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Graduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

Graduate School


History (HIST)


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This program is offered in Durham.


Degrees Offered: M.A., Ph.D.

The Department of History offers the master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees. The master of arts is offered in many subfields. A formal option in museum studies is also available. Doctoral dissertations may be written on the history of the United States or on topics comparing the United States with other societies or areas.

Admission Requirements

The department usually requires evidence of substantial preparation in history at the undergraduate level, together with some preparation in other areas of humanities and social sciences.

Applicants for admission to any graduate program in history should have a minimum of a B average in history, allied humanities, and social sciences. In addition, applicants must submit current scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The department assesses the student's entire application, including letters of recommendation and writing sample, in making its decision on admission. Deficiencies in an undergraduate program may be rectified by coursework as a special student, but such coursework cannot be used to satisfy requirements for an advanced degree. The department also recommends that a beginning graduate student have some training in a foreign language. Students in seminar or reading courses in other than American history may be required to have a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language appropriate to the particular course. Applicants should include with their applications a personal statement indicating their reason for undertaking graduate study at the University of New Hampshire. Normally, an entering student intending to be a candidate for the doctorate will complete an M.A. program as a prerequisite. However, students with the M.A. from another institution, or with exceptionally strong preparation at the undergraduate level, can begin the doctoral program immediately. In addition, a student in residence can, with the consent of the department, omit the M.A. and proceed directly toward the Ph.D.

Degree Requirements

M.A. Degree Requirements

A master's student designs a specific program to meet one of three plans. Plan A allows substantial training and research in a single subfield of history but within a foundation of broader coursework. Plan B allows substantial breadth over at least two subfields. The subfields in history include the following: the ancient world, medieval Europe, early modern Europe, modern Europe, European intellectual history, medieval England, early modern England, modern England, early modern France, modern France, early modern Germany, modern Germany, Iberia, Russia, early U.S., modern U.S., colonial Latin America, modern Latin America, the Far East, the Near East, sub-Saharan Africa, and the history of science. Plan C allows students who enter the doctoral program without an M.A. to pursue the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees simultaneously.

Plan A requires at least eight courses in history numbered 800 or above, including at least one research seminar, and a 6-credit thesis (HIST 899) in a single subfield (equivalent to two courses).

Plan B requires at least 10 courses in history numbered 800 or above, including at least one research seminar, and an oral examination demonstrating competence in two subfields of history.

Plan C requires at least 30 credits of coursework during preparation for the Ph.D. qualifying examinations, as described below; submission of a seminar or other research paper as a demonstration of competence in basic research techniques; and passing Ph.D. qualifying examinations.

Museum Studies Option

Students who are seeking or considering careers in the museum world, rather than in teaching and/or research, may pursue the option in museum studies. Students basically follow the History M.A. Plan B. Of the 10 required courses, students must take History 871, Museum Studies; History 872, Studies in Regional Material Culture; one research seminar; and two internships (taken for credit) in nearby museums or other historical institutions. The final requirement is either a one-hour oral exam or the completion of a major project related to the student's work in museum studies.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

A doctoral student's program, which must be approved by the graduate committee of the department, shall include each of the following requirements: two research seminars, one in early U.S. history and one in modern U.S. history; two reading seminars, one in early U.S. history and one in modern U.S. history; a course in historical methods; correction of any deficiencies in the student's previous program; proficiency in one foreign language; History 970, Graduate Seminar in Teaching History (applies to all doctoral candidates awarded teaching assistantships); preparation through reading and coursework in the entirety of U.S. history, with emphasis upon either early or modern U.S.; preparation through reading and coursework of two subfields outside of U.S. history, one of which may be a cognate field outside of history entirely; qualifying exams; dissertation proposal; and dissertation and successful defense.

Candidacy is reached after successful completion of the following: 1) complete research seminars in early and modern U.S. history, reading seminars in early and modern U.S. history, a course in Historical Methods, History 970 (teaching assistants only), and courses to prepare fields or correct any deficiencies in the student's previous preparation; 2) demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language; 3) pass written and oral qualifying exams.

Note: In the definition of fields above, United States and U.S. are understood to mean the United States and its colonial antecedents.

Apprenticeship and Degree Regulations

The department considers that graduate work in history, and particularly doctoral work, is professional training. The department recognizes the dual concerns of the historian's life: teaching and research. When feasible, all doctoral students are expected to undertake teaching in the department during a part of their residence. Participation in proseminar and in teaching constitutes an apprenticeship in conjunction with formal study. Doctoral students may choose to pursue the Cognate in College Teaching offered through the Graduate School. All graduate students are reviewed annually by the faculty of the department. A student accumulating two course failures is automatically barred from continuing in any degree program in history, but the department reserves the right to exclude others whose overall performance does not give reasonable assurance of a successful program completion. Students are allowed no more than three attempts to meet any language requirement.