History

[ undergraduate program | courses | faculty ]

Room 5016, Humanities and Social Sciences Building
Muir College
(858) 534-1996
E-mail: history@ucsd.edu
http://history.ucsd.edu

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

The Graduate Program

The Master’s Program

The MA program is designed to introduce students to the basic skills of historical research as well as to the debates about, and the approaches to, historical scholarship in a specific field. Master’s students ordinarily do not receive financial aid from the department or the university except when funds are not utilized for support of PhD candidates.

The department offers master’s degrees in European history, United States history, and history of science. In addition, the Department of History administers an interdisciplinary MA program in Jewish studies. Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Latin American history are encouraged to apply for admission to the Latin American studies program. The department also offers the opportunity for students to design special MA programs in areas such as African history or medieval European history. In consultation with an appropriate faculty member, students may petition the department for approval of a special MA.

Admissions

Admission is based on the applicant’s undergraduate preparation; previous graduate work, if any; three letters of recommendation; one or two papers (preferably written for history courses); and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE subject exam in history is not required. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for foreign applicants. A minimum score of 550 for the paper-based test, a score of 213 for the computer-based test, or a score of 80 on the Internet-based test is required on the TOEFL. The minimum grade point average for admission is 3.0 with a higher average in history and related subjects. Refer to the online application for filing deadline.

For the online application, visit http://ogs.ucsd.edu/.

General Requirements

The master’s program can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of half-time study, and includes nine four-unit courses (thirty-six units) in a major field. Required courses vary for each major field (see below), but all courses must be taken for a letter grade. With very few exceptions, students are expected to begin their programs in the fall quarter. In addition to the course requirements, completion of the MA requires that students pass a one-hour oral examination at the end of their final quarter of enrollment.

Language requirement: While proficiency in a foreign language is only required in European history (see below), prospective applicants are strongly urged to begin study of a foreign language appropriate to the proposed area of concentration as early as possible in their academic career.

Area of Concentration: Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows students interested in many areas to build a coordinated graduate program leading to an MA. Courses that count toward the degree may be in a wide array of university programs and departments, including history, literature, anthropology, political sciences, sociology, and philosophy.

  1. Admission Requirements
    1. BA or equivalent.
    2. Two years of course work in the language or languages appropriate to the field of Jewish studies.
    3. Applicants should apply through the Department of History.
  2. Degree Requirements
    1. The MA will be granted for thirty-six credits, ordinarily completed in one or two years.
    2. Students may enroll in no more than two undergraduate courses. All courses should be approved by the faculty mentor of the student.

Area of Concentration: Europe

Candidates for the MA in European history pursue a program concentrating on the history of early modern and modern Europe. Some training in a discipline other than history is also recommended. The requirement of nine courses (thirty-six units) is normally distributed as follows:

  1. A two-quarter research seminar, either HIGR 230 or 231.
  2. Cross-field historiography course: HIGR 200.
  3. European historiography courses: HIGR 220, 221, and/or 222. Each year one to two of these historiography courses are offered, and the student must take these.
  4. Two courses in preindustrial Europe, 1450–1750: HIGR 220 and 221, or HIGR 230 may be counted for this distribution requirement.
  5. Two courses in industrial Europe since 1750: HIGR 221, 222, or HIGR 231 may be counted for this requirement, as well as appropriate graduate level colloquia.
    Note: HIGR 221 may NOT be used for both (3) AND (4).
  6. One course in a discipline other than history, if relevant to the student’s program.
  7. The remaining courses may be chosen, in consultation with the graduate adviser in the student’s field, from among the available undergraduate/graduate colloquia (#260S–280S).

Language requirement: MA candidates in European history must demonstrate reading competency in one European language other than English.

Area of Concentration: History of Science

The master’s program in history of science provides a broad background in preparation for a variety of careers related to science and technology, business, journalism, education, government, or for more advanced degree work. The nine courses (thirty-six units) required are normally distributed as follows:

  1. Two courses in science in early modern Europe.
  2. Two courses in science since 1750.
  3. A two-quarter research seminar.
  4. The remaining courses are chosen in consultation with the faculty in history of science. For students whose previous training has been mainly scientific, these will include courses in historical fields other than the history of science. For students who already have historical training, they may include one or more courses related to the sciences.

Area of Concentration: Latin America

This program offers the student a general preparation in the history of Latin America. Students will have the opportunity to specialize in national or colonial periods and can emphasize work in one country. Advanced work in another discipline related to Latin America may also be included in the program. Thirty-six units normally should be distributed as follows:

  1. HILA 267, 268, 269
  2. Three graduate courses in Latin American history
  3. Three other courses related to Latin America in history or in other disciplines

Area of Concentration: United States

This area of concentration offers the MA candidate a broad grounding in the literature of American history from the colonial period to the present. In addition to a shared core of courses, students specialize in a topical field of their own choosing. Training in a related discipline outside of history is encouraged. The requirement of nine courses (thirty-six units) is ordinarily distributed as follows:

  1. HIGR 265A-B-C. The Literature of American History. These colloquia are required of all entering graduate students in American history.
  2. A two-quarter research seminar.
  3. Two courses in a single topical field chosen from African-American history, Asian American history, Atlantic history, history of the borderlands and Southwest, Chicano history, economic history, legal and constitutional history, political history, social and cultural history, history of the South, history of the West, or history of women, gender, and sexuality.
  4. Two additional courses chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser. These courses may be in a related field outside the department.
  5. At least six of the nine courses must be colloquia or graduate-level courses. Students may take conjoined courses, directed readings, research seminars, or the 265 series to meet this requirement.

PhD Program

Admission

The Department of History offers the doctor of philosophy degree in the fields of ancient history, East Asian history, European history, history of science, Latin American history, Middle Eastern history, and United States history. Applicants must indicate to which of these programs they seek admission.

Admission is based on the applicant’s undergraduate preparation; previous graduate work, if any; three letters of recommendation; one or two writing samples (preferably written for history courses); and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE subject exam in history is not required. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for foreign applicants. A minimum score of 550 for the paper-based test or a score of 213 for the computer-based test is required on the TOEFL. The minimum grade point average for admission is 3.0 with a higher average in history and related subjects. With very few exceptions, students are expected to begin their programs in the fall quarter.

In most areas of concentration, knowledge of at least two foreign languages will be required during a student’s academic career. In general, applicants are expected to have a reading knowledge of the languages most appropriate to their major field at the time of admission. Thus, students in ancient history, East Asian history, European history, history of science, Latin American history, and Middle Eastern history should have a working knowledge of at least one foreign language at the time of admission. Refer to the online application for filing deadline.

For the online application, visit http://ogs.ucsd.edu/.

Fields of Study

Each student will pursue a major field within one of the PhD programs, and two minor fields. The first minor field can be a supplementary field within their program (e.g., medieval Chinese history for a modern Chinese historian), while the second minor field is usually chosen from outside the geographical area or outside the discipline. During the first two years, the student should identify a special area of interest in the major field to pursue a dissertation project.

I. Ancient History

Students in ancient history will be expected to demonstrate a broad mastery of the entire field, with special concentration as follows:

  1. Major Fields
    1. The history of Israel in the biblical period
    2. The history of the Jewish people in antiquity
    3. The history of classical Greece
    4. The history of the Roman empire (including late antiquity)
  2. First Minor
    1. One of the fields listed above not chosen as the major field
    2. Greek and Roman history
    3. The Middle East before Islam (western Asia and northeastern Africa from the sixth century B.C.E. to the seventh century C.E.)
  3. Second Minor
    1. A field of history outside of ancient history
    2. A related discipline, offered through another department
  4. Language Requirements
    1. All students will be expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of two modern foreign languages, usually French and German. This requirement may be satisfied by any of the means recognized by the department.
    2. All students will be expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one and usually two of the three following ancient languages: Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. The languages will be chosen as appropriate to the student’s particular interests and the requirement will be satisfied by departmental examination.
    3. The second and sometimes third language not elected under (2) may be required if necessary for the student’s research. Additional languages, such as Akkadian, Aramaic, Egyptian, Ugaritic, Phoenician, Coptic, Syriac, and middle and modern Hebrew, may be required as necessary for the student’s research. The required level of competence will be set as appropriate to the student's needs and the requirement will be satisfied by departmental examination.
  5. Core Courses

    HIGR 255. Historical Scholarship in Ancient History

    HIGR 260. Research Seminar in Ancient History (two quarters)

II. East Asian History

Students in East Asian history will be expected to demonstrate a broad competence in the entire field, with special concentration as follows:

  1. Major Fields
    1. Modern China
    2. Modern Japan
    3. Premodern China
  2. Minor Fields
    Students majoring in modern Chinese history will be expected to pass three minor fields for a broad perspective on East Asian history:
    1. Premodern Chinese history
    2. Modern Japanese history
    3. A history field outside of East Asia, or a discipline outside of history

    For students majoring in Japanese history:

    1. A field in history
    2. A related field offered through another department
      Note: One of the minor fields must not focus exclusively on East Asia.

    Students majoring in premodern Chinese history will pass three minor fields:

    1. Modern Chinese history
    2. Premodern history of another area
    3. One of modern Japanese history; a relevant field outside of East Asia; or a discipline outside of history
  3. Language Requirements

    For students majoring in Chinese history: Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of Chinese and a reading knowledge of a second foreign language related to the student’s research interests.

    For students majoring in Japanese history: Students must demonstrate a reading and speaking knowledge of Japanese. Depending on specialization, reading knowledge of a second foreign language might be necessary.

    Students majoring in premodern Chinese history must demonstrate proficiency in Chinese, classical Chinese, and another relevant Asian or European language.


  4. Core Courses

    For Chinese history students:

    HIGR 210. Historical Scholarship on Modern Chinese History (three quarters)

    HIGR 211. Historical Scholarship on Modern Japanese History (two quarters)

    HIGR 212. Historical Scholarship on Modern East Asian History

    HIGR 213. Sources on Modern Chinese History

    HIGR 215A-B. Research Seminar in Modern Chinese History

    HIGR 217A-B-C. Historical Scholarship on Premodern Chinese History

    For Japanese history students:

    HIGR 211. Historical Scholarship on Modern Japanese History (two quarters)

    HIGR 212. Historical Scholarship on Modern East Asian History

    HIGR 214. Readings in Japanese on Modern Japan

    HIGR 216A-B. Research Seminar in Modern Japanese History

III. European History

The graduate program in European history aims to achieve a dual objective: to develop a broad mastery of the major themes and scholarship in the field, as well as to encourage a special focus of research within a single nation or region in either the modern or early modern era.

  1. Major Fields
    Within the major field, national specialization is offered in modern Germany, Spain, Russia and Greece, and in early modern Italy and Germany. Regional specialization is offered in central/eastern Europe and in the Mediterranean.
    1. Modern Europe
    2. Early modern Europe
  2. First Minor Field
    The first minor field should be selected from within the parameters of European history or in world/global history, but in a chronological period outside that of the major field.
    1. Ancient Mediterranean
    2. Medieval Europe
    3. Early modern Europe
    4. Modern Europe
    5. A second national history
    6. World/global history
  3. Second Minor Field
    The second minor field is designed either to develop a non-European teaching expertise or to pursue broader theoretical reading related to the research interests of the student or in a chronological period outside that of the major field.
    1. A geographical area outside Europe
    2. History of science
    3. World/global history
    4. A transnational thematic or theoretical concentration, such as gender history, citizenship, nationalism, etc.
    5. A thematic or theoretical concentration rooted in another discipline, such as anthropology, sociology, art history, ethnic studies, or literature.
    6. Early modern Europe (only if the world/global history was taken as the first minor field)
  4. Language Requirement

    All European PhD students must show reading proficiency in two European languages other than English.


  5. Core Required Courses

    HIGR 200. History and Social Theory

    HIGR 220. Historical Scholarship on European History, 1500–1715

    HIGR 221. Historical Scholarship on European History, 1715–1850

    HIGR 222. Historical Scholarship on European History since 1850

    HIGR 230A-B. Research Seminar in European History (taken twice before advancing to candidacy)

IV. History of Science

Note: Students should indicate whether they are also applicants for admission to the interdepartmental program in Science Studies (history, philosophy, and sociology of science).

  1. Major Fields
    1. Science in early modern Europe
    2. Science in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
    3. Science in the twentieth century
    4. Another field of comparable breadth, defined in consultation with the major field adviser
  2. First and Second Minor Fields (any two of the following may be selected, in consultation with the major field adviser).
    1. Science Studies (mandatory for students in the Science Studies program).
    2. Any of the other fields offered by the department, provided that it offers general historical understanding of the same period as the major field.
    3. A field of history of science not chosen as the major field.
    4. A second field of history, provided that it concentrates on a period or region other than that chosen for the first minor field.
    5. A related discipline, offered through another department.
      Note: This field may be in the physical or life sciences.
  3. Language Requirement

    Competency in one or two languages in addition to English before advancement to candidacy is required. The requirement will vary depending on chosen major field.


  4. Core Required Courses

    HIGR 236A-B. Seminar in History of Science

    HIGR 238. Introduction to Science Studies

    HIGR 239. Seminar in Science Studies

    HIGR 240. Colloquium in Science Studies

    HIGR 241. Advanced Approaches to Science Studies

V. Latin American History

Doctoral candidates in Latin American history are expected to gain a broad chronological and geographical mastery of the field as a whole. The oral examination in the major field, while concentrating on the student’s special area of interest, will be a comprehensive examination covering the whole field of Latin American history.

  1. Major Fields
    1. The national period of Latin America, with a specialty in the Andean Republics, Brazil, the Caribbean, Mexico, or the Southern Cone countries
    2. Colonial Latin America, with an emphasis on one major region
  2. First Minor

    The student should select either the national period or the colonial period as a chronological supplement to the major.


  3. Second Minor
    1. The history of another geographic area outside Latin America and the Caribbean
    2. An area of discipline, offered through another department, related to the student’s dissertation or preparation for university teaching
  4. Language Requirement

    Competency in two languages in addition to English before advancement to candidacy is required. Normally the first of these will be Spanish. The second may be Portuguese or another European or non-European language, including an indigenous language of the Americas.


  5. Core Required Classes

    HIGR 200. History and Social Theory

    HILA 267. Scholarship on Latin American History in the Colonial Period

    HILA 268. Scholarship on Latin American History in the Nineteenth Century

    HILA 269. Scholarship on Latin American History in the Twentieth Century

    HIGR 247A-B. Research Seminar on Colonial Latin America

    HIGR 248A-B-C. Research Seminar on Latin America, National Period

VI. Middle Eastern History

The objective of the doctoral program in Middle Eastern history is to achieve broad expertise in the modern history of the Middle East and to develop a special focus in the history of the late Ottoman Empire or its successor states.

  1. Major Fields
    1. Late Ottoman history (approximately 1780 to 1920)
    2. Colonial and national period of the post-Ottoman Middle East with a specialty in the Arab East, Turkey, Egypt, etc.
  2. Minor Fields
    Any two of the following:
    1. The field of Middle Eastern history not chosen as a major field (see above)
    2. The modern history of a geographic area outside of the Middle East (ordinarily in European history)
    3. A related geographical or topical field (e.g., medieval Middle East, Iran, gender studies) offered through another department
  3. Language Requirement

    Students must possess a sound foundation in reading Arabic or Turkish (Ottoman Turkish or modern Turkish) as a requirement for admission to the program. Reading competence in two languages in addition to English is required before advancement to candidacy: the regional language Arabic or Turkish (above), and a modern European language (other than English) related to the major field of specialization.


  4. Core Required Classes

    HIGR 275A-B. Research Seminar in Middle Eastern History

VII. United States History
  1. Major Fields
    1. United States History
  2. First Minor
    1. One of the following topical fields:
      African-American history, Asian-American history, Atlantic history, history of the borderlands and Southwest, Chicano history, economic history, legal and constitutional history, political history, social and cultural history, history of the South, history of the West, or history of women, gender, and sexuality, or one designed in consultation with the adviser
  3. Second Minor
    1. A geographic area outside the United States in either the premodern or modern period
    2. A related discipline offered through another department
  4. Language Requirement

    Competency in one language in addition to English before advancement to candidacy is required.


  5. Third-Year Seminar

    US History students are encouraged in their third year of study to complete HIGR 271, New Research Directions in US History.


  6. Core Courses

    HIGR 200. History and Social Theory

    HIGR 265A-B-C. The Literature of American History

    HIGR 267A-B. Research Seminar in United States History

    HIGR 271. New Research Directions in US History

VIII. Dual Degree Program

Students who wish to earn both the PhD in history from UC San Diego and the Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law must apply to and be independently accepted into both programs under each of the campus’ standards and procedures.

Students pursuing the dual degree program will normally alternate years at each institution, in a manner agreed on by the student’s advisers and appropriate committees. Thus, for example, a student may spend his or her first year at Cal Western, his or her second year at UC San Diego, and so on through the program. At least one year at each institution must be completed by the end of three years.

Each institution will accept a small number of course credits from the other institution to satisfy its degree requirements. Cal Western remains on a semester system, while UC San Diego continues on a quarter system. With the exception of the historiography and research seminars and subject to approval by a faculty adviser and the graduate committee, the Department of History will accept for credit up to two classes from Cal Western.

IX. Other Fields

Students may be admitted to graduate study leading to the PhD in fields other than those listed above upon the recommendation of an appropriate faculty member. In such cases, a special program of study appropriate to the field will be devised by the major field adviser, subject to the approval of the department’s graduate committee.

Note: The department also offers graduate work in African history. When appropriate, students may select a minor field in this area.

PhD Course Work

A normal full-time program consists of twelve units (or three four-unit courses) per quarter. PhD students are expected to complete at least one of the following minimum formal courses of study prior to their qualifying examination: (1) two two-quarter research seminars, three one-quarter historiography courses in their major field, and five other courses (which may be a combination of colloquia, conjoined courses, or directed readings, but which must include one cross-field graduate colloquium like HIGR 200); or (2) three two-quarter research seminars (not necessarily in the same field), three one-quarter historiography courses in their major field, and three other courses (which may be a combination of colloquia, conjoined courses, or directed readings, but which must include one cross-field graduate colloquium like HIGR 200). Students are encouraged to take their first research seminar in their major field during the initial year of graduate study. After the first year, most students’ full-time program includes two regular academic courses each quarter (eight units) and employment as a 50 percent teaching assistant (four units).

Cross-Field Thematic Graduate Colloquia

In addition to the graduate courses offered by the field groups, the department will offer at least one and up to three cross-field colloquia each year, which are designed to cross geographical and chronological boundaries. Two of these courses are taught at least every other year under this rubric:

HIGR 200. History and Theory [required for U.S., Europe, and L.A.]

An introductory graduate course for students in all fields. Themes include cross-field historiography and theory, interdisciplinary approaches to history and historical method. (May be taken twice for credit, if the reading list is significantly different.)

HIGR 205. Feminist Historical Studies

An introduction to feminist historical studies. This course will provide students with training in women’s history, in the feminist theories that undergird that scholarship, and in gender analysis. (May be taken twice for credit, if the reading list is significantly different.)

HIGR 207. Nationalism, Colonialism, and Race

A transdisciplinary and comparative course on the interplay of nationalism, colonialism, and race (as well as class and gender/sexuality) in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

All PhD students are required to complete at least one cross-field graduate course (typically in the HIGR 200-HIGR 208 series) before advancement to candidacy. Students are strongly encouraged to meet this requirement in their first year, as their field and program of study permits.

Part-Time Study

Students who enroll in fewer than twelve graduate or upper-division units per quarter are considered part-time students. Part-time study may be pursued in several master’s programs and a few PhD programs at UC San Diego. Approval for individual students to enroll on a part-time basis may be given for reasons of occupation, family responsibilities, or health. Individuals who are interested in part-time study and meet the above qualifications should see the department’s graduate coordinator.

Part-time students must satisfy the same admission requirements as full-time students and are eligible, at the discretion of the department, for 25 percent time teaching or research assistantships. Students who are approved by the dean of Graduate Studies for enrollment in a program of half-time study or less (maximum of six units) may be eligible for a reduction in fees. All other students pay the same fees as full-time students.

PhD and MA Language Requirements

PhD candidates in Chinese, European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American history must demonstrate competency in two foreign languages.

PhD candidates in history of science, Japanese, and United States history, as well as MA candidates in European and Latin American history, must demonstrate competency in one foreign language.

PhD candidates in ancient history must demonstrate competency in two modern foreign languages as well as the relevant ancient languages.

PhD candidates in Middle Eastern history must possess a sound foundation in reading Arabic or Turkish (Ottoman Turkish or modern Turkish) as a requirement for admission to the program. Reading competence in two languages in addition to English is required before advancement to candidacy: the regional language Arabic or Turkish above, and a modern European language (other than English) related to the major field of specialization.

Additional languages appropriate to the special field of study as well as language requirements for a candidate in a field other than those already mentioned may be required by the graduate committee in consultation with the student’s major field adviser.

Students may satisfy the foreign language requirement in one of the following ways:

  1. By completing, with a grade of B– or better in each term, a two-year language sequence from the student’s undergraduate institution. Such a sequence must have been completed within two years of the time the request is made to the graduate committee for certification of competency.
  2. By completing, while as a graduate student, with a satisfactory (S) grade in each term, a two-year, lower-division sequence in the language approved by the graduate committee.
  3. By completing, while as a graduate student, with a satisfactory (S) grade in each term, a one-year, upper-division sequence in the language approved by the graduate committee.
  4. By passing a translation examination administered by the department. (This is the only option available for Chinese and Japanese.)

Students are urged to complete at least one foreign language examination by the end of the first year of study and must do so by the beginning of their third year. Failure to meet this requirement is grounds for denial of financial support. No student may take the oral qualifying examination before completing all language requirements.

PhD Examinations

A. Minor Fields

PhD candidates are strongly encouraged to take at least one minor field examination by the end of the first year and to complete the second minor exam by the end of the second year. All minor fields must be completed before the major field exam can be taken. Generally, the department recognizes two types of minor fields. The first is a teaching field. That is, passing a minor field in an area certifies, on a student’s record and resume, that the student has mastered the literature and the major issues in another geographical or chronological field such that the student is qualified to teach in that area. (An example would be a minor field in modern Japanese history for an East Asian history student specializing in modern China; or early modern European history for a modern Europeanist.) A second type of minor field is designed to familiarize a student with a range of theoretical, comparative, and/or transnational issues, which will be useful in the formulation of a dissertation topic and future research in the student’s major field.

In some cases, this minor field is pursued outside the department (in consultation with the student’s adviser): an example might be a minor in the Department of Ethnic Studies for a student working on race and ethnicity in the U.S. In other cases, the student may identify a faculty member or series of faculty members within the department who focus on a particular theme, such as gender, citizenship, or imperialism.

The minor field is defined by a reading list agreed on by the student and the minor field adviser(s). As a guideline, the reading list should encompass about three quarters’ worth of course work (which may be taken with up to three faculty members), and include about fifty titles, with forty to seventy titles representing a reasonable range, depending on the combination of books and articles. The list is intended to establish what will be expected of the student and to prevent confusion over the material to be covered. The list should be finalized at the beginning of the quarter during which the student plans to complete the minor field.

Completion or evaluation of a minor field takes several forms, depending on the policies of different field groups or individual professors.

  1. A one-hour oral examination.
  2. A three-hour or twenty-four-hour take-home written exam.
  3. An “un-timed” synthetic essay, twenty-five to thirty pages, that organizes the scholarship of the field.
  4. Three shorter papers (eight to ten pages) each encompassing a single quarter’s worth of reading. This option is especially appropriate in cases where the student is working with more than one faculty member on a minor field.
  5. Developing a course syllabus in the field.
B. The Major Field: Oral Qualifying Examination and Candidacy

Students are normally expected to take their qualifying examination no later than the spring of their third year of study (except as otherwise specified by the individual fields), and required to do so within four years. Students must fulfill all course work, minor field, and language requirements before taking the qualifying examination. The qualifying examination is an oral test in the student’s major field of study, conducted by at least five examiners. A minimum of three examiners must be members of the Department of History, and usually they will be in the student’s major field. The fourth can be either a faculty member from inside the department but outside the major field, or someone from another department. The fifth must be a tenured faculty member in another department. The student’s minor field adviser(s), whether inside the department or in another department, often serve in this “outside” capacity on the orals committee, although this is not required. Students should consult with their adviser about the composition of the examining committee well before their examination. In addition, the membership of the committee must be approved before the exam by the department chair and the dean of Graduate Studies. The student must meet with the graduate coordinator at least three weeks prior to the orals date to arrange for the submission of this paperwork.

The purpose of the major field oral examination is twofold: 1) to evaluate the student’s knowledge of the major research field and 2) to discuss the student’s dissertation project (with the exception of the US field, which holds a separate meeting for this purpose, no later than two months after the exam).

The exam lasts between two and three hours, and is structured to give each of the five committee members an opportunity to ask questions of the student, based on the major field reading list. When the prospectus is also under discussion, usually the last half-hour is reserved for this purpose. When the exam is over, the student leaves the room and the committee decides whether the student has passed the exam and advanced to candidacy.

  1. The major field book list should be drawn up by the student in consultation with the faculty adviser, and should be finalized at least thirty days before the date of the exam. Each major field list will reflect the unique interests of the student, while also incorporating core themes of the field. Some field groups have formal core lists that may comprise a part of each student’s total list, while others do not. In all cases, students are expected to organize their major field lists according to the specific themes/nations/issues that have informed their graduate study, since no major field list can be all-inclusive. The number of titles on a major field list should be around 100, with 80–120 titles representing a reasonable range. The date of the examination is determined by consultation between the candidate and the examining committee.
  2. The discussion of the dissertation project will be framed by a five- to ten-page prospectus written by the student and submitted to the committee with the book list at least three weeks before the exam. The purpose of the discussion is to determine the feasibility of the scope of the project and to offer suggestions about source materials and research strategies.

Should a student fail the examination, the examining committee will clarify the weaknesses in the exam, so that the student can prepare to take it a second time. If a second oral examination is warranted, the department requires that it should be taken no later than one quarter after the first examination. If the student fails the oral examination a second time, his or her graduate studies in the department will be terminated.

An MA may also be awarded to continuing PhD students upon successfully passing the oral qualifying examination. The MA is not automatically awarded; students must apply in advance to receive the degree, but no additional work is required. Note: Students who wish to receive an MA as part of the PhD program must apply for master’s degree candidacy by the end of the second week of the quarter in which they expect to receive the degree. Please see the graduate coordinator regarding this application.

The various requirements noted above apply to students who have done no previous graduate work in history. If a candidate has completed some graduate work before entering UC San Diego, appropriate adjustments in course work may be approved by general petition to the graduate committee. Nevertheless, all candidates are required to meet language requirements, pass field examinations, and complete and defend a dissertation.

Dissertation

After completing all relevant examinations and language requirements, the student is expected to write a dissertation under the supervision of his or her faculty adviser and the doctoral committee. The Department of History has established the following guidelines for dissertation work. The dissertation should

The scope of the dissertation and its length will depend upon the nature of the problem and the documentation. The department encourages students to complete their research and writing by the end of their sixth year of study. The scope and length of the dissertation should therefore be such that a complete project can be executed in no more than three years, but it should also be capable of further development for publication as a series of articles in scholarly journals, or as a book.

Guidelines for PhD Completion

First Year All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
Research seminar and field group historiography courses.
Cross-field graduate colloquium (recommended).
One language requirement.
Select an adviser in major field.
Define major and two minor fields with adviser.
Complete one minor field.
Second Year Second research seminar and remaining field group required courses.
Complete language requirement.
Complete second minor field.
Third Year If not done so already, complete all minor field exams, language requirements, and course work (twelve four-unit courses required).
Write a dissertation prospectus in preparation for the major field exam.
Pass qualifying exam in major field.
Fourth Year Primary/field/archival research for the dissertation.
Fifth–Seventh Years Writing and completing dissertation.
Note: While students may take an eighth year to complete the PhD, they may not receive financial support from the university or the department, including TAships or readerships after the seventh year.

Departmental PhD Time Limit Policies

Students must be advanced to candidacy by the end of four years. Total university support cannot exceed seven years. Total registered time at UC San Diego cannot exceed eight years.

Financial Support

Upon recommendation of the department, several types of financial aid are available to graduate students: teaching assistantships, readerships, research assistantships, fellowships, and travel grants, and full or partial remission of fees and tuition. Graduate students are eligible for one or a combination of the six forms of financial support.

Entering students who are offered a multi-year financial package are either offered fellowships or readerships, along with fee and tuition remission during their first year, followed by guaranteed employment as a teaching assistant in subsequent years. In some cases, guaranteed dissertation writing funds are part of such a package. Regardless of the initial financial package, the department seeks to ensure that all continuing PhD students are financially supported, usually through TAships. In recent years all students needing support have received either fellowships, teaching assistant, or research assistant positions. To the extent that resources are insufficient to meet the need, the department, on the advice of the graduate committee, will rank students using a combined criterion of academic performance and financial need.

Fellowships, travel grants, and research assistantships are granted by the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) upon the recommendation of the department. Teaching assistants are appointed by the department upon the recommendation of the graduate committee and by the college writing programs. Readers are appointed by the department upon the recommendation of the professor whose course requires such assistance. At the discretion of the department, half-time graduate students are eligible for 25 percent TAships. Graduate students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to be considered for any type of financial aid. Financial support is not renewed automatically but is approved by the department on a yearly basis.

Departmental policy has been to seek seven years of support for students in the program. The Office of Graduate Studies grants partial remission of fees for nine quarters after advancement to candidacy (“normative time”) if the student is advanced to candidacy by the end of the third year. (If the student delays advancement, the amount of normative time is reduced accordingly.) Upon expiration of normative time the student must complete the dissertation or resume full payment of fees.

Opportunities for Teaching

Undergraduate teaching, for which graduate teaching assistants earn regular academic credit, is an integral part of the graduate program at UC San Diego. The department considers experience in teaching an important part of a graduate student’s professional training. To prepare for an academic career, the PhD candidate is encouraged to assist in courses offered by the department, ordinarily as a course Reader (grader) or Teaching Assistant. A maximum of four units per quarter may be taken in undergraduate teaching.

Readerships are available in a variety of upper-division history courses, while the department offers positions for teaching assistantships in lower-division East Asian and US history courses. Graduate students in other fields usually serve as TAs in the interdisciplinary college programs, such as ERC’s “Making of the Modern World,” Revelle’s “Humanities,” Marshall’s “Dimensions of Culture,” Sixth’s “CAT,” and the Muir College Writing Program.

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in order to receive academic employment on campus.

Job Placement

In recent years, 85 percent of the department’s PhD graduates received positions as tenure-track assistant professors at colleges and universities around the country. The remaining 15 percent are currently administrators, visiting scholars, lecturers, or postdoctoral fellows at various educational institutions. Experience indicates that many from this latter group will eventually get professional appointments.

Specialization in Critical Gender Studies

Critical Gender Studies (CGS) is an interdisciplinary program at UC San Diego specializing in the study of gender and sexuality. The program’s core curriculum builds upon feminist scholarship and queer studies, incorporating the interdisciplinary agendas, intellectual debates, changing methodological practices, and major scholarly shifts that have reshaped the fields of gender and sexuality studies over the last decade.

PhD students in history may apply for a specialization in Critical Gender Studies to complement their course work and research in history. The specialization operates in partnership with eight departments in the Division of Social Sciences and the Division of Arts and Humanities, with admitted students representing each of these departments, creating a lively, interdisciplinary cohort. Admitted students are required to complete five courses in addition to their home department’s core requirements; admitted students must also include at least one member of their dissertation committee from the list of CGS core or affiliate faculty.

Course work for the specialization consists of two core courses and three electives. The core courses are CGS 200. Advanced Studies in Critical Gender Studies, to be taken shortly after admission to the specialization, and CGS 299. Practicum in Critical Gender Studies, to be taken in the student’s final year of dissertation writing. Electives may be chosen from a list of preapproved seminars in participating departments (students may petition other courses with significant gender/sexuality studies content), and may be taken at any time during the student’s tenure at UC San Diego.

For more information about the graduate specialization in Critical Gender Studies, please visit: http://cgs.ucsd.edu.