History - Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of History
305 Bowman Hall
Kent Campus


The Ph.D. degree in History prepares students to become professional scholars, college and university teachers and independent researchers in private or public research institutions.


  • Kent Campus

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s)
  • Master's degree in history or related discipline
  • GRE scores
  • Statement of purpose describing professional objectives and proposed field of study
  • Significant piece of written work;
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably academic)

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning a minimum 550 TOEFL score (79 on the Internet-based version), minimum 77 MELAB score, minimum 6.5 IELTS score or minimum 58 PTE Academic score. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission websiteEffective spring 2018.

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Dissect secondary sources in a variety of areas of historical specialization and participate actively and positively in discussions of those sources.
  2. Construct effective and analytical book reviews, comparative review essays and historiographical pieces with a high level of proficiency, particularly when it comes to integrating various historical works together into an analytical/argumentative whole.
  3. Form their own judgements about secondary historical works and the historiographical field of which they are part.
  4. Analyze primary sources (texts, artifacts, images) in a sophisticated manner; and integrate these sources with secondary sources in order to make an original historical argument.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to conceptualize; research; and write book reviews, annotated bibliographical essays, historiographical essays and seminar papers.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements


Major Requirements
History (HIST) Electives 2, 318
Electives in Discipline or Research Area 39
Minimum Total Credit Hours:60

Each doctoral candidate, upon admission to candidacy, must register for HIST 89199 for a total of 30 credit hours. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for Dissertation I, and thereafter HIST 89299, each semester, including summer, until all requirements for the degree have been met.


Must include four seminars/colloquia; must include coursework in the candidate's field of study.


Students will elect one general, one specialized and one thematic or outside field. General fields include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and United States. Specialized fields include topical and regional areas of Europe and the United States, public history, and gender/women. Either the general or the specialized field must be the field embracing the dissertation. A thematic field must combine two different continents, or the modern period and a chronological period before 1500, and revolve around a common theme. Thematic fields include political/intellectual, social/cultural, empire/foreign relations and religion and society. All students must elect additional courses in a discipline or research area related to history that will be useful in completing their dissertations.


After completing all of the requirements, students must successfully complete written and oral examinations in the three elected fields of history.

Graduation Requirements

  • All students must demonstrate reading knowledge of a foreign language.
  • Course grades help to measure student performance. Only work of B grade or better is considered "passing" at the graduate level. Any students whose grades are deficient are dismissed.