phd in american history

Half the departments report giving at least one seminar in the period 1956-1959 with 13 or more students enrolled. Information about Modern History Degrees. By undertaking a PhD you will find yourself becoming an expert, possibly an international expert, in your chosen field. The terms "preliminary" and "qualifying" are more commonly reserved for a more advanced examination, often also known as the "general" or "comprehensive" examination for the Ph.D. In most Ph.D. programs the general examination (as it will be called here) is given in two parts, written and oral. But some Ph.D. programs need to screen students earlier and more rigorously than they do. [2] Prepublication data on 143 Ph.D.s from a study by the Southern Regional Education Board, 1958-1960; our own data on 182 Ph.D.s of 1958. The PhD is our principal research degree. Hi all, As far as I know, normally it takes at least 6 years to get a PhD degree in History. By seeing that papers are prepared by deadlines and within specified space limitations, he develops disciplined work habits. But two different types of modifications have been made in this requirement in recent years: (1) a few Ph.D. programs have required examination in one foreign language for admission to graduate study in history, or have set early deadlines by which an examination must be passed; but (2) a few other Ph.D. programs have reduced the requirement to one foreign language. PhD in American Literary Studies. Emory University's History Department has one of the top African history Ph.D. programs in the country. Questions are very varied; some are minute, some general, some specific, some vague. the Chicago practice, cited above). [1] Hesseltine and Kaplan, "Doctors of Philosophy in History," 769-770. Usually history faculties demand that Ph.D. candidates achieve greater mastery in one field than in others. Some of the specializations that students can select include medieval European history, African-American history, Latin American history, … He requires bibliographical and progress reports and, usually, one substantial research paper of each student. What follows is an explanation of these elements of the program. Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. The National Science Foundation reported that American universities awarded more than 1.3 million doctoral degrees from 1920 to 1999. But for some reason, when both a written and an oral test are required as parts of the general examination, the oral usually covers more fields than the written examination. At Brown the final examination is not required. The Department of History offers a graduate program leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, with specialization at the doctoral level in the history of the United States, Africa, the African Diaspora, and Latin America and the Caribbean. A few other universities partly accomplish the same result-narrowing the scope of the oral examination-by giving a written examination over some of the fields and orally examining the candidate over the other fields (cf. A recent American Historical Association study states earning a PhD in history from a top institution improves the odds of making it onto the tenure track at a research university. The bulletins of more than half the institutions (57%) explicitly require one outside field. Putting the question that way, Berelson found that the recent recipients of the Ph.D. even more often than graduate faculty members-and three-fourths or more of both-regard the dissertation as the most valuable of all the facets of Ph.D. The Futures of History from the Liberal Arts College Perspective, AHA Council Annual Meeting Travel Grant Recipients, Jerry Bentley World History Travel Grant Recipients, Beveridge Family Teaching Prize Recipients, William and Edwyna Gilbert Award Recipients, J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship Recipients, Helen & Howard R. Marraro Prize Recipients, Fellowship in Aerospace History Recipients, National Institute of Social Sciences Annual Meeting Travel Grant Recipients, Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award Recipients, Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Award Recipients, Dorothy Rosenberg Phi Beta Kappa Travel Grant Recipients, Award for Scholarly Distinction Recipients, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013, Donors to the Association, July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012, Policies and Documents of the Association, The Education of Historians in the United States, Experiments with Teacher Training and Tightened Programs. It is, in the opinion of the training departments, at once a training experience and evidence of scholarly attainment in research, critical analysis, and writing. Dissertations often require more effort than this, and some faculty members strongly believe that they should require more. Thus the quality most demanded in doctoral candidates is "research skill and zeal." In the fall of 1958, when Ph.D.-training departments reported 1,955 Ph.D. candidates (post-master's students) as "enrolled and on campus," they reported 1,210 others as not on campus but working toward completion of the Ph.D. America was the second country (after Germany) to adopt the modern PhD degree and its own structured approach to doctoral training is now influencing PhD study in the UK and Europe. At least one institution requires one ancient and one modern language. He encourages a balance between initiative and aggressive competition on the one hand and, on the other, caution, humility, and a strong sense of responsibility toward past and present. At Chicago this examination is written; it can simultaneously serve as an examination for the master's degree and (if passed at a sufficiently high level) pass the doctoral candidate in two of the five fields required for the Ph.D. U.S. Office of Education, Soviet Commitment to Education, 10. ), The Non-Western Areas in Undergraduate Education in Indiana, 56. Most reading is done in English-language material: 58% of the 1958 Ph.D.s read fewer than 2 books in foreign languages while in graduate school. The dissertation is rarely a historical masterpiece but it is sometimes the beginning of one. The graduate program in history is designed to provide professional training in history, with the expectation that most of its Ph.D. graduates will take teaching positions in colleges and universities. What, then, is the dissertation supposed to be? In some departments their part-time instruction is critically supervised, and at least 11 departments offer either a course, a noncredit seminar, or an informal student-faculty colloquium on college teaching. Professional historians may work in academia, consulting firms or government. Combined MA/PhD. Most members of Ph.D.-training history faculties believe students should start work on dissertation research fairly early in their graduate study. A doctorate, or Ph.D., in history generally takes between five to nine years to finish. It is taken after two or more years of graduate study, normally after all course and foreign language requirements have been met, but before the dissertation has been completed. "Interest in teaching" and "general intellectual curiosity" are tied as the second most desired qualities, and these are closely followed by "skill in teaching.". The instructor is provocative, demanding, critical, and yet encouraging. Most departments, unwilling to accept the superficial acquaintance with fields so broadly defined, divide history into several relatively small units of study. In seminars Ph.D. candidates come to know the excitement as well as the drudgery of scholarly research, the fun as well as the effort of historical writing. In an introductory "methods course"[4] or in research seminars the student becomes acquainted with the tools and techniques of critical historical research and develops his capacity for writing history. Some graduate history faculties might well ask themselves, therefore, if they are screening students as early, as continuously, as systematically, and as rigorously as they should. With its history rooted in the Middle Ages, the doctoral degree has developed over time to become the highest academic degree in the world. In a few institutions, including some excellent ones, members of the history faculty give the foreign language examinations, and in a few cases they are administered by a graduate school committee. A doctorate in history is the highest level of schooling you can attain in the field. U.S. Doctorates in the 20th Century. Four-fifths of the 1958 Ph.D.s (82%) strongly believe that the dissertation should be a part of the training of "college" teachers of history, and there is no disagreement about this between the group teaching in colleges and the group teaching in universities. The first Ph.D. awarded to an African-American was at Yale University in 1876. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. American Studies doctoral students construct a comprehensive plan of study in three fields tailored to their interests. But there is a growing conviction in this as in other matters involved in graduate education that emphasis must be placed on quality of performance rather than on quantity of effort. The qualities needed in students if a seminar is to be outstanding are enviable ones. Departments tend to agree that "individual reading" or "directed research" should constitute less than half of the Ph.D. candidate's program during the first and second years of graduate study, but more than half during the third year. History faculties that require 5 or 6 fields of history restrict the fields even more; they tend to divide United States history into 3 fields and modern European history into 3 or 4. If you're interested in studying a History degree in United States you can view all 29 PhDs. In each field that is added somewhat less reading is done, as is shown by Table 7-1. [12] Financial support for these people would enable many college teachers to complete the degree and thus raise their own morale along with the degree qualifications of the faculties on which they serve. The National Science Foundation reported that American universities awarded more than 1.3 million doctoral degrees from 1920 to 1999. (From The American High School Today: A First Report to Interested Citizens [New York, 1959], 69.) Ph.D. candidates are usually expected to enroll in at least three academic years of graduate study ("residence") and it is common to specify that one academic year "in residence" must be spent at the institution awarding the doctorate. Candidates planning to write a dissertation in American history shall have a competent reading knowledge of one foreign language. A Ph.D. in History is the terminal degree in the field and can take up to seven years of study beyond any undergraduate studies. [11] Jernegan, "Productivity of Doctors of Philosophy in History," 15. ... American History Focus. Directed reading courses for small groups are rated the third most valuable form of formal instruction by the Ph.D.s of 1958-the first being small seminars and the second, "individual study or research under faculty supervision." One-fourth of the programs seem to wait until the major Ph.D. comprehensive examination to offer formal discouragement to unpromising students. The general examination continues to be a serious trial for history doctoral candidates, though more than nine-tenths of all those who actually earn the Ph.D. degree pass it in only one attempt. A performance audit is not the same as a financial audit. But one-third (37%) estimate that they were expected to read less than 40 books in their first field. In Great Britain, the Ph.D. displaced the existing D.Phil. At the same time he is able to achieve considerable mastery in the field of his specialization, which is also restricted in size. and other doctorate degrees in some universities. What follows-completing the dissertation-is the obstacle in doctoral studies that most prolongs the process of earning a Ph.D. Financial aid that will enable Ph.D. candidates to complete the dissertation before accepting regular teaching appointments is the only real solution to this basic problem, though somewhat less ambitious dissertation topics can sometimes help. The American & New England Studies Program (AMNESP) at Boston University (BU) provides interdisciplinary doctoral preparation in the study of American culture and society. [10] Quoted by Wilson, The Academic Man, 47. A year later, the first woman received a Ph.D. in the United States. The PhD program in history trains students to become both skilled scholars and conscientious teachers. Two-thirds of the departments require students to explore original topics. Both written and oral tests usually seek bibliographical as well as factual knowledge. This can be acquired most readily in the study of broad units of history. As noted in Chapter 6, three-fourths of the Ph.D.-training departments offer directed reading courses. The shortest history dissertation of 1957-1958 was 145 pages long; the longest was over 1,000 pages in length. The doctoral dissertation, net product of student and faculty labor, is fairly often the only substantial work of research scholarship in which the history Ph.D. engages in a lifetime. But in at least 60 Ph.D.-training departments (and probably more) an oral final examination follows completion of the dissertation. The examinations, written and oral alike, test the candidate's knowledge and understanding of fields of history, not simply of history courses that have been taken. Study History Where It Is Made. Research seminars and the dissertation constitute the core of Ph.D. training in history. The first Ph.D. was awarded in Paris in 1150, but it was the early 1800s before the degree gained its contemporary status as the highest academic honor. Those who have earned these degrees can pursue careers as researchers, writers, educators or analysts. I graduated in 2015 with a PhD in American history from the University of Kansas. (From Dimock and Hawley [eds. This chapter shows how history faculties are currently training Ph.D. candidates. The MPhil in American History enables students to develop expertise in this ever-expanding field of historical scholarship. You can also read more about History degrees in general, or about studying in United States. In most Ph.D. programs, however, the student works almost exclusively under the guidance of a single faculty member (his "sponsor" or "director") in preparing a draft of the dissertation. At Harvard, where formerly Ph.D. candidates were given only "pass" or "fail" on their examinations, letter grades of A to E are now assigned; it is possible for a candidate whose dissertation demands little or no use of foreign languages to pass the examinations with low grades. Data from the history Ph.D.s of 1958 show that when only 2 fields are required history departments usually define fields broadly (e.g., all of United States history as 1 field; all of modern history as 1 or 2 fields). But, third, as a man, as a citizen, and as a teacher giving instruction in broad survey courses-and also as a scholar doing research and writing-the Ph.D. candidate needs breadth. But there are variations. The Department offers combined MA/PhD programs with African and African Diaspora Studies, Asian Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.Highly qualified graduate students can complete the MA in an interdisciplinary area studies or professional field in route to the PhD in History. Candidates who complete satisfactory dissertations seldom-it appears-fail the final examination for the Ph.D.; its partial or complete abolition has been accomplished by at least three Ph.D. programs and is being considered by others. Faculties training doctoral candidates generally agree, however, that dissertations should be evaluated according to qualitative rather than quantitative standards (see Table 7-2).[6]. In some cases, students must also complete a thesis and master a second language before graduation. A few graduate faculty members believe that the dissertation should be a publishable book. This can be illustrated from the experience of the Ph.D.s of 1958. Prior to its development, Americans pursued doctoral study in European universities. But in 10 departments it covers two or more fields; and one department at this point even adds a field over which the candidate has not previously been examined. Wright received a Ph.D. in physics, while Whiton’s degree was in classics. The average (median) history dissertation of 1957-1958 seems to have been about 350 pages in length, longer than those in most other disciplines. In 50 of the departments it normally covers only the dissertation or the field of the dissertation. Their comments suggest that in an outstanding seminar some or all of the following factors are present. But too many or inadequate students and a slow-witted or uninterested professor can make the experience a dreary travesty of scholarship. Since the top-prestige programs train the largest numbers of Ph.D.s, it is not surprising that two-thirds (64%) of the 1958 Ph.D.s took 2 to 4 fields of history. The size of Edinburgh’s history department, and the breadth of expertise available from our staff, means that we can offer supervision for research projects in a wide array of fields. Departments offering doctoral training generally agree that lecture courses should constitute no more than half the "full course load" of graduate students, and less during the second than during the first year of graduate study. Several departments have tried to ease the burden of the requirement without eliminating one of the languages. See, e.g., List of Doctoral Dissertations in History in Progress or Completed at Colleges and Universities in the United States since 1955 (Washington, 1958). In 1861, Yale University was the first American institution of higher education to award the degree, conferring it on three recipients: Arthur W. Wright, James M. Whiton and Eugene Schuyler. The USA is a hugely popular postgraduate study destination for international students and this is due to both the high standard of academic study and the breadth of subjects that are available. While less than half (21) of the 49 Ph.D. programs in history require as few as 2 to 4 fields, all but 1 of the top-prestige programs require 2 to 4 fields. About five-sixths study at least one cognate field. All these qualities are needed as the research project is developed and the paper is prepared. One cannot master all of history. At Harvard and at Michigan the candidate's faculty committee can waive the final examination if the student's capacity has been proven in a satisfactory fashion. For almost one-third (31%) of the Ph.D.s of 1958, the dissertation was, in fact, an outgrowth of the master's thesis; and two-thirds (64%) developed dissertations out of seminar research. Large or small, the units of study in Ph.D. programs are usually called "fields." It embodies the ultimate expression of the Department's mission to generate and disseminate new knowledge through research, analysis, and publication. [6] The reader may readily form an impression of the scope of doctoral dissertations in history and current trends by consulting the lists published periodically by the American Historical Association. These qualities in instructor and students can make a research seminar one of the most rewarding of all educational experiences, an apprenticeship that forms the very core of the education of historians. Meanwhile, the Ph.D. candidate begins and carries out an intensive research project, presenting the results in a substantial treatise-the Ph.D. "thesis" or "dissertation." Some departments require Ph.D. candidates to show some degree of mastery in three, four, five, or even six fields of history, each broadly defined (e.g., all of United States history as one field).

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