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2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
  Jun 24, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

History, Ph.D.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate competence in three fields of history.
  • Students will produce significant contributions to scholarship prior to completing the dissertation.
  • Students will produce important doctoral dissertations.
  • Students who serve as graduate teaching assistants will develop competence as teachers.
  • Students will become familiar with the employment options for which the Ph.D. in History is a valuable credential and will learn the paths most likely to lead to fulfillment of their individual career goals.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. is offered in the following major fields:

  • U.S. to 1877
  • U.S. since 1789
  • Early modern Europe
  • Modern Europe
  • Latin America
  • History of culture, identity and economic development
  • History of science, technology, and environment

Ph.D. candidates will choose three fields of specialization. The major field in which the dissertation is written shall be one in which the Ph.D. is offered. The second and third fields may include up to two of the following special fields: African American studies; diplomacy; Latin America; East Asia; sub-Saharan Africa; North Africa; Middle East; public history or one of the component areas of specialization in public history (archives, museum studies, historic preservation); military, legal, or constitutional history; U.S. South; women’s history; gender studies; industrialization; labor; rural studies; environmental history; ethnicity; and nationalism, or one cognate field in another discipline may be substituted for one of the minor fields.

The major field shall reflect the student’s main interest and shall be chronologically and/or geographically defined.

One of the student’s two minor fields also may be defined chronologically and/or geographically, provided that it covers a different area and/or time from the student’s major field; or it may be a topical, thematic, or comparative field. Students will be encouraged to select at least one minor field associated with the department’s intellectual focus on history of culture, identity, and economic development. The second and third fields cannot be subsets of the student’s major field. Normally, students will be expected to complete 9 hours of course work in the second field and 6 hours of course work in the third field.

The student’s third field can be in any approved field if the student’s second field is a topical, thematic, or comparative field; otherwise, it shall be a topical, thematic, comparative field, or cognate field.

A written qualifying examination in the student’s major field (with two examiners) shall be taken within the first year of residence. Under the following conditions, students may exempt the qualifying examinations: the student has an M.A. in history from another accredited institution and has successfully completed 15 hours of Ph.D. course work at the University of South Carolina with at least a B+ average, or the student has passed the M.A. comprehensive examination at the University of South Carolina.

Qualifying exams may be retaken once and must be administered by the same committee.

Ph.D. candidates shall file a program of study immediately after their admission to candidacy, which follows the successful completion of the qualifying examination or comes no later than 24 months after entering the program.

Doctoral students are required to take a minimum of 18 hours of course work beyond the M.A., but additional hours may be specified by their advisor and approved by the Committee on Graduate Studies.

Credit hours shall be distributed as follows:

1. Two 700-level reading seminars in two of the student’s fields of study, unless taken at the M.A. level.

The student’s advisor may substitute other appropriate courses.

2. Two courses which will provide methodological and theoretical training that will complement the 700-level reading seminars in historiography.

3. One 800-level research seminar in the student’s major field (in addition to the research seminar required for the M.A.)

4. Any other appropriate course(s).

Additional Information

Every Ph.D. student shall prove competency in at least one foreign language or appropriate methodology. Additional languages and/or methodological requirements will be determined by the student’s program advisory committee when the chosen fields or research interests demand more.

Written comprehensive examinations in three fields are required and are offered in January, May, and August of each year. Minor-field examinations will be administered independently by the faculty in those areas and will consist of one four-hour examination for each field.

The major field will have two examiners, and there will be two four-hour examinations. All requirements for attaining the degree (except for completion of the dissertation) shall be accomplished prior to taking the comprehensive examination in the major field. This includes the satisfactory completion of the language requirement and the removal of any grades of incomplete.

If a student fails, the exam may be retaken one time and must be administered by the same examiner(s).

Oral examinations covering the major and minor fields will be scheduled after the successful completion of written examinations in all fields.

In order to achieve official ABD status, all students shall orally present and defend a written dissertation proposal to their committee and other interested members of the department. The dissertation prospectus defense will take place while the student is enrolled in HIST 815  or, with the approval of the committee, shortly after completion of the course.

Finally, candidates will prepare for submission a dissertation that is expected to represent a substantial contribution to historical knowledge.

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