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PhD Requirements

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A Quick Look at the PhD

We offer a detailed description of the requirements for a PhD in History, from organizing your application to planning your graduation, in the Graduate Handbook.  Below is a brief sketch of our program parameters and course requirements:

Course and Credit Requirements

Doctoral students must take at least 9 seminars (3 each in the general, specialized, and comparative fields.) To round out the required credit hours needed, each PhD student should choose one additional seminar (or directed readings or class with doctoral-level coursework) for 3 hours credit at some point during his or her time of study here. While research and writing the dissertation, the doctoral candidate will complete an additional 29 dissertation credit hours.

In addition, all incoming students must complete the one-credit hour course Hist 5001: Navigating the Historical Profession, which introduces students to the profession, during their first semester at the University of Oklahoma.

Course Work

Each student will select three fields of study: a general field, a specialized field, and a comparative field. Our general fields (United States to 1865; United States Since 1865; Latin America) provide primary grounding in major fields. Specialized fields offer the opportunity to specialize while comparative fields push students to consider regions and periods beyond their primary areas of expertise. The specialized and comparative fields listed below are only suggestions. Students will want to work closely with their advisors to tailor their programs appropriately.

Specialized Fields

Students will normally select a specialized field from one of the department’s “core” areas: The American West; American Indian History; Environmental History; Transnational Women's and Gender History; and either colonial or republican Latin American history. Other specialized fields can be selected with approval of the Graduate Committee. Prospective graduate students with an interest in other areas of historical study should consult with the graduate committee before submitting an application.

Comparative Fields

The comparative field must be outside of the primary area of study (general field) and should reflect a geographical and/or thematic diversity.  Americanist graduate students, for example, must choose a field that includes regional history outside of the geographical boundaries of the United States (e.g. a European or Asian country), or that includes transnational, cross-boundary connections (i.e. borderlands, Pacific Rim, immigration studies, indigenous peoples, Atlantic History and Culture, settler societies, imperialism, etc.) Creativity in this field is encouraged. Comparative fields must be approved by the Graduate Committee.