2009-2010 Graduate Catalog 
    May 27, 2018  
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History Major, PhD


  • Successful completion of the MA degree from an accredited institution. 
  • Acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (general).

Before being admitted to doctoral candidacy, a student must fulfill the following requirements.

  • Complete HIST 510  at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, (may be waived for comparable experience elsewhere). 
  • Spend two consecutive semesters in residence. 
  • Complete 9 hours in one Group I doctoral field. There is no minimum hours requirement for a Group II field. Complete 9 hours in one Group III field, including the appropriate HIST 511  or HIST 513  course and two additional courses at the 500 level. The Group III field must be in a different geographic area from the Group II field. Courses taken to fulfill MA degrees may be counted toward all field requirements. 
  • Fulfill the foreign language requirement. 
  • Complete two 600-level research seminars. (One must be completed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.) Students who have completed a master’s thesis need complete only one research seminar (must be taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and HIST 621 
  • Maintain a 3.0 overall grade-point average in graduate work attempted. 
  • Complete 24 hours of graduate course work (21 hours graded A-F) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, beyond that required for the MA.
    Up to 6 hours may be taken outside of the department. 
  • Except by prior approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in History, a student’s course work must be at the 500 level or above.

Language Requirement
Students must demonstrate competence in one foreign language through course work or examination. The student’s doctoral committee may specify any other languages or research tools, such as statistics, essential for the student’s preparation. The foreign language requirement must be fulfilled before taking the comprehensive examination.

Group III (Teaching Field) Examination
This is a one-hour oral exam that must be completed at any time before the comprehensive examination is taken. If a student fails the exam, he or she may retake the exam one time only and must do so the following semester. European and U.S. history courses may not be used for the Group III World History field.

Comprehensive Examination
The comprehensive examination consists of a written exam (Group I) and an oral exam (Group II) and must be taken no later than the semester following the semester in which the student  completes the residence, course work, and language requirement (summer excluded). Failure to take the comprehensive examination within the required time will be counted as a failure on the examination. No student will be permitted to take the comprehensive examination unless he or she has passed the Group III examination (see above) and has an overall grade point average of at least 3.0. Qualified students will be examined in one field selected from the Group I list below and one field selected from the Group II list below. The two exams are taken in the same semester. The Group I is an eight-hour written exam. It must be passed before the Group II can be taken. The Group II is a two-hour oral exam. A student who fails either exam must repeat it  the following semester (summer excluded). A second failure on either exam will cause the student to be dropped from the history graduate program. A student who does not repeat a failed exam within the required time will likewise be dropped from the program.

Admission to Candidacy
Upon successful completion of the above requirements, a doctoral student may be admitted to candidacy.

Doctoral Fields

Group I. Pre-modern Europe; Modern Europe; United States (colonial to present).

Group II. To be defined by the student’s doctoral committee from within one of the following fields.

United States – Colonial and Early Republic; 19th century; 20th century; Regional; Military and Foreign Relations; Social and Cultural; American Political.

European – Ancient; Medieval; Early Modern; Modern; Political and Diplomatic; Intellectual and Cultural; Social and Economic; National Fields; Gender.

Group III (Examined Teaching Field). World History; Western Civilization; U.S. Civilization.

Dissertation and Defense
Original research forms the basis for the dissertation. Doctoral candidates must register for a minimum of 3 hours of HIST 600  Dissertation Research each semester and must complete 24 hours of dissertation credit. A final oral defense is given on the dissertation in its historical context. The program must be completed within eight years from admission as a potential candidate.