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M.A. to Ph.D. Track

The Ph.D. degree is awarded on the completion of a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to knowledge. The dissertation should be based upon original, independent research drawing heavily from primary sources.  From the beginning of the doctoral program, the student should be investigating possible topics in conjunction with their faculty advisor.

The candidate must also demonstrate a thorough historiographic knowledge in a major and minor field and satisfy appropriate degree-plan requirements. To achieve ABD (all but dissertation) status, the student must complete all course work; satisfy the foreign language requirement; and pass the comprehensive examination.

Plan II: M.A. to Ph.D. Track

The M.A. to Ph.D. recommended degree plan is adapted to meet University funding eligibility for Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Tuition Fellowships for four years (eight semesters).

First three Semesters, 9 hours each: Fulfill degree-plan requirements for major and minor field coursework and complete any language requirements. It is recommended to enroll in two major field courses and one minor field course per semester.

Fourth semester: Take comprehensive exams.

Third Year: Conduct dissertation research and begin writing dissertation.

Fourth Year: Write, revise, and defend the dissertation.

Degree-plan worksheets for all fields can be found here:

Student Degree Plan Worksheet

Major Area

Upon applying for graduate work leading to a doctoral degree, students must indicate a major geographic area of study from one of the following: United States, European (Ancient through Modern), Latin American, Modern Arab/Middle East, or Global history.


  • Ancient History
  • Early Modern England
  • Modern France
  • Modern European Social and Women’s History
  • Modern European Intellectual
  • Modern Russia/USSR

Latin America

United States

Global History

Specific field definitions for Ph.D. work in Global history will be determined in consultation with the prospective dissertation committee, subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies.  Examples of what might be attempted in this field include America and the world; the Atlantic World; comparative history involving study of two or more countries, regions, or continents; energy and the environment; gender; immigration history; international relations; the Pacific Rim; the Global South; Capitalism and Labor; and race and ethnicity. Students may base their Global work in any of the regions where the department has faculty resources: Africa, Asia, Europe, Global South, Latin America, Modern Arab/Middle East, or the United States. For a detailed list of faculty research interests, please visit the Faculty Page.

For a complete description of all program requirements and policies, please download the Graduate Student Handbook. The material on this website constitutes a brief introduction to the program and the application process.