The University of Connecticut offers both the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in History. Small seminars comprise the bulk of course work in both M.A. and Ph.D. programs to provide maximum interaction between faculty and students. Students may also design special courses with individual professors and take a limited number of advanced undergraduate courses.
Master of Arts Requirements
The program is designed to give general training at the graduate level in preparation for doctoral study or work in schools, government service, law, or the private sector; it is broadly concerned with skills development (written and oral) and advanced learning. While the master’s program does prepare students for entry into the doctoral program, it is equally aimed at enhancing the skills and historical perspective of teachers, museum and archive professionals, editors, lawyers, journalists, and others in the public and private sectors. Upon admission to the program, the student is assigned a major advisor to chair an advisory committee. At least two associate advisors, chosen by the student, also serve on the committee. In consultation with this committee, the student plans a program that meets individual needs and satisfies the requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of History. This advisory committee will supervise the completion of either a thesis or a master’s examination, depending on the option chosen by the student. Students elect one of two programs in pursuing the Master’s degree. Both require a total of 30 credits.
Plan A: Thesis Plan Requirements. HIST 5101, 5102; 15 credits or more of additional course work; nine credits of Master’s Thesis Research (GRAD 5950 or 5960). Students may take up to six credits of 3000-4000 level course work, with special permission. Up to six credits of independent studies HIST 5199 may be taken. In exceptional circumstances, students may petition the Graduate Advisory Committee for permission for additional independent studies. In addition, students must complete and successfully defend a master’s thesis.
Plan B: Non-thesis Plan Requirements. HIST 5101, 5102 and 24 credits of additional coursework. Students may take up to six credits of 3000-4000 level course work, with special permission. Up to six credits of independent studies HIST 5199 may be taken. In exceptional circumstances, students may petition the Graduate Advisory Committee for permission for additional independent studies. In addition, students must successfully pass a master’s examination, usually in their fourth semester.
Doctor of Philosophy Requirements
The objective of the Ph.D. in History program is primarily, though not exclusively, the training of academic scholars for college, university, and government service, with an additional focus on the practices of public history. Through a mixture of seminars, independent study, field examinations, language requirements, and a doctoral dissertation closely supervised by an advisor and faculty advisory committee, students develop the highest level of skills and command of information required for research scholarship and advanced teaching. Students will choose to focus their doctoral studies in a particular field, such as Medieval European, Early Modern and Modern European, United States, Latin American, Asian, or African history. Supporting work in other disciplines is recommended.
In order to develop teaching skills beyond the level of seminar presentations and oral examinations, Ph.D. students normally work as supervised teaching assistants and/or lecturers for several semesters. There are ongoing workshops on pedagogical techniques for all graduate assistants, and a highly recommended seminar on teaching history at the university level, HIST 5103, taken towards the end of coursework. By the time a student completes a Ph.D., they will normally have presented papers at scholarly meetings, written grant applications, submitted articles for publication, and engaged actively in teaching. Upon admission to the program, the student is assigned a major advisor to chair an advisory committee. At least two associate advisors, chosen by the student, also serve on the committee. In consultation with this committee, the student plans a program that meets individual needs and satisfies the requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of History. The major advisor who counsels the student through the general examination process ordinarily, but not necessarily, becomes the dissertation advisor. The amount of coursework required for the doctorate depends on whether students completed their M.A. at the University of Connecticut or another institution.
Doctor of Philosophy Course Requirements: HIST 5101, 5102; 30 credits of additional coursework or 18 credits of additional coursework if the student enters the doctoral program holding a M.A. from another university. Doctoral students who have received a M.A. from the History Department at the University of Connecticut must complete a minimum of 15 credits of coursework. Students may take up to six credits of graduate courses offered by other departments. In exceptional circumstances, students may petition the Graduate Affairs Committee for permission for additional studies outside the department. Up to six credits of independent studies HIST 5199 may be taken. In exceptional circumstances, students may petition the Graduate Affairs Committee for permission for additional independent studies. Up to six credits of 3000-4000 level coursework may also be taken with special permission.
Foreign Language Requirement. All students must satisfy the foreign language requirement prior to passing the general examination. The specific language(s) in which each student is to establish reading competency are to be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.
General Examinations. The Ph.D. general examinations are intended to assess the development of doctoral students into professional historians who are familiar with the knowledge, literature, interpretations, and theories of their fields, and who demonstrate the substantive knowledge and analytic skills necessary for teaching at the college level and for conducting original research and scholarly analysis.
Three fields will be examined jointly in an oral examination. The fourth field consists of the dissertation prospectus. Students may not take the examination until all previous courses have been successfully completed, and all language requirements fulfilled. In recognition of the importance of students being in regular contact with their examiners while preparing for the examination, students should register for directed readings courses with committee members during the semester prior to the examination. Full-time students should complete the oral examination covering the first three fields no later than February 15th of the year following the completion of regular course work. (Part-time students should consult the Graduate Director concerning appropriate deadlines). If after the oral examination the student is judged by the committee to have failed in only one field, final judgment will be reserved, and the student must take an additional one-hour oral examination in that field by May 15th of the same academic year. If the student is judged to have failed the field a second time, or if the student fails more than one field initially, the student will not be continued in the program. If a student departing the program under these circumstances has not already earned the M.A., it may be conferred as a terminal degree.
The fourth field of the general examination is the dissertation prospectus. A completed prospectus should be submitted to the three core dissertation committee members within six months, and preferably sooner, of the successful completion of the oral examination. At the latest, the deadline for approval of the prospectus may be extended to August 15th of the year following the completion of regular coursework.
Dissertation Research. All doctoral students must enroll for at least 15 credits of GRAD 6950 (Dissertation Research) or GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Dissertation Research) in the semesters after completion of regular coursework.
Residence Requirement. The doctoral student must complete a minimum of one year of full-time study in residence beyond the master’s degree, which consists of two consecutive semesters of a full-time graduate program at the Storrs campus. A graduate assistant, whose academic program normally proceeds at half the rate of the full-time student, ordinarily fulfills this residence requirement with two years of such service. (This requirement does not mean the student must live on or near campus for their year of full-time study).
Dissertation and Final Oral Examination. A dissertation that makes a significant contribution to the candidate’s field of specialization is a primary requirement for the doctorate. The final oral examination (dissertation defense) of approximately one to one-and-a half hours focuses on the dissertation.
The programs are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.