PhD in History

One of the greatest strengths of our PhD program is its high success rate in terms of career outcomes for our students.

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-PHD-HIST

The History PhD prepares students for careers in college teaching, digital media, publishing, educational administration, public history, and historical research. Students gain expertise in conventional historical methods and web-based technologies. Major fields include U.S. history, European history, and world history. Minor fields are chosen by the student and may include such areas as public history, constitutional studies, and new media and information technology.

The PhD program allows students to develop programs of study to fit with a variety of career goals and interests - preparation to teach and research at the community college, college, or university level; work in the fields of digital humanities, new media and technology; work in the fields of public and applied history, such as museums, archives, preservation, and editing; and professional development.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 72

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students will be terminated from the program if they receive more than one unsatisfactory grade (C or F). No more than 6 credits earned through study abroad courses may be applied towards the degree.

Core Courses

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 3
HIST 696 Clio Wired: An Introduction to History and New Media 3
Choose one of the following: 3
Data Analysis for History
Creating Software for History
Topics in History and New Media
HIST 810 History Doctoral Colloquium 1 1-6
HIST 811 Doctoral Research Seminar 3
HIST 797 Research Seminar in History 3
Total Credits 16-21

Students take 1 credit a semester until they advance to candidacy or reach a maximum of 6 credits.

Major Field

Select 15 credits of courses in one of three possible fields: 15
U.S. History
European History
Comparative World History
Total Credits 15

Minor Fields

Select two minor fields and take 9 credits in each 1 18
Total Credits 18

Minor fields may include areas such as public history, digital history, cultural history, women’s and gender history, the Atlantic World.

Doctoral Research Skills

Students must demonstrate basic competency in computers. Students whose research requires knowledge of a foreign language must also demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language. The department sets specific research skills requirements for students, depending on their field of study.

Comprehensive Exam

Students need to pass a comprehensive exam that consists of a written field exam for each minor field and an oral exam for the major field.

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all coursework required on their approved program of study. Students must also successfully complete and pass an oral comprehensive exam in a major field and written examinations in two minor fields. In addition, students must have a dissertation committee appointed by the Dean’s Office as well as an approved proposal. Evidence of the approved proposal must be on file in the Dean’s Office before a student can be advanced to candidacy.


Once enrolled in HIST 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal, students in this degree program must maintain continuous registration in HIST 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal or HIST 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is submitted to and accepted by the University Libraries. Once enrolled in HIST 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research, students must follow the university’s continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of HIST 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.

Students who complete less than 6 credits of HIST 810 History Doctoral Colloquium must take additional credits of HIST 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal or HIST 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research to reach the 72 credits required for the program.

Students may apply to this degree a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 credits of HIST 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and a minimum of 15 credits of HIST 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.

Dissertation Research 18
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal (minimum of 3 credits)
Doctoral Dissertation Research (minimum of 15 credits)
Total Credits 18