PhD in History

The minimum period of residence for the PhD in History is two academic years of full-time attendance at the University of Alberta. The time required to complete the program will vary according to the previous training of the student and the nature of the research undertaken; however, four to six years are normally required.

Entrance Requirements

Students proposing to enter a PhD in History program are expected to hold an acceptable MA degree or its equivalent. In exceptional cases a student admitted as a candidate for the MA may subsequently be permitted to enter the PhD program without writing a master’s thesis.

Program Requirements

A candidate must: take and pass two of HIST 601 (★3), HIST 603 (★3), HIST 604 (★3), HIST 605 (★3) or 610 (★3) or SOC 519 (★3) if the student does not hold credit in equivalent courses acceptable to the Department; take and pass ★9 or ★12 in 600-level history courses, depending on previously taken courses offered in satisfaction of the preceding section (students who have already satisfied the preceding section must take and pass ★12 in 600-level history courses; those who offer one previously taken course in satisfaction of the preceding section must take and pass an additional ★9 in 600-level history courses; those who offer no courses in satisfaction of the preceding section must take and pass an additional ★9 in 600-level history courses); take and pass HIST 602 (★1) if the student has not previously done so; and fulfill the language requirement. For students specializing in Canadian History, the modern language requirement will normally be French; for all other students, the specific language requirement(s) will be determined in consultation with the student's supervisor. In addition, the student may be required to pass a second language examination, but the Department never requires any student to pass examinations in more than two languages other than English. The student must also submit a thesis proposal of ten to twenty pages based on some preliminary research.

Upon completing the requirements outlined above (normally not later than 18 months after entering the program), the candidate will be expected to pass comprehensive examinations in three fields. The construction of the fields is flexible and explained fully in the Department's Higher Degrees Brochure. These fields will be: (1) general field; (2) special thesis field; and (3) thematic, theoretical, methodological and/or comparative field. These fields must be approved by the Graduate Committee of the Department. Students write an examination in each field, and then take an oral examination that covers all the fields.

If the candidate passes the comprehensive examinations, the candidate will be permitted to proceed to the candidacy examination. Upon successful completion of the candidacy examination, students will advance to formal candidacy for the PhD.

A student who has been admitted to candidacy for the PhD may proceed to the degree by completing a thesis, the text of which should normally be 250-400 pages in length.