HISTORY - Dept. Code:  HIS
www.as.miami.edu/history


DEGREE PROGRAMS

I.  REQUIREMENTS FOR THE M.A. DEGREE IN HISTORY

A.  Admissions

We are looking for applicants with a record of outstanding achievement and evidence of potential success in graduate studies, attributes which can be measured in various ways such as grades, recommendations, written work, and test scores. Students with a master’s degree from an accredited institution may apply for admission to the doctoral program.  Students with a bachelor’s degree only and with very strong credentials may be admitted into the doctoral program. Applicants must meet the admissions requirements set by both the graduate school, which are listed in its materials, and the department of history.

Because one of the strengths of our program is a close working relationship between faculty members and students, we cannot always accept qualified applicants when no one in the department can provide the guidance they need in their area of interest. Applicants should explore the listing of faculty on our website and contact the DGS or relevant faculty members if they have any questions.

The complete application contains:

1) A completed application form.

2) A completed financial aid application, if seeking aid.
3) Three letters of recommendation, preferably from applicant’s former professors.
4) Recent Graduate Record Examination scores on the General Test.

5) TOEFL scores (for international students).
6) Official transcripts.
7) A detailed statement from the student indicating:
(a) the student’s background and education;
(b) the student’s interests (field, topic, etc.); 
(c) why the student wants to pursue a graduate degree in history at the University of Miami;
(d) what the student plans to do with the degree upon completion. This statement constitutes a very important part of the application review process and should indicate the student’s understanding of the professional nature of the training that the student is about to begin.

  8)  A representative writing sample.

Deadlines
January 5: Applications for admission and aid for Fall semester.
B.  Committee

Upon admission to the master’s program in history, the student is assigned a provisional major advisor. An advisory committee of three, including the major advisor and a faculty member representing the student’s secondary field, must be formed no later than the student’s second semester in the program. There are then two options for completing the masters. One requires 27 hours of coursework and an exam. The other requires 21 hours of coursework, a master’s thesis (6 thesis credits), and an exam. In the case of both options, one member of the committee may be from a cognate discipline, but this is not required.  It is the responsibility of the student and the advisor to form the committee and to notify the DGS of its composition. The major advisor chairs the advisory committee and oversees the student’s course of study and progress in the program. The advisory committee also administers the oral comprehensive exam that is given in the case of either option. In the case of the second (thesis) option, the advisory committee and the thesis committee are usually, but not necessarily, composed of the same faculty members.

C.  Requirements

27 credits at the 500 level or above, of which at least 18 must be at the 600 level or above.

Passage of an oral exam in two fields.

Completion of History 695 (Historiography). This course is normally given in the fall semester. All students are required to take the Historiography course in their first year.

Students may, if they wish, write an M.A. thesis. Students who elect this option should consult with their advisor. Any student writing a thesis should register for 6 credits of History 710, which count toward the 27 required credits.

Language Requirements: Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge in at least one foreign language. Reading knowledge in additional languages may be required by the major advisor.
See under Ph.D. requirements for more information on fulfilling language requirements.

The student must apply for graduation in his or her penultimate semester (i.e. fall semester for spring semester).

The comprehensive examination for the M.A. degree in history is an oral examination in two fields that will normally not exceed two hours. Though the exam is in two fields, all members of the advisory committee will participate. Students selecting the thesis examination should expect questioning on the thesis as well as their fields during the examination. For such students the comprehensive will also act as a thesis defense.

D. Fields

See H under Requirements for the Ph.D.


II. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PH.D. DEGREE IN HISTORY

A.  Admissions

We are looking for applicants with a record of outstanding academic achievement and evidence of potential success in graduate studies, attributes which can be measured in various ways such as grades, recommendations, written work, and test scores. Students with a master’s from an accredited institution may apply for admission to the doctoral program. Students with a bachelor’s degree only and with very strong credentials may be admitted into the doctoral program. Applicants must meet the admissions requirements set by both the graduate school, which are listed in its materials, and the department of history.

Because one of the strengths of our program is a close working relationship between faculty members and students, we cannot always accept qualified applicants when no one in the department can provide the guidance they need in their area of interest. Applicants should explore the listing of faculty on our website and contact the DGS or relevant faculty members if they have any questions.

The complete application contains:

1) A completed application form.

2) A completed financial aid application, if seeking aid.

3) Three letters of recommendation, preferably from the applicant’s former professors.

4) Recent Graduate Record Examination scores.

5) For international students, TOEFL scores.

6) Official transcripts.

7) A detailed statement from the student indicating:

a) the student’s background and education;
b) the student’s interests (field, topic, etc.);
c) why the student wants to pursue a graduate degree in history at the University of Miami; and
d) what the student plans to do with the degree upon completion.

This statement constitutes a very important part of the application review process and should indicate the student’s understanding of the professional nature of the training that the student is about to begin.

8) A representative writing sample.

Admission from M.A. to Ph.D. Status

Students admitted at the master’s level who are performing well in their studies are encouraged to proceed to Ph.D. status. Advisors who believe that a student should be admitted to the Ph.D. program, and have the consent of the student, inform the DGS of this desire early in the spring semester and at least before the annual departmental meeting reviewing graduate students’ progress. The request is then reviewed by the department at its annual meeting for recommendation to the graduate committee. Students who move from the M.A. to the Ph.D. program are eligible for the same number of years’ aid as students entering the Ph.D. program directly from the B.A., minus the years of aid they have already received. For course requirements, see below.

Deadlines

January 5: Applications for admissions and aid for Fall semester.

B. Committee

Upon admission to the program, the student is assigned a provisional major advisor.  As noted above, students should then concur or select a different advisor by the beginning of the second semester in the program. An advisory committee of four or five, including the major advisor and faculty members representing the second and third fields, must be formed no later than the student’s third semester in the program. Concurrent with the formation of the committee, the student should choose the 4 fields of study. One of these must be from a cognate discipline. It is the responsibility of the student and the advisor to form this committee and notify the DGS of its composition. The major advisor chairs the advisory committee and oversees the student’s course of study and progress in the program. The advisory committee will also administer the oral and written comprehensive examinations. Students may change advisor and other committee members throughout the program provided that the faculty member(s) selected agree(s).

C. Requirements

1a) For students entering the Ph.D. program with a B.A., 45 credit hours (5 semesters) of graduate coursework at the university of Miami.

1b) For students entering the Ph.D. program with a masters from another university, at least 27 credit hours (3 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami.

1c) For students entering the Ph.D. program with a Masters from another program at the University of Miami, at least 27 additional credit hours (3 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami.

1d) For students entering the Ph.D. program with a Masters from the History department at the University of Miami, 24 additional credit hours of graduate coursework (to conform to a Graduate School requirement) at the University of Miami.

1e) All doctoral students are expected to take their comprehensive exams no later than their 6th semester in the History Graduate Program at the University of Miami.

2) Completion of History 695 (Historiography), included in the above number of credits.  All students are required to take the Historiography course in their first year.

3) Completion of History 693 (the two-semester Research Seminar), included in the above number of credits, at least once.  Typically, students take History 693 in their 2nd and 3rd semesters in the program.

4a) Passage of a major field in written and oral exams.
4b) Passage of a 2nd field in written and oral exams.
4c) Passage of a 3rd field in written and oral exams.
4d) Passage of a 4th (cognate) field in the oral exam alone.
5) Following completion of course credit hours, students will need to take sufficient dissertation research credits (History 730 if before the comprehensives have passed; History 740 after the comprehensives have been passed) to reach a total of 60 credits hours beyond the B.A. in order to receive the doctorate. Graduate School rules require that students take a minimum of 12 dissertation credits. Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from another university or from another program at the U. of M. receive 30 credit hours towards the 60 credit hour requirement.

The required credits of coursework are only the formal minimum. Although course work is necessary preparation for the comprehensive examination, students are examined on the mastery of fields of knowledge rather than courses. The number of courses taken depends on the student’s background, choice of fields, nature of related work, language skills, etc. Courses should be selected only after consultation with the Major Advisor.

D. Incompletes

All incompletes from the fall semester must be made up by the official end of the following spring semester. All incompletes from the spring semester must be made up before the official start of the subsequent fall semester. No student will be allowed to proceed to exams until all incompletes have been made up.

E. Languages Requirement

Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language is required. More than one foreign language may be required if the major advisor deems it necessary. The Modern Languages and Literatures Department administers examinations in the languages that it teaches and offers preparation courses in a handful of languages. Students may contact the DGS for the various options for taking courses in foreign languages. Students must, in conjunction with their advisor, prepare a plan that specifies how they will demonstrate language proficiency.  The language requirement must be completed before a student can take the comprehensive examinations (see below).

F. Comprehensive Examinations

It is the responsibility of the student and major advisor to organize the comprehensive examinations. Students may take them at any time of the year that classes are in session.  Arrangements for the exams, including selection of their dates and a final list of committee members, should be made by the end of the first month of the semester in question, with notification to the Department Chair and DGS.

The student takes the written part of the examinations in three history fields, which are normally administered over a period of two successive weeks. The portion for each field is four hours in duration. Only after the advisory committee deems that the student has successfully passed the written portions for each field is the student permitted to take the oral part of the examination.

The oral section covers the three history fields and one cognate field and is approximately two hours in duration. The prospectus may form part of the discussion, but the examination will focus on coverage of the fields. The committee consists of four to five faculty members.  One member of the examining committee must be from outside the department. Normally this is the committee member representing the cognate field.

The student advances to candidate status after passing the comprehensive examinations and submitting an acceptable dissertation prospectus.
Students who have not already received a master’s degree from the University of Miami will be awarded an M.A. upon successful completion of their doctoral comprehensive exams.

G.  Dissertation

After passing the examinations, students form a dissertation committee. This may be the original advisory committee, but it may also be revised to meet the needs of the dissertation work. The students, in consultation with the Major Advisor, put forward the names of individuals suggested to serve on the dissertation committee. The committee must be comprised of at least three members within the department and one outside the department. The committee is then approved and appointed by the dean of the graduate school.

The dissertation must make a significant contribution to the candidate’s field of specialization.  It must meet the highest standards of research, substance, and form, and demonstrate an ability to conduct and report independent and original scholarly investigation.

The student must apply for graduation in his or her penultimate semester (i.e. fall for spring semester).

Upon completion of the dissertation and its tentative approval by the dissertation committee, the student takes a final oral examination that is a “defense” of the dissertation and that lasts for approximately two hours. It is open to the university community.  Following the defense of the dissertation, the dissertation committee will render its decision to accept or reject the dissertation. Approval of the dissertation must be indicated by the signature of all members of the dissertation committee.

H. Fields

Chronological/Geographical fields
Medieval Europe
Early Modern Europe
Modern Europe
Early American History
Modern U.S. History
Colonial Latin America
Modern Latin America
East Asia
Russia
Africa
Caribbean

Topical Fields. These must cover either two of the geographic or two of the temporal fields listed above.

African Diaspora
Race and Ethnicity
Gender and Sexuality
History of Religion
History of Science and Medicine
History of Crime and Law
Political History
Diplomatic History
Urban and Environmental History
Economic History
Business History
Labor History
History of Sport
Military History
Cultural and Intellectual History
Public History
Atlantic World

Customized Fields

Students may create their own fields in consultation with their advisory committee. The student opting for this approach must file a plan of study listing relevant courses, the faculty member(s) involved, and the rationale. To pursue the individualized concentration, the student must obtain written approval of the plan by the major advisor, DGS, and the Department Chair.

The plan and signed approvals are placed in the student’s file. With rare exceptions, a customized field may not be the major field of study.