Doctor of Philosophy Program

The Doctor of Philosophy program requires the completion of a total of sixty credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, a demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language, passing the Doctoral Qualifying Examination (DQE), and the successful defense of a dissertation. The sixty hours does not include the twelve hours of dissertation credits required by the graduate school (for which students normally register after successful completion of comprehensive examinations). Students entering with an M.A. in hand must complete thirty hours (not including dissertation credits). NOTE: Students whose M.A. is not in history may be asked to take additional courses before taking their DQEs. Ph.D. students must take two 6000-level research seminars (this includes students who received their M.A.s at Marquette ) as well as HIST 8960, a three-credit dissertation seminar (see below). In addition, Ph.D. students are strongly encouraged to take the pertinent colloquia (HIST 6235, HIST 6240, HIST 6245, HIST 6250, HIST 6110, HIST 6115, HIST 6120 and HIST 6125), which provide introductions to the history and historiography of the periods covered by the examination fields and offer guides to additional reading and study.

At the end of each student's first semester in the Ph.D. program, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will review the student's progress toward the degree. Each student will fill out a self-assessment form and, accompanied by a faculty member or senior graduate student, meet with the DGS. Significant academic problems will be brought to the attention of the Graduate Committee, which may advise either rescinding financial aid or removing the student from the program.

The department offers degrees in the following fields:

  1. United States
    Early America
    Modern America
  2. Europe
    Early Modern Europe
    Modern Europe

Doctoral Qualifying Examination

Students will be examined in four fields by a committee chosen by the student in consultation with the chair of the committee (who normally will also serve as dissertation director). The responsibility of scheduling the examinations lies with each student, who must consult with committee members several months in advance regarding the dates for the written and oral examinations. The DQEs consist of twelve hours of written tests (spread over several days) and a three hour oral that is normally held within two weeks of the written portion. Americanists are tested in both U. S. fields and one European field. Europeanists are tested in two European fields and one American field (although some may substitute a third European field in medieval history). All students are tested in a fourth field in East Asia , Latin America , or Africa or, with the permission of their committee chair and the director of graduate studies, in a topical field (women's, urban, and religious history in US; women's and religious history in European). It is also possible, with the concurrence of the DGS and the chair of the examining committee, to create a fourth field outside the discipline of history, as long as a MU faculty member from the appropriate department agrees to serve on the examination committee. The choice of fields should reflect a basic compatibility and coherence; for instance, a student whose primary emphasis is modern Europe would normally take recent U. S. as a minor field. All members of the DQE committee evaluate the answers in every field. A 3-1 vote is required for the student to pass the written portion and proceed to the oral examination; a 3-1 vote is also required to pass the oral portion of the exam. (See also the Faculty Procedures for Doctoral Qualifying Examination)

The Ph.D. also requires reading knowledge of one foreign language, which can be fulfilled within the Department of Foreign Languages or by a faculty member in the history department. (For students entering with an M.A. and desiring study in Continental European history, this competence must be established by the end of the first semester of course work beyond the M.A.) Classes designed to help students prepare for the examinations in French, German, Spanish, and Latin are regularly offered by the Department of Foreign Languages. These courses (numbered FOLA 6204) are taken for three hours credit; earning at least a B grade in the course is another way of fulfilling the language requirement. Students who choose to be tested by a History faculty member must arrange to take the test with that professor, who will determine when the student is ready to be tested. Students can be tested in a single language no more than twice each semester.


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