Department of History
Click here to download the checklist and guidelines.
- 1) A Bowling Green State University History Doctoral student should be an able and conscientious teacher, with significant independent experience in the college classroom.
- 2) A Bowling Green State University History Doctoral student should write a dissertation that demonstrates the ability to do original, well-written, well-argued research with a strong evidentiary base in "primary" sources.
- 3) Students may also choose to develop expertise that will train them for employment opportunities outside academia.
In order to help students achieve these goals, the Department of History has established the following Guidelines for completion of the Ph.D. in History. Underlying these Guidelines are the following premises:
- 1) Student preparation for careers as teachers and researchers should be continuous and intertwined. Students should identify dissertation research topics and mentors during their first semester in the program and begin original research well before they sit for their preliminary examinations. They should continue to prepare for teaching after they have successfully passed examinations.
- 2) Funded students who enter the program with the M.A. should be able to complete an intellectually rigorous Ph.D. program in four years.
Students will choose one of the following options
- (A) One foreign language, high proficiency (with approval of the student's dissertation committee).
- (B) One foreign language, dictionary assisted reading proficiency, PLUS completion of a sequence of HIST 602 and an additional advanced course in CS, SOC, ECON, or MATH/STAT to be chosen by the student in consultation with an adviser in one of these four departments.
- (C) Two foreign languages, dictionary assisted reading proficiency.
Students should choose a research skills option with the goal of enhancing dissertation research skills and/or teaching abilities in major and minor fields.
Core courses (6 hours):
HIST 652 (unless exempted)
HIST 6xx Methodology and
HIST 6xx Teaching College History (unless exempted)
A minimum of 30 hours, prior to the preliminary exam, including:
24 hours in three fields, as outlined below.
6 additional hours to be chosen by the student among three fields.
Major Field: Policy History
With a focus on a specialized area (9 hours minimum)To satisfy the requirements for this field, students should complete the HIST 612/780 sequence and one policy related course outside or inside history. Students will also typically take additional history seminars/courses/readings--not necessarily policy-related--that provide background preparation for dissertation research as well as the ability to teach independently, but no specific number of additional hours will be required. Courses/seminars/readings that accomplish the above goals may also help to prepare students for fields 2 or 3. To define the major field, the student must have identified a mentor and general area for dissertation research. The major field should include, but must significantly broaden, the dissertation area. At least two faculty members should sit for the student's major field. One of these two will normally be the student's dissertation mentor.
- 2. Minor Field One: Complementary Regional Field
- (6 hours minimum) For students whose major field has either an American or European history policy focus, field 2 should be East Asia or Latin America. Preparation for Field 2 should enhance the student's ability to teach in an area outside the major field. This field should be defined broadly enough to allow students to teach an introductory college-level course in the area.
- 3. Minor Field Two: Supplemental Field (6 hours minimum)
- Minor field 2 can seen as added preparation for teaching and/or as work that enhances student’s ability to write the dissertation. This field can be in history or in another related discipline. Field definitions are to be determined by consultation between the student and the supplemental field mentor. Supplemental fields are generally defined topically rather than regionally.
While students will typically complete all coursework requirements in four semesters, their study of fields continues as they begin teaching independently and work on dissertations, though by the third year students should expect to study independently, consulting with advisers in History and other departments as needed.
By the beginning of the student's second semester, first year, he/she must submit to the Graduate Committee a one page outline that lists and justifies the three fields, identifies a potential dissertation adviser, and describes, at least generally, a potential dissertation topic. If the Graduate Coordinator has concerns about the outline, he/she can ask the student and potential dissertation adviser to meet with the Graduate Committee.
Final approval of the outline rests with the Graduate Committee. At least two months prior to sitting for their major and minor field examinations, students and all members of their preliminary examination committee should meet together and agree upon a format for both the written and oral examinations. The student should then submit to the Graduate Committee a brief--no more than one page--outline of this format, which includes the signatures of his/her committee members. The Graduate Coordinator will file these outlines and may meet as the Graduate Committee's representative with student and major field mentors for discussion if the outline raises questions about the equity of testing.
The written examination should be prepared and graded by the two members of the student's major field. Students should demonstrate a mastery of the themes, issues, and historiographical controversies that have shaped this field. The written examination should take an average of eight hours to complete, and typically be divided into two four-hour sessions written on successive days.
In their written minor field examinations students should demonstrate a range of knowledge that would enable them to teach these fields at an introductory college level. Minor field written examinations should take an average of four hours for each of the two fields. They shall normally be taken on two successive days.
Comprehensive Oral Examination
Shortly after the written major and minor field examinations have been successfully completed (normally one week after the results of the written exam have been announced) a two-hour comprehensive oral examination will be held, to be attended by all mentors in major and minor fields. This examination should give the opportunity to pursue themes and ideas that have emerged from any of the three field examinations. The written and oral examinations are complementary, but separate and significant exercises.
If a student fails any of his/her written examinations, he/she will not be invited to sit the oral examination. A student may retake any written examination a maximum of one time.
Inclusion of the Graduate College Representative in Testing
The Graduate College will designate a representative to sit as a member of each student's committee. He/she will be sent the testing format outline and will be invited to attend the committee meeting held prior to administration of the written exams, review written major and minor field answers, and attend the final oral examination.
First year, both semesters - completed:
- Choice of fields.
- Choice of advisers in all fields.
- Meeting with all advisers to discuss field expectations.
- Identification of potential dissertation mentor.
- Completion of Historiography, Methodology, and Teaching College History.
- Completion of History 6120/7830 sequence.
- Completion of two other seminars or courses in Fields 1-3. Where appropriate, independent readings may substitute for one course--though whenever possible, student should choose seminars/courses first.
- Identification of the method by which research skills requirements will be met.
- Complete Tentative Degree Program and submit to Graduate College.
- Submission to the Graduate Committee of a one-page outline justifying fields/dissertation research area.
Funded students will typically work as research assistants or discussion leaders. For the second semester, the Graduate Coordinator will attempt to vary assignments with the highest priority being preparation for students to enter their own classrooms in more than one field by the third year.
Second year, first semester - completed:
1. Three other seminars or courses in Fields 1-3. The same rules apply for independent readings--they are to be discouraged if seminar alternatives exist.
2. Request to Graduate College for approval to take preliminary exams; appointment of Graduate College representative to student's committee.
Funded students continue as above, with the Graduate Coordinator making every effort to give students varied experience. No Ph.D. student should receive a research assistantship for more than two of these first three semesters. All students should have at least one semester's work as a teaching assistant by this stage.
Second year, second semester - completed:
1. All coursework in Fields 1-3.
2. Preliminary exams.
Funded students continue as above. The Graduate Coordinator will make assignments with highest priority given to moving students to varied teaching assistant experiences at this stage. In order to facilitate a semester which includes intense preparation to complete exams, no Ph.D. students should yet be assigned his/her own class.
Third year, first semester - completed:
1. Production of a detailed dissertation prospectus with bibliography, typically at least 10 pages.
2. Formal assignment of Dissertation Committee.
3. Defense of prospectus with Dissertation Committee.
Funded students should begin teaching their own classes, though their schedules may require that some continue as teaching assistants for a final semester. One or two third-year students may receive a one-semester non-service fellowship.
Third year, second semester - completed:
1. Production of at least one draft chapter of the dissertation and extensive review of notes/outlines/plans.
2. Formal meeting with Dissertation Committee to review progress.
Funded students, where possible, should repeat the course first taught in the fall or offer the second part of the survey sequence begun in the fall. One or two fourth-year students may receive a non-service fellowship. A student who has successfully negotiated an internship could use the internship in lieu of one semester's teaching experience--either now in the third year--or later, in the fourth year. The internship, at student's request, would exempt the student from Graduate Committee expectation that students teach in both major fields as well as a minor field when at all possible.
Fourth year, first semester - completed:
1.Completion of first draft of dissertation. Funded students, where possible, will teach in a different survey sequence. One or two fourth-year students may receive a one semester non-service fellowship.
Fourth year, second semester - completed:
1.Completion of dissertation. Funded students will teach a course they have already taught to allow concentration on their dissertations. One or two fourth-year students may receive a one semester non-service fellowship.