within three months of the successful completion of the comprehensive examinations. Students must formally present a prospectus for their proposed dissertation research to their advisory committee before taking thesis credits. The prospectus must be accepted for the student to have ABD status in the History Department.

5. Dissertation


A dissertation of substantial length and quality containing original research and interpretation on a topic in the field of either Northern American West, North American Culture and Society, or European Culture and Society. Students must take a minimum of twelve dissertation credits.

6. Dissertation Defense


An oral defense of the dissertation.

7. Credit Hour Requirements


A total of at least 69 credits (this includes 12 credits of dissertation credits) beyond the B.A. or at least 51 credits beyond the M.A. (this includes 12 credits of thesis credits).

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