People to Know / Who to contact

Below are the role descriptions for the various positions and institutions associated with the History Department Graduate Program and quick guides to points of contact in the department.

Director of Graduate Studies

All queries regarding students' status in the history program, all requests for information about any facet of the program, and any appeal processes should begin with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The DGS is also the official academic advisor for all graduate students although, as soon as possible, Ph.D. students will identify and rely on the chairs of their DQE committees/dissertation directors as their primary advisors on matters related to course work and other elements of their graduate career as soon as possible. All students registering for classes must first meet with the DGS during the advising period preceding CheckMarq registration. The DGS is also the second reader for all M.A. essays, signs all continuous enrollment forms, and must approve any independent study courses (see below) and requests for extensions of time for Ph.D. students.

Although these guidelines describe the central policies and practices of the History Department's graduate program, circumstances and situations will no doubt arise that are not covered by this document. These unforeseen exigencies should be brought to the attention of the DGS, who will work with the student to resolve them.

The Director of Graduate Studies should be contacted with questions regarding:

  • All advising issues (such as registering for courses, choosing fields, selecting DQE and dissertation committees);
  • M.A. Comprehensive Examinations;
  • M.A. Essays;
  • The foreign language requirement;
  • Continuous enrollment;
  • Assignments and work schedules of Research Assistants.

Chair of History Department

The chair will provide aid and advice to graduate students in the event of emergencies or during an extended absence by the DGS. The chair will also serve as the point of last appeal within the department for disputed grades or other academic issues.

The Department Chair should be contacted with questions regarding:

  • Scheduling of classes (i. e. policies related to classes offered by the department);
  • Assignments of Teaching Assistants to Western Civilization sections;
  • Office Assignments;
  • Complaints about the Director of Graduate Studies.

Administrative Assistant

The assistant to the chair is not a secretary, but the administrator of the history office, whose responsibilities include much of the paperwork, budgeting, and scheduling that occurs in the department. Ph.D. students entering the job market can also establish credential files with the Assistant to the Chair. After Ph.D. students have scheduled their comprehensive examinations and dissertation defenses, they should notify the assistant to the chair, who will notify the graduate school and prepare the necessary forms.

The Administrative Assistant should be contacted with questions regarding:

  • Paperwork related to assistantships (such as tax and social security forms);
  • Establishing credentials files;
  • Obtaining commonly used forms, including those required for DQE exams and dissertations defenses, continuous enrollment, etc. (although many are also on-line at the Graduate School Web site in the "Current Students" section);
  • Office procedures;
  • Use of departmental computers.

Graduate Committee

This is a standing committee of the history department that sets policy regarding the graduate and undergraduate programs and, upon the request of the DGS, acts as an advisory board on admissions and financial aid decisions and on individual personnel and academic cases.

Graduate School

The graduate school is the point of contact for many of the technical facets of graduate study, including: application issues; continuing and new financial aid; information regarding housing and student loans; paperwork related to employment; registration procedures; and graduation applications, deadlines, and procedures.

Credentials Files

In order to provide a simple and coherent dossier for Ph.D. students applying for jobs, the history department maintains credential files—vitae, letters of recommendation—and will send them on request to prospective employers.


TAs and RAs may use departmental printers only for work related to their official responsibilities (i. e. printing out lecture outlines, study guides, grade sheets, etc. for TAs; printing out bibliographies, etc., for RAs).