All schools & programs > College of Liberal Arts and Sciences > Department of History >

Doctor of Philosophy in History

Visit their website » Print...

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Students normally must complete the M.A. degree before they are eligible to enter the Ph.D. program. Students who enter the M.A. program may either complete the degree or petition for direct admission to the Ph.D. program. This petition first must be endorsed by the student’s adviser and the field committee and then be approved by the department’s graduate board.

In addition to general requirements, the following departmental requirements must be met. A minimum of 11 courses (33 credit hours) is required for the Ph.D. Students may choose between 2 options for their course work.

HIST 805 is required of all graduate students in order to fulfill the responsible scholarship requirement for the M.A. and Ph.D.

Note: Contact your department or program for more information about research skills and responsible scholarship, and the current requirements for doctoral students. Current policies on Doctoral Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship are listed in the KU Policy Library.

Track A

Students select a major and 2 secondary fields. The major field includes 6 courses (18 credit hours). The secondary fields include 2 courses (6 credit hours), for a total of 12 credit hours; 1 of the secondary fields may be taken in a discipline outside the department, but a student may offer all 3 fields in history. Students must take HIST 805.

For both Track A and Track B, the major and secondary fields are those listed in this catalog or approved by the graduate board.

The department requires proficiency, at the level the student’s committee deems necessary, in 1 or 2 foreign languages appropriate to the student’s fields of specialization. Students should present satisfactory evidence of proficiency in the first language before enrollment in the second semester of degree work. Appropriate proficiency in the second language (if necessary) must be achieved before the student may take the oral comprehensive examination.

Before taking the oral comprehensive examination, students must complete (in addition to the language requirement) a minimum of 5 colloquia and seminars, including 2 in the major field(s) and 1 in each secondary field. At least 2 of the 5 must be research seminars in which the student produces professional-quality, article-length papers (approximately 30 pages).

In lieu of written examinations, students compile portfolios of their professional work demonstrating command of their fields and their preparation to undertake dissertation research. Following presentation of the portfolio, students take an oral examination covering their fields of study and their dissertation proposals.

Track B

Students select 2 major fields, for which they take a total of 8 courses (24 credit hours), and 1 secondary field, for which they take 2 courses (6 credit hours). The secondary field may be taken in a discipline outside the department, but a student may offer all 3 fields in history. Under the major fields, students may choose a 4/4 or a 5/3 configuration for their 8 courses. Students must take HIST 805.

For both Track A and Track B, the major and secondary fields are those listed in this catalog or approved by the graduate board.

The department requires proficiency, at the level the student’s committee deems necessary, in 1 or 2 foreign languages appropriate to the student’s fields of specialization. Students should present satisfactory evidence of proficiency in the first language before enrollment in the second semester of degree work. Appropriate proficiency in the second language (if necessary) must be achieved before the student may take the oral comprehensive examination.

Before taking the oral comprehensive examination, students must complete (in addition to the language requirement) a minimum of 5 colloquia and seminars, including 2 in the major field(s) and 1 in each secondary field. At least 2 of the 5 must be research seminars in which the student produces professional-quality, article-length papers (approximately 30 pages).

In lieu of written examinations, students compile portfolios of their professional work demonstrating command of their fields and their preparation to undertake dissertation research. Following presentation of the portfolio, students take an oral examination covering their fields of study and their dissertation proposals.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.