The Ph.D. degree is awarded on the completion of a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to knowledge. The dissertation should be based upon original, independent research drawing heavily from primary sources. From the beginning of the doctoral program, the student should be investigating possible topics in conjunction with the faculty advisor.
The candidate must also demonstrate a thorough historiographic knowledge of three periods and/or themes (see specific requirements for each area of study: United States, Europe, Latin America, and Transnational), and satisfy the appropriate course and residency requirements. To achieve ABD (all but dissertation) status, the student must complete all course work; satisfy the foreign language requirement; and pass the comprehensive examination.
The student must be in full-time residency for at least two semesters beyond the master's degree (for students entering with an M.A.) or at least six semesters beyond the bachelor’s degree (for students entering with a B.A.), except that an applicant deemed by the Graduate Committee to be inadequately prepared may be required to be in full-time residency for up to two additional semesters. Full-time residency status will be determined for each student on the basis of his/her courses, research, reading, or assistantship duties.