History - Graduate Programs

Objectives

Graduate study in history seeks not only to train students in historical methods and analysis but also to nurture in them a sense of the excitement and relevance of studying the past. Exploring the historical diversity of human experience broadens and deepens our understanding of both the past and the contemporary world. Students who complete graduate studies in history pursue careers in teaching, research and archival or museum administration, as well as in government and business.

The Master's Degree Program offers students a general graduate degree, with courses in a broad array of geographic and temporal topics, including U.S., European, African, Latin American, Transatlantic and Transnational histories. In the flexible Master's degree curriculum, apart from two required courses early in the program, students tailor their course of study among available course offerings to meet individual interests and career objectives. Students choose either Thesis or Non-Thesis programs. Coursework and internships in Archival Administration certification and/or Public History are also available as part of the Master's degree program.

The Doctoral Degree Program in Transatlantic History offers students comparative study of the historical development of peoples on the continents bordering the Atlantic Ocean. This exciting Ph.D. program is part of recent developments within the discipline of history that broaden the study of the past, transcend national histories, and contribute to a new transnational and comparative perspective. Utilizing specific research resources in the UT Arlington Libraries, the Ph.D. program in Transatlantic History (1492 to the present) offers a structured and focused curriculum of both required and elective courses. Prerequisite: B.A. or M.A. degree in history.

Admission Standards

In compliance with HB 1641, the History Department does not assign a specific weight to any one factor being considered, and does not use standardized tests (i.e., the GRE) in the admissions process as the sole criterion for consideration or as the primary criterion to end consideration of an applicant to either the M.A. or Ph.D. program. However, the GRE is required and used as a criterion, without specific weight, in the Department's evaluation of candidates for admission to programs at each of three levels: Unconditional, Provisional, and Probationary Admission.

The Department wishes to be as thorough and fair as possible in evaluating applicants for admission. It recognizes that some applicants may appear to be stronger according to some criteria than according to other criteria. When an applicant does not completely meet the minimum expectations for Unconditional Admission, the Department may consider the applicant for possible Provisional or Probationary Admission. When the applicant is not granted any of the three levels of admission, the decision may be deferred or the application is denied. We do not wish to exclude a qualified and potentially successful candidate who perhaps has approached but not met all the criteria completely. However, we do not wish to admit candidates who, based on the criteria, are deemed to have a poor chance of successfully completing the graduate program.

Admission Standards

Unconditional Admission

The criteria for admission below are used, without specific weights, as positive indicators of potential success in the program. In all but the most exceptional cases, all four criteria for unconditional admission must be met in order to receive unconditional admission.

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by Graduate Admissions) in the last 60 credit hours in the course of completing a B.A. degree in History (or an appropriate other field) from an accredited institution (verified by official transcripts from each college or university previously attended sent directly from the registrar of that institution to Graduate Admissions).
  • A writing sample, sent to the Graduate Advisor. The Department prefers that applicants send a research paper written in an upper-division history course, but other examples are acceptable. The essay should demonstrate the applicant's writing, research, and analytical skills where possible. There is not a specific page minimum, but papers should not be over 25 pages.
  • Three letters of recommendation (from faculty if possible) mailed directly from the recommenders to the History Graduate Advisor.
  • A minimum score of 153 on the verbal section and a minimum score of 4 on the analytical writing section of the GRE aptitude test (verified by official GRE scores sent to Graduate Admissions). However, standardized test performance is not the sole criterion for admission or the primary criterion to end consideration for admission.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation (e.g. GRE scores have not yet arrived) prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission. Provisionally admitted students must adequately satisfy any incomplete documentation by the end of the semester in which they are admitted. If the applicant fails to do so, the Department may then reclassify the applicant as Probationary, defer the decision, or ask the candidate to leave the program.

Probationary Admission

An applicant whose performance, according to the criteria, approximates but does not meet minimum admission standards may be granted Probationary Admission.  Students admitted under this category must earn no grade lower than a B in his/her first 12 semester hours of graduate work taken at UT Arlington.

Deferral or Denial

If two or more of the criteria have not been met satisfactorily, the applicant will not be admitted on any of the three levels above but will receive deferral or denial. A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate.  A deferred decision may also be granted when the student does not have adequate preparation in the discipline of history.   In the latter case, students will be required to take "leveling" courses (make-up coursework) and earn a B or better before reapplying.

M.A. Degree Requirements

Courses taken toward a master's degree should fit into a unified program aimed at providing students with both a comprehensive background and a depth of understanding in U.S., European, African, Latin American, Transatlantic, or Transnational history . All students are required to take HIST 5339 HISTORICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY and the Issues & Interpretations course corresponding to their major field (either HIST 5340 ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY or HIST 5341 APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY. Except for those specializing in Public history, all students must take a minimum of six hours in both the Colloquium and the Seminar courses. Master's students are eligible to take courses at the 6000 level as well as 5000 level, subject to any particular course prerequisites. Students may take upper-division under-graduate courses for graduate credit under certain conditions.  In this case and others, students must consult with the Graduate Advisor to determine their program.

Competency in one foreign language is required to obtain the Master's degree. This may be demonstrated by one of three methods:

  • four semesters of credit in an approved language verifiable in an official transcript
  • successful completion of an examination administered by an approved UTA faculty member or by an approved outside source such as a CLEP test
  • a passing grade in a graduate-level translation course (MODL 5301) offered by the Department of Modern Languages

The Thesis degree plan is designed for students who wish to research and write a substantial, original work on a historical topic of personal interest. The plan requires completion of 30 credit hours (24 hours of coursework, plus 6 hours of thesis preparation). With the approval of the Graduate Advisor, thesis students may have a minor of as many as six hours of graduate and/or advanced undergraduate courses in a discipline other than history. A maximum of six hours of advanced undergraduate history coursework may be taken for graduate credit. Thesis candidates should consult with the Graduate Advisor to form their thesis faculty committee, which consists of one supervising professor and two other professors.

The Non-Thesis degree plan requires completion of 36 credit hours of coursework. With the approval of the Graduate Advisor, non-thesis students may have a minor of as many as nine hours of graduate and/or advanced undergraduate courses in a discipline other than history. A maximum of nine hours of advanced undergraduate coursework may be taken for graduate credit. In the final semester, the non-thesis students are required to form a nonthesis faculty committee in consultation with the Graduate Advisor, consisting of three members of the graduate faculty. The student must submit to this committee a portfolio containing their seminar paper(s) and a selection of three papers that required an analysis of historiography. After reviewing the portfolio, the committee will devise a new assignment for the student to complete based on its determination of what best fits the needs of the student, keeping in mind that the assignment will constitute less than the equivalent of 3 credit hours of course work. The student will complete the assignment during his/her final semester and turn it into the faculty committee, where it must receive an evaluation of "adequate" or better. The committee will meet the student for a final oral exam, in which the student discusses his/her project.

Non-thesis

Requirements for Non-Thesis option:
HIST 5339HISTORICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY3
HIST 5340ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY3
or HIST 5341 APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY
Content courses (reading colloquia and research seminars) in U.S., European, African, Latin American, Transatlantic or Transnational history30
Students may take up to 9 hours in another discipline that has a history-related focus with advisor approval.
Final Term: Portfolio submitted; portfolio project completed and defended
Total Hours36

Thesis

Requirements for Thesis option:
HIST 5339HISTORICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY3
HIST 5340ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY3
or HIST 5341 APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY
Content courses (reading colloquia and research seminars) in U.S., European, African, Latin American, Transatlantic or Transnational history18
Students may take up to 6 hours in another discipline that has a history-related focus with advisor approval.
Thesis6
Total Hours30

Archival Administration

Requirements for Archival Administration option:
HIST 5339HISTORICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY3
HIST 5340ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY3
or HIST 5341 APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY
Content courses (reading colloquia and research seminars) in U.S., European, African, Latin American, Transatlantic or Transnational history18
Students may take up to 9 hours in another discipline that has a history-related focus with advisor approval.
HIST 5342PRINCIPLES OF ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS I3
HIST 5343PRINCIPLES OF ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS II3
HIST 5644ARCHIVAL/PUBLIC HISTORY INTERNSHIP6
Final Term: Portfolio submitted; portfolio project completed and defended
Total Hours36

Public History

Students desiring public history as an area of study as part of the Master of Arts in History must take:

Requirements for Public History option:
HIST 5339HISTORICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY3
HIST 5340ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY3
or HIST 5341 APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY
Content courses (reading colloquia and research seminars) in U.S., European, African, Latin American, Transatlantic or Transnational history12
HIST 5342PRINCIPLES OF ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS I3
HIST 5343PRINCIPLES OF ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS II3
HIST 5345INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HISTORY3
HIST 5348TOPICS IN PUBLIC HISTORY3
HIST 5644ARCHIVAL/PUBLIC HISTORY INTERNSHIP6
Final Term: Portfolio submitted; portfolio project completed and defended
Total Hours36

Students electing to complete an internship in archival management will also earn the certificate in archival administration (see Certificate section).

Students interested in either archival administration (see Certificate section) or public history as an area of study are encouraged to consult the Graduate Advisor to discuss a program of work.

Master of Education in Teaching (M.Ed.T.)

History may be chosen as an appropriate academic specialization or teaching field for students enrolled in the Master of Education in Teaching Degree Program. The History Department offers courses that qualify as an academic area or teaching field for elementary and secondary teachers. HIST 5340 ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY and/or HIST 5341 APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY are especially recommended for students in the M.Ed.T. program, and for others who wish to broaden their historical knowledge for classroom teaching. See Master of Education in Teaching Degree Program.

Ph.D. Program

Unconditional Admission

The criteria for admission below are used, without specific weight, as positive indicators of potential success in the program. All criteria must be met in order to receive consideration for unconditional admission.

  • A prior academic degree (B.A. or M.A. in History or related fields) from an accredited institution (verified by transcripts from each college or university previously attended sent directly from the registrar of that institution to Graduate Admissions).
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in the course of completing a B.A. degree in History or a related field from an accredited institution (verified by official transcripts from each college or university previously attended sent directly from the registrar of that institution to Graduate Admissions).
  • An academic writing sample (e.g. research essay) from a previous course assignment.
  • A letter of intent, describing the student's historical interests and how they intersect with the faculty and transatlantic focus of the Ph.D. program.
  • Three letters of recommendation (from university or college professors) mailed directly from the recommenders to the History Ph.D. Advisor.
  • A score of 156 or higher on the verbal section and a score of 5 or higher on the analytical writing section of the GRE aptitude test (verified by official GRE scores sent to Graduate Admissions). However standardized test performance is not the sole criterion for admission or the primary criterion to end consideration for admission.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation (e.g., GRE scores) prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission. Provisionally admitted students must adequately satisfy any incomplete documentation by the end of the semester in which they are admitted. If the applicant fails to do so, the student will be dropped from the program. He or she may seek readmission when provisional requirements are complete.

Probationary Admission

An applicant whose credentials approximate but do not meet minimum admission standards, may be granted Probationary Admission subject to the condition that the candidate must earn no grade lower than a B in his/her first 12 semester hours of graduate work taken at UT Arlington.

Deferral or Denial

If two or more of the criteria have not been met satisfactorily, the applicant will not be admitted on any of the three levels above but will receive deferral or denial. A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate.

Application Deadline

The Ph.D. admissions committee will begin its evaluation of completed applications on January 15 and will continue to meet periodically until the Graduate School deadline of June 15. Decisions concerning fellowships and assistantships will be made beginning March 15 and will continue thereafter depending on availability.

Ph.D. Fellowship Standards

Fellowships, when available, will be awarded on a competitive basis. The criteria for Liberal Arts Special (Transatlantic) Doctoral Fellowships in History are:

  • Candidates must be new students entering in the fall semester, with a minimum of 6 hours of enrollment in both long semesters to retain their fellowships.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.25 for the last 60 undergraduate hours from an accredited institution.
  • Three letters of recommendation (from faculty if possible)
  • An academic writing sample (e.g. research essay, thesis chapter) from a previous undergraduate course assignment.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Students accepted into the transatlantic PhD program are expected to take a total of 48 semester credit hours in a three-year period: During the first year, students take HIST 5339 HISTORICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY, HIST 5340 ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY, HIST 5341 APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY, and HIST 5349 INTRODUCTION TO TRANSATLANTIC HISTORY, as well as two colloquia (reading courses). During their second and third year, students take HIST 5347 INTRODUCTION TO TEACHING COLLEGE HISTORY, HIST 5350 HISTORY OF CARTOGRAPHY, and four additional colloquia and four seminars (research courses). At least two of the six colloquia and at least two of the four seminars must be in transatlantic history. At least one of the transatlantic colloquia must be labelled "early" and another "late". In their sixth semester, students commonly enroll in HIST 6690 DIRECTED STUDIES FOR PhD STUDENTS to prepare for the Comprehensive Exam.

Required Courses

HIST 5339HISTORICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY3
HIST 5340ISSUES AND INTERPRETATIONS IN U.S. HISTORY3
HIST 5341APPROACHES TO WORLD HISTORY3
HIST 5347INTRODUCTION TO TEACHING COLLEGE HISTORY3
HIST 5349INTRODUCTION TO TRANSATLANTIC HISTORY3
HIST 5350HISTORY OF CARTOGRAPHY3
HIST 5360READING COLLOQUIUM IN EARLY TRANSATLANTIC HISTORY3
HIST 5361READING COLLOQUIUM IN LATE TRANSATLANTIC HISTORY3
HIST 6360RESEARCH SEMINAR IN EARLY TRANSATLANTIC HISTORY3
HIST 6361RESEARCH SEMINAR IN LATE TRANSATLANTIC HISTORY3
Full time doctoral students are expected to take nine hours each semester. Part time students are required to take at least six hours each semester. Each semester a student must consult the Graduate Advisor before he/she can be cleared to register.

Recommended Course of study for full-time students

First Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
HIST 53393HIST 53403
HIST 53493HIST 53413
One colloquium3One colloquium3
 9 9
Second Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
HIST 53473HIST 53503
One colloquium3One colloquium3
One seminar3One seminar3
 9 9
Third Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
One colloquium3One seminar3
One colloquium3HIST 66906
One seminar3 
 9 9
Fourth Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
Comprehensive Exam HIST 66996
Dissertation Prospectus is due  
HIST 69909 
 9 6
Fifth Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
HIST 66996HIST 66996
 6 6
Sixth Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
HIST 66996HIST 73993
 6 3
Total Hours: 90

Diagnostic Evaluation

At the end of the first academic year or after the student has completed the first 18 hours of coursework, each student will have to pass a diagnostic evaluation. History faculty with whom the student has worked will be asked to submit a written evaluation of the student's potential to continue in the program, using a form developed by the Graduate Advisor. The Graduate Studies Committee will review these evaluations and give each student one of four results:

  1. approval to continue in the doctoral program;
  2. approval to continue with specified remedial work;
  3. failure, but with permission for assessment through a second diagnostic evaluation after no more than one year;
  4. failure and referral of the student to the MA program, in which the student will be allowed to work towards a terminal MA degree.

Language Requirement

If the student has not already fulfilled the foreign language requirement before entering the MA/PhD program, he/she is expected to use the first three years in the program to satisfy the foreign language requirement. The student is expected to choose a language that will be required to work on the PhD topic of his/her choice. Each student is expected to have a solid reading knowledge in at least one transatlantic language (modern languages of the European and African peoples other than English). The language proficiency can be demonstrated in three different ways:

  1. If the student has not already taken four semesters (from an accredited university) in a single foreign language with at least a B before being admitted to the MA/PhD program (within10 years prior to admission), the student needs to complete four semesters in one foreign language with at least a grade of B prior to taking the Comprehensive Exam.
  2. Demonstrating proficiency in a foreign language by taking the CLEP test and scoring 71-80 in German, 68-80 in French, and 67-80 in Spanish.
  3. Taking the Reading Comprehension Exercise by an appropriate faculty member in which the student during one semester must read one monograph (about 200-300 pages) in a language other than English and submit a five-seven page summary in English, which must include up to three pages of direct translation.

The language requirement must be satisfied before the student can take the Comprehensive Exam. For the student at the dissertation stage, the candidate's doctoral committee may require that the student demonstrates competency in a second foreign language in the same fashion as the first foreign language if that second language is judged essential for the student's dissertation research.

Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive Exam Committee

If the student is allowed to stay in the program, he/she should, after consultation with the Ph.D. Advisor, consider establishing a five-member Comprehensive Exam Committee. The student must first ask a graduate faculty member whose research closely relates to the student's anticipated dissertation topic to chair the committee. The chair of the committee will then assist the student in assembling the rest of the committee. Four of the five committee members must be from UTA's History Department. The PhD advisor reserves the right to attend the oral portion of the Comprehensive Exam. One member can be from outside the department or even from another university. All five members of the committee will read and assess the comprehensive examination and the dissertation prospectus.

Comprehensive Exam

After the student has completed all or most of the 48 hours of coursework and satisfied the language requirement, he/she, upon consultation with the Ph.D. Advisor and the Comprehensive Exam Committee, should begin preparing for the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam. It is strongly recommended that students wait until they have completed all 48 hours of coursework before they take the Exam. To prepare for the Comprehensive Examination, students may enroll in Independent Study courses, HIST 6190 DIRECTED STUDIES FOR PhD STUDENTS, HIST 6390 DIRECTED STUDIES FOR PhD STUDENTS, HIST 6690 DIRECTED STUDIES FOR PhD STUDENTS, or HIST 6990 DIRECTED STUDIES FOR PhD STUDENTS during their sixth semester.

Only after the student has the approval of the Ph.D. Advisor, he/she may arrange the date of the exam in consultation with all committee members. Please make sure to file the Request for the Comprehensive Examination in the first four weeks of the semester. (See the graduate program assistant in the History Department office to file the form.)

The Comprehensive Examination is meant to test the student's knowledge in at least three broad areas of study and to determine whether the student is prepared to teach in those areas. Students work with their professors to define each of their three exams. At least one of the three must be on a broad aspect of transatlantic history. The Department recommends that another of the three exams focus on a teaching field, perhaps defined in traditional regional or national terms, and that the third exam be defined in terms of a transnational historical theme or topic, like "History of Cartography," "Labor and Citizenship,"  "Gender and Power."

The written portion of the exam will be taken over a period of three consecutive days, seven hours each day, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The students will be examined over one area each day. Beginning with the first morning, the student should report to the graduate program assistant in the History Department office, who will issue the student the relevant question(s) for that day's examination. Students may use a personal computer available in the department to take their examination. They may not use texts or notes during the exam. Chairs should ensure that time-limits for individual parts of the examination are observed.

After the written exams are completed and the committee has read all three parts, students will take the oral exam (within a week of the written exam). Students must take both the written and oral exams or they will automatically fail the comprehensive exam. After the oral exam is over, the committee members will discuss the exam as a whole (written and oral). Then the committee will decided on one of the four options listed below.

  1. Passed, approval and recommendation to begin dissertation research under the supervision of the committee chair.
  2. Passed, approval to remain in the program upon meeting certain specified additional requirements.
  3. Failed, with permission to retake the examination after a certain period as specified by the examining committee.
  4. Failed: Recommendation not to continue in the program.

Students are required to pass this examination before they proceed to the dissertation (ABD) phase of the program.

Dissertation Guidelines

By the end of the first semester after the successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination, the student should submit a dissertation prospectus to his/her committee and the Ph.D. Advisor who assures that it fulfills the expectations of a doctoral project in transatlantic history. The dissertation committee ordinarily consists of three of the five professors involved in the Comprehensive Examination of the student. All three members of the dissertation committee must be members of the UT Arlington History Department. The student together with his/her primary supervisor may, if deemed necessary, invite outside readers to become additional members of the dissertation committee. Students should work closely with the chair of their committee while researching and writing their dissertation.

During the dissertation phase of the program, students enroll in HIST 6399 DISSERTATION, HIST 6699 DISSERTATION orHIST 6999 DISSERTATION and, in exceptional cases with prior approval of the Ph.D. Advisor, in HIST 6190 DIRECTED STUDIES FOR PhD STUDENTS. HIST 6190 DIRECTED STUDIES FOR PhD STUDENTS may be taken by students following their Comprehensive Exams for a maximum of four semesters, if their dissertation chair concludes that in a given semester they are not engaged full-time in work on their dissertation. In the final semester of dissertation work, students must enroll in HIST 7399 DOCTORAL DEGREE COMPLETION to be in compliance with the requirement of the Graduate School. Students should be aware that the dissertation defense should occur after NO more than four years from the Comprehensive Examination. If the student takes more time to finish the doctoral dissertation, he/she has to file for an extension with the Graduate School.

Once the student, the chair of the committee, and the primary readers agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended, the student must submit the request for dissertation defense form and schedule the dissertation defense. Before he/she applies for graduation, the student must receive approval from the Ph.D. Advisor. The student should furnish each committee member with a copy of the dissertation, including notes and bibliography, at least three weeks prior to the defense date. The oral defense of the dissertation generally lasts 1-2 hours. Questioning of the candidate will be supervised by the chair of the student's dissertation committee. Committee members may request that the dissertation be further revised and may withhold final approval of the dissertation until the revisions have been made. If the dissertation has been approved by the committee, the student has to submit the dissertation and the dissertation defense report to the Graduate School. The deadline dates for each semester are published in the Graduate School Calendar.

Certificate Requirements

These studies involve application of historical knowledge and methodology in non-academic settings such as private businesses or public historical agencies (e.g., archives, museums, preservation societies).

Students desiring a certificate of archival administration or a certificate in public history should consult course requirements.

Students already holding a M.A. or Ph.D. degree in history or a related field, as well as students enrolled in graduate programs other than history, who desire only a certificate in archival administration should consult the Graduate Advisor.