Requirements for the PhD

  • Earn a grade of A or B in History 501: Introduction to the Graduate Study of History. This course is ordinarily taken in the first year of graduate study. This requirement can be waived for students who took History 501 as UIC MA candidates or who completed an equivalent course in another History MA program.
  • Earn a grade of A or B in History 591: Preparation for Preliminary Examinations and Dissertation Prospectus (eight credit hours).
  • Earn a grade of A or B in two research seminars. Research seminars require preparation of a major research paper based on primary sources. (Students entering the program with an MA degree in History may be exempted from one of the research seminars.)
  • Complete 64 credit hours in graduate-level courses (400 or 500 level) beyond the MA (includes 48 hours of thesis research, see below...).  At least 12 of these credit hours must be in courses that are taught at the 500 level by members of the graduate faculty in the Department of History.  No student may receive graduate credit for a course at the 100, 200, or 300 level. Should a student enroll in a 400-level course, which is also open to advanced undergraduates, the instructor has the right to require the student to undertake extra work or to demonstrate a higher standard of proficiency.
  • Students must take 16 of these credit hours prior to the preliminary examination. The remainder may be earned in History 599: Thesis Research, in which the student enrolls while preparing the dissertation.
  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 3.00.
  • Successfully complete any colloquia required for the student's major or minor fields. Students majoring in the history of colonial America and the United States are required to pass the two-semester historiograpical colloquium series History 551A and 551B. Students majoring in other fields are required to complete colloquia on appropriate topics. To find out which colloquia are required, students should consult their faculty adviser. The faculty adviser can waive all or part of these requirements if the student already obtained an MA in history.
  • For students in the WRGUW Concentration, of the two required minor fields for students concentrating in WRGUW, at least one will address non- U.S. or comparative topics. In addition to their department-based course requirements, students concentrating in WRGUW entering with a BA must satisfactorily complete four WRGUW-themed courses (HIST 593, 16 hours), while those entering with an MA must complete three such courses (12 hours). Participation in the WRGUW Concentration involves no increase in the total credit hours needed to graduate. Students work closely with their advisors in designing their program of study. Completion of all requirements for the PhD is necessary to graduate with a Concentration in WRGUW.
  • For students in the Encounters Concentration, those entering with a BA must satisfactorily complete four Encounters courses (HIST 594, 16 hours), while those entering with an MA must complete three such courses (12 hours). For students concentrating in Encounters, of the minor fields required of PhD students, one will be World History, and students concentrating in Encounters must take a graduate course in World History. Participation in the Encounters Concentration involves no increase in the total credit hours needed to graduate. Students work closely with their advisors in designing their program of study. Completion of all requirements for the PhD is necessary to graduate with a Concentration in Encounters.
  • Demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language. This requirement is usually met by passing the Foreign Language Exam. The requirement may be waived for students who received an MA in history from UIC.
  • Successfully pass Preliminary Examinations in one major field and two minor fields.
  • Successfully pass an oral dissertation prospectus defense. Students must prepare a dissertation prospectus, and defend it before a committee consisting of the student's adviser and at least two other dissertation committee members.
  • Complete and defend a dissertation that is an original and significant contribution to historical scholarship.
  • Note: Any exceptions to these requirements must have the support of the student's faculty adviser and the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee.
  • Note: Students will receive credit at the PhD level for any requirements that they have fulfilled at the MA level.