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Home Page | PhD American History Online

PhD American History Online

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Doctorate Degree

Northwestern University - Known as a small, selective program with high quality faculty members, the PhD program at Northwestern is an excellent place to delve deeply into the study of American history. Students can start by obtaining a Master’s degree at Northwestern online that will be a great stepping stone for getting a Doctorate Degree.

Doctorate Degree

Boston University - The course of study at Boston University is one of prestige. The small, elite program puts emphasis on mentoring students throughout their studies. Students earning a PhD in American History at Boston University will be among some of the brightest American History scholars as this area is one of Boston University’ faculty’s strengths.

Search Online Degrees

Welcome to PhD American History Online. In this site you’ll find information regarding:

  • PHD American History
  • Online Degree in American History
  • PHD American History Distance Learning Online
  • Master Degree in American History
  • Online Master Degree in American History

What Types of PhD in American History Programs Are Offered?

PhD in American History programs usually vary by school, depending on the specialties of the faculty of each university. Other options for American History PhD programs include traditional courses of study or online study. Earning your online degree in American History is an excellent way to pursue a graduate degree while also fulfilling other duties such as family and work responsibilities. For students who do not live close to a university, getting a PhD in American History with distance learning online offers a great solution for gaining access to a graduate degree that might not have been possible otherwise. Whether you are studying online or on campus, the content of study will likely be similar.

Some of the programs may include various chronological specialties such as colonial or modern American History. Other programs may include specialties with focuses such as political or cultural history. Many programs also offer the opportunity for a minor course of study which will usually allow you to focus more deeply on a specific topic within your specialty of American History. Some minors will allow you to focus more intently on the implications of your specialty within a specific geographic area or may allow you to focus more deeply within a field with a focus on topics such as women’s studies or economics. As you work on your specific degree plan, most programs will assign you to a particular faculty member, usually someone who has a similar specialty to yours, who will serve as your mentor as you complete your degree program. Depending on the program, you may find that you work with many of the other faculty in the department as well.

What Are the Degree Requirements for a PHD in American History?

The specific degree requirements for a PhD in American History will vary from school to school, but there are several requirements that are fairly universal no matter which program you select. Most programs, whether it is a program on campus or an online degree program in American History, require around 30 hours of coursework in American History, including classes for both the major and minor course of study. It is also common to require a few additional classes be taken outside the field of history. Most PhD programs do not require a Master Degree in American History for admission, but having earned one, you may be able to shorten some of the requirements for your PhD classes. After completing your coursework, you will need to take qualifying exams to prove you have an appropriate knowledge base in both your major and minor fields of study. Passing these exams allows you to move on to the next phase of your degree program.

The ultimate goal in PhD programs is to write a book-length dissertation based on independent research of your own design. The dissertation is intended to stand as an important and significant contribution to the field of American History. In order to work toward completing the dissertation, you will need to complete a few more requirements. The first thing you will do after passing the qualifying exams is to defend your dissertation prospectus. This allows you to outline and organize your dissertation topic as well as prove your knowledge for your intensive research project. As you reach this portion of study for your online degree in American History, you will begin concentrating on more research than when you initially started your program, with research seminars and independent study classes frequently required. Finally, you will begin working closely with your faculty advisor to do the research and writing required to complete your dissertation.

Things to Consider When Choosing Among PhD in American History Schools

Choosing to earn a PhD in American History is a big decision in and of itself. The next major decision to make is where you will earn your degree. Considering that the time and effort you will put into your degree program will require a huge commitment, it is important that you make your selection carefully. Your degree program should be a good match with your needs. Some factors you will want to consider are the size of the school, the type of research in which the department specializes, the reputation of the school, if the department tends to focus more on theory vs. methodology, and location. For some students, being able to earn a PhD in American History through distance learning online provides an opportunity to attend graduate school that might not have been obtainable on a traditional campus. You will also want to consider whether you will need to have completed a Master Degree in American History prior to admission to the PhD program.

An important aspect in selecting your school is determining if the school will be a good match for you. There are several ways you can go about doing this. The first thing you can do is ask your undergraduate professors who are familiar with you and your work if they have any recommendations for schools that would be a good match. Once you have a list of schools you are considering, you can visit the department’s website. Go to the professors’ pages and read about their work and areas of specialty. If possible, make a visit to a campus you are seriously thinking about attending and talk with the professors. You may be able to sit in on some classes as well to get a feel for the personalities of the professors. Ultimately, your decision for a PhD program should come down to whether or not you feel the focus and tone of the school and the areas of specialties and personalities of the professors are a good match for you. You will be spending the next several years immersed in this environment.

What Schools Offer a PhD in American History?

Selecting a school for your PhD is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your education. Not every school offers graduate programs in history, but the ones that do frequently have both a Master degree in American History as well as a PhD in American History. One way to find schools is by asking your current professors for suggestions or looking through ranking lists. Get started by taking a look at some of the American History degree programs listed below.

University of Florida (Gainesville)

MA

The University of Florida offers a Master Degree in American History with specialties in colonial, 19th, or 20th century. UF offers both a thesis and non-thesis track option for students with the non-thesis track requiring an examination and lengthy research paper. Students can either earn a terminal degree resulting in a Master degree or can continue their education in preparation for a PhD.

PhD

The PhD in American History at UF is offered with a wider variety of specialties than is available for the MA program, including specializations on gender, the American south, environment, and law and society. Most incoming PhD candidates at UF receive some type of funding for the first four or five years of the degree program, but must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA to ensure continued funding.

Cornell University (Ithaca)

PhD

Pursuing a PhD in American History at Cornell means students participate in a small, individualized program with a large amount of flexibility. Students work with a committee of three faculty members throughout their program. Requirements for the program include seven graduate-level seminars, proficiency in two foreign languages, teaching for at least one year, passing the competency exams, and completing and defending a dissertation.

Boston University (Boston, MA)

PhD

The course of study at Boston University is one of prestige. The small, elite program puts emphasis on mentoring students throughout their studies. Students earning a PhD in American History at Boston University will be among some of the brightest American History scholars as this area is one of Boston University’ faculty’s strengths.

Northwestern University (Evanston)

PhD

Known as a small, selective program with high quality faculty members, the PhD program at Northwestern is an excellent place to delve deeply into the study of American history. Students will focus on the general field of American history as well as a specialization field that will relate directly to the dissertation, and a minor field for acquiring teaching proficiency. Due to the small size of the program, students enjoy a close working relationship with each other and the faculty in the history department.

Northeastern University (Boston)

MA

As a world-renowned leader in world history, your American history degree from Northeastern is sure to have a strong component of its relation to the rest of the world. Master degree students are required to take a theory and methodology class and a research seminar in addition to the coursework. Students are also offered the opportunity to earn the prestigious certification in Public History along with the MA.

PhD

PhD students enjoy a close mentoring relationship with the faculty during their studies. The focus of these studies requires two specific specializations: a methodology specialization and a geographical specialization. The geographical specialization requires focus on three major fields, one of which must be world history.

Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green)

MA

American history is a strength of the history department at Bowling Green. Master degree students will benefit from the knowledge of the department whether they choose to complete a thesis or forego the thesis for a comprehensive exam in two fields of study instead.

PhD

The PhD in American History at Bowling Green is an innovative program focusing on policy history offered to a small, selective group of students. Students will utilize social science theory as well as statistical and analytical models in their course of studies. The curriculum also includes a wide variety of courses addressing specific policy issues.

University of Maryland At College Park (College Park)

MA

Students earning their Master degree in American History can choose to complete their degree with a thesis or they can complete their degree with a non-thesis plan, which requires a comprehensive exam and two research papers. With either plan, students will gain excellent instruction in bibliography, research, and writing in the field of American History.

PhD

Students working to earn their PhD in American History will be expected to study a specialized field within American History as well as a minor field of study. In addition to coursework, the student will be required to sit for comprehensive exams, orally defend a dissertation prospectus, and complete the dissertation.

University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg)

MA

The history department at USM offers a solid American History program with special strengths in Southern history, Civil Rights, and oral history. Students earning their MA degree will take 30 hours of coursework, pass a comprehensive exam, and write and defend a thesis.

MS

The MS degree in American History requires 30 hours of coursework with 18 hours in American History and 9 hours in either Asian History or African History. This course of study is not recommended for students planning to continue their work in a doctoral program.

PhD

PhD candidates earning their American History degree will be expected to select two major fields of study and two minor fields of study. In addition, students must show proficiency in at least on foreign language.

Tulane University (New Orleans)

MA

Students earning their Master degree in American History can select from two different programs, depending on whether they expect to continue to a doctoral program. The first program is a thesis track and requires 24 hours of coursework and proficiency in one foreign language in addition to the thesis. The second program is a non-thesis track with more coursework required in place of a thesis and is not intended for students continuing their education.

PhD

PhD students are expected to have a Master degree prior to enrolling in this program. Once in the program, those earning an American History degree will be required to show proficiency in one foreign language, teach, pass preliminary exams, and complete a dissertation.

University of Delaware(Newark)

MA

Located between New York City and Washington, DC, this university offers Master Degree level courses in American History including the history of culture, politics, economics, gender, and race relations. 30 credits of graduate level classes are required, with 21 credits in the history department, as well as four reading seminars and either two research seminars or one research seminar and a Master-level thesis.

PhD

Courses offered for the PhD program are similar to those in the Master program. Coursework required prior to the dissertation prospectus defense includes 30 credits of graduate level classes (with at least 24 being in history), four reading seminars, and two research seminars. Students must maintain a professional development portfolio as well as demonstrate an ability to read in a foreign language.

University of California, Irvine (Irvine)

MA

UCI offers a Master degree in American History with options of either a thesis plan or a comprehensive exam administered by three faculty members. Each student will select one faculty member as their advisor during the course of study. There is a focus on theory throughout the graduate programs at UCI and additionally, all students are required to take at least two theory classes.

PhD

The PhD in American History program requires that students focus on three areas of study: theory and history, a major area, and a minor area. Students must also demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages prior to the qualifying examinations.

Oregon State (Corvallis)

MA

Earn a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Oregon State University with a major or minor in American History. Students are expected to focus on three distinct areas of study while completing the program. Choose between the thesis track where you will write an extended research document including your three areas of focus or select the non-thesis track where you complete a research paper that includes work from two of the three fields of study.

Ohio University (Athens)

MA

Rated one of the top graduate programs by US News and World Report, this university offers both a terminal Master degree in American History or a continuous program that will lead to the PhD program. Students can also decide to work for a certification from the Contemporary History Institute that is conferred along with the Master degree.

PhD

All students of the PhD program must hold a Master degree or apply to the MA program prior to applying to the PhD program. Students are limited by an agreement with the Ohio Board of Regents to keep their American history dissertations to "contemporary history," which includes the era from World War I into the present.

New York University (New York)

PhD

Specialize in American History at New York University and you can choose to study across time (17th century to the present) and space (with a strong transnational emphasis). The large, diverse department affords students the opportunity to select from a wide variety of methodologies for their studies, which will include courses in approaches to historical research and writing, literature of time, research seminars, and a second selected field.

George Washington University (Washington, DC)

MA

Students earning their Master degree in American History will need to have reading knowledge of one foreign language and complete 36 hours of coursework. Students may choose to complete a thesis or go a non-thesis route and complete two research papers.

PhD

Doctoral-level students will choose to study in two major fields and one minor field as well as have a reading knowledge of two foreign languages. George Washington University also offers a degree in American religious history conferred in conjunction with the Department of Religion.

University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame)

PhD

At Notre Dame, students earning a PhD in American History are sure to receive a strong education in the specialties of the department: American cultural, Early American intellectual, and religious history. PhD candidates will be required to have a reading proficiency in at least one foreign language, have four fields of study (three major and one minor), take qualifying exams, and complete a dissertation. All students must maintain a minimum of a 3.33 GPA to remain in the program.

Boston College (Boston)

MA

Boston College’s location in the heart of so many excellent research resources makes it an ideal place for students to earn a graduate degree. Getting a Master degree in American History here requires 30 hours of coursework, proficiency in a foreign language, an oral comprehensive exam, and a thesis.

PhD

PhD students in American History must concentrate their studies in one major area of study, which is broken down into two fields, and two minor areas of study. In addition to the coursework, students must also pass two foreign language exams, comprehensive exams, and complete a dissertation. American History candidates may be able to substitute one foreign language for comparable knowledge in a specific methodology or theory related to their field of study.

Brandeis University (Waltham)

MA

The unique structure of the Master degree in American History at Brandeis may be appealing for many. The program is completed in one year and requires students to live at the university for that year. During the course of the program, students will complete a year-long independent research project, take a two-semester Colloquium in American History, and take four elective courses. Student will also show reading proficiency in a foreign language by passing a translation exam.

PhD

The PhD in American History offers students an opportunity to work closely with faculty while earning their degree. Students are required to live at the university for three years. During this time, students will complete their coursework, prepare for their examinations through directed readings, and work as Teaching Fellows. After passing the comprehensive exams, students will then complete and defend their dissertation.

Indiana University (Bloomington)

MA

Earning a Master degree in American History requires students to take 30 hours of coursework, show reading knowledge of one foreign language, and undergo a field review in the third (and usually final) semester of study. At this time, students who wish to continue to the doctoral program can be recommended by the committee. Students also have the opportunity to elect to earn dual degrees in History and Library Science at Indiana University.

PhD

Students working on a PhD in American History will be assigned a faculty advisor with whom they will work closely throughout their degree program. In addition to the coursework in History, all students are required to earn a minor outside the History department. Students will also be required to show reading proficiency in at least one foreign language.

Duke University > (Durham)

PhD

The small program for a PhD in American History at Duke allows for close working relationships with the faculty as well as a program designed specifically for each student. The program has recently undergone several changes under the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate including a new curriculum for the first two years of study, new guidelines for the mentoring program, and relying on a portfolio of essays and teaching materials in place of the preliminary exams.

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