For admission to the doctoral program, the department requires a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on all graduate work, GRE general test scores, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of academic objectives (500 to 1,000 words), and an example of written work (up to 20 pages). Letters of recommendation should be from people qualified to assess the applicant’s readiness for graduate study. Normally, applicants will have completed an M.A. in History and written a thesis. General requirements for admission can be found in the “Academic Requirements” section of the Bulletin.
Exceptions to some of the above-listed requirements may be made. Students so accepted will be classified “conditional,” which is removed by achieving a 3.5 grade point average on twelve (12) hours of course work during the first two semesters.
Members of all underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
A minimum of eighty-four (84) semester hours of course credit beyond the baccalaureate degree is required, which includes historiography courses (HIS 720 , HIS 725 , HIS 726 , HIS 781 , HIS 782 ) relevant to the student’s major and minor fields, additional 700-level courses in the student’s major area, two additional courses at the 600-level or higher, and twelve hours of dissertation research. Only one HIS 692 taken before the comprehensive examination will count toward the degree. Doctoral students are prohibited from taking more than three 500-level history courses and no more than four throughout their graduate careers. Exceptions to the policy may be made only under unusual circumstances and with the approval of the department's graduate coordinator and the student's major professor.
The Department of History has a retention policy more stringent than the general policy of the graduate school. The department’s policy is published in its Handbook. Students should consult the Handbook for a description of the policy.
Major and Minor Requirements
The department offers the doctor of philosophy degree in United States History and in European History since 1789. Candidates seeking a doctorate in United States History must demonstrate proficiency in United States History to 1877 and United States History since 1877. In addition, they must develop a secondary emphasis area, available in the department's handbook. Doctoral candidates in United States History must also demonstrate proficiency in a second emphasis area or in a specialized field. For the second minor field, they may also develop an outside minor of nine (9) semester hours in one of the social sciences or humanities.
Candidates seeking a doctorate in European History must demonstrate proficiency in Europe 1789-1870 and Europe since 1870. They must develop a secondary emphasis area available in the department's handbook. Doctoral candidates in European History are also required to demonstrate proficiency in a second emphasis area or a specialized field. For the second minor field, they may also develop an outside minor of nine (9) semester hours in one of the social sciences or humanities.
A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
Minor fields are selected after consultation with the candidate’s major professor and graduate committee.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Students are required to take a comprehensive exam and should consult with the department.
Foreign Language and Research Tool Requirements
Each prospective candidate for the doctoral degree must demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language. Candidates in United States history must demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language. they must also demonstrate profoency in a second language or, in consultation with the dean of Graduate School and their major professor, they may develop a research tool, consisting of training in an appropriate discipline or research skill. Candidates in European History must demonstrate a reading knowledge in two appropriate foreign languages.
Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin.
The student’s program will be directed by a five-member graduate committee, consisting of three faculty members from the major field and two from the secondary emphasis area fields. This committee will approve the dissertation prospectus and conduct the comprehensive examination, which will be administered during the third year of study. Additional details are available from the department's Handbook or the department's graduate coordinator .
A dissertation is expected to be a mature and competent piece of writing, embodying the result of significant and original research on a subject chosen by the candidate and approved by the major professor and the graduate committee. Upon completion and approval of the dissertation, the candidate is expected to stand satisfactorily an examination on the dissertation and the field in which the dissertation lies.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training:
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.