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Overview

With a program and faculty that are recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally, the history department at the University of Miami is dedicated to producing Ph.D.s of the highest quality.  Our selective program offers close, individualized training for the next generation of teachers and researchers who will shape and lead the historical profession.  While we have particular strengths in the histories of Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States, our faculty shares interests that cut across geographies: gender and sexuality; religion; race and ethnicity; law; and economy, among others.  Additionally, we have a strong commitment to interdisciplinarity, as we actively maintain bridges to other departments, programs, and centers at the University of Miami.  Our graduate students are encouraged to take advantage of these dynamic scholarly connections as they cultivate their own intellectual pursuits.

Admissions

We are looking for applicants with a record of outstanding academic achievement and evidence of potential success in graduate studies, attributes which can be measured in various ways such as grades, recommendations, written work, and test scores. Students with a master’s from an accredited institution may apply for admission to the doctoral program. Students with a bachelor’s degree only and with very strong credentials may be admitted into the doctoral program. Applicants must meet the admissions requirements set by both the graduate school, which are listed in its materials, and the department of history.

Because one of the strengths of our program is a close working relationship between faculty members and students, we cannot always accept qualified applicants when no one in the department can provide the guidance they need in their area of interest. Applicants should explore the listing of faculty on our website and contact the DGS or relevant faculty members if they have any questions.

The complete application contains:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. A completed financial aid application, if seeking aid.
  3. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from the applicant’s former professors.
  4. Recent Graduate Record Examination scores. 
  5. For international students, TOEFL scores.
  6. Official transcripts.
  7. A detailed statement from the student indicating:
    1. the student’s background and education;
    2. the student’s interests (field, topic, etc.);
    3. why the student wants to pursue a graduate degree in history at the University of Miami; and
    4. what the student plans to do with the degree upon completion.
      This statement constitutes a very important part of the application review process and should indicate the student’s understanding of the professional nature of the training that the student is about to begin.
  8. A representative writing sample.

Admission from M.A. to Ph.D. Status

Students admitted at the master’s level who are performing well in their studies are encouraged to proceed to Ph.D. status. Advisors who believe that a student should be admitted to the Ph.D. program, and have the consent of the student, inform the DGS of this desire early in the spring semester and at least before the annual departmental meeting reviewing graduate students’ progress. The request is then reviewed by the department at its annual meeting for recommendation to the graduate committee. Students who move from the M.A. to the Ph.D. program are eligible for the same number of years’ aid as students entering the Ph.D. program directly from the B.A., minus the years of aid they have already received. For course requirements, see below.

Deadlines

January 5: Applications for admissions and aid for Fall semester.

Curriculum Requirements

Graduate Course Work 6
45 credit hours (5 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with a B.A.45
Minimum of 27 credit hours (3 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from another university.
Minimum of 27 additional credit hours (3 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from another program at the University of Miami.
Minimum of 24 additional credit hours of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from the History Department at the University of Miami.
Historiography 7
Research Seminar Part 1
and Research Seminar Part 2 8
History as a Profession 9
Dissertation Prospectus Seminar 10
Foreign Language 11
Comprehensive Exam 12
Dissertation Research Credit Hours 1315
Doctoral Dissertation
Post-Candidacy Doctoral Dissertation
Dissertation 14
Total Credit Hours 1560

Committee

Upon admission to the program, the student is assigned a provisional major advisor.  As noted above, students should then concur or select a different advisor by the beginning of the second semester in the program. An advisory committee of four or five, including the major advisor and faculty members representing the second and third fields, must be formed no later than the student’s third semester in the program. It is the responsibility of the student and the advisor to form this committee and notify the DGS of its composition. The major advisor chairs the advisory committee and oversees the student’s course of study and progress in the program. The advisory committee will also administer the oral and written comprehensive examinations. Students may change advisor and other committee members throughout the program provided that the faculty member(s) selected agree(s).

Incompletes

All incompletes from the fall semester must be made up by the official end of the following spring semester. All incompletes from the spring semester must be made up before the official start of the subsequent fall semester. No student will be allowed to proceed to exams until all incompletes have been made up.

Languages Requirement

Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language is required. More than one foreign language may be required if the major advisor deems it necessary. 

Comprehensive Examinations

It is the responsibility of the student and major advisor to organize the comprehensive examinations. Students may take them at any time of the year that classes are in session.  Arrangements for the exams, including selection of their dates and a final list of committee members, should be made by the end of the first month of the semester in question, with notification to the Department Chair and DGS.

The student takes the written part of the examinations in three history fields, which are normally administered over a period of two successive weeks. The portion for each field is four hours in duration. Only after the advisory committee deems that the student has successfully passed the written portions for each field is the student permitted to take the oral part of the examination.

The oral section covers the three history fields and is approximately two hours in duration. The prospectus may form part of the discussion, but the examination will focus on coverage of the fields. The committee consists of at least three faculty members.

The student advances to candidate status after passing the comprehensive examinations and submitting an acceptable dissertation prospectus.

Students who have not already received a master’s degree from the University of Miami will be awarded an M.A. upon successful completion of their doctoral comprehensive exams.

Dissertation

After passing the examinations, students form a dissertation committee. This may be the original advisory committee, but it may also be revised to meet the needs of the dissertation work. The students, in consultation with the Major Advisor, put forward the names of individuals suggested to serve on the dissertation committee. The committee must be comprised of at least three members within the department and one outside the department. The committee is then approved and appointed by the dean of the graduate school.

The dissertation must make a significant contribution to the candidate’s field of specialization. It must meet the highest standards of research, substance, and form, and demonstrate an ability to conduct and report independent and original scholarly investigation.

The student must apply for graduation in his or her penultimate semester (i.e. fall for spring semester).

Upon completion of the dissertation and its tentative approval by the dissertation committee, the student takes a final oral examination that is a “defense” of the dissertation and that lasts for approximately two hours. It is open to the university community.  Following the defense of the dissertation, the dissertation committee will render its decision to accept or reject the dissertation. Approval of the dissertation must be indicated by the signature of all members of the dissertation committee.

Fields

Chronological/Geographical fields:

  • Medieval Europe
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Modern Europe
  • Early American History
  • Modern U.S. History
  • Colonial Latin America
  • Modern Latin America
  • East Asia
  • Russia
  • Africa
  • Caribbean

Topical Fields. These must cover either two of the geographic or two of the temporal fields listed above.:

  • African Diaspora
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • History of Religion
  • History of Science and Medicine
  • History of Crime and Law
  • Political History
  • Diplomatic History
  • Urban and Environmental History
  • Economic History
  • Business History
  • Labor History
  • History of Sport
  • Military History
  • Cultural and Intellectual History
  • Public History
  • Atlantic World
  • Renaissance
  • Mediterranean World
  • Empires and Nations
  • Global 19th  Century
Customized Fields: 

Students may create their own fields in consultation with their advisory committee. The student opting for this approach must file a plan of study listing relevant courses, the faculty member(s) involved, and the rationale. To pursue the individualized concentration, the student must obtain written approval of the plan by the major advisor, DGS, and the Department Chair.

The plan and signed approvals are placed in the student’s file. With rare exceptions, a customized field may not be the major field of study.

Concentrations

Ph.D. in History with a concentration in Caribbean Studies

Graduate Course Work33
45 credit hours (5 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with a B.A.
Minimum of 27 credit hours (3 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from another university.
Minimum of 27 additional credit hours (3 semesters) of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from another program at the University of Miami.
Minimum of 24 additional credit hours of graduate coursework at the University of Miami for students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from the History Department at the University of Miami.
Historiography 7
Research Seminar Part 1
and Research Seminar Part 2 8
History as a Profession 9
Dissertation Prospectus Seminar 10
Doctoral Concentration in Caribbean Studies
Students pursuing the doctoral concentration in Caribbean Studies must take as part of their required course credit hours a minimum of four Caribbean-focused courses (12 credit hours) as shown below.
A minimum of two courses (6 credits) selected from the following:6
Studies in African History
Studies in African History (Africa and the African Diaspora )
Studies in African History (Africa in Cuba / Cuba in Africa)
Studies in Latin American History
Studies in Latin American History (Race in Latin America)
Studies in Latin American History (Travels through Latin America)
Studies in Modern Latin American History
Studies in Modern Latin American History (Afro-Caribbean Religion: Healing and Power)
Studies in Modern Latin American History (Haiti in History)
Studies in Modern Latin American History (Caribbean Intellectual History and Social Movements)
Studies in United States History
HIS 662: Slavery and Capitalism
Studies in African-American History
Studies in African-American History (Black Protest Thought )
Studies in African-American History (Rethinking African-American Culture)
Studies in African-American History (History of Global Slavery)
Directed Readings in Comparative History
Directed Readings in Comparative History (Slavery in the Atlantic World )
Directed Readings in Comparative History (Atlantic Histories)
Caribbean Field Prep
Field Preparation: Modern Caribbean History
A minimum of two courses (6 credits) selected from the following:6
Studies in Transatlantic Literature
Studies in African-American Literature
Caribbean Literature
Caribbean Popular Culture
Studies in Race and Diasporic Literatures
Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Studies in Literature and Culture since 1950
Studies in Latino/a Literatures and Cultures
Comparative Americas Studies
Topics in Francophone Studies
Bilingualism
Topics in Critical Studies of Language
Special Topics in Literature
Special Topics in Literature (Atlantic Crossings: Literature and Immigration in the Age of Globalization)
MLL 727: Topics in Caribbean Studies
Topics in Colonial Literature
Topics in 19th Century Latin American Literature
Topics in 20th Century Latin American Literature
Or other courses with advisor approval.
Foreign Language 11
Comprehensive Exam 12
Dissertation Research Credit Hours 1315
Doctoral Dissertation
Post-Candidacy Doctoral Dissertation
Dissertation 14
Total Credit Hours60

Medieval and Early Modern Studies 

Graduate Concentration in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration to be earned in conjunction with the individual Ph.D. requirements for the departments of English, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures (Romance Studies, Spanish, and French). Graduate students will continue to be housed in any one of the three departments and must fulfill the requirements of their discipline. To qualify for the Concentration, students must successfully complete a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies in one or both of the other two departments, substituting for courses within their department; and a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies within their home department. Thus, for example, a student whose home department is History would need to take two courses in medieval and/or early modern studies in History and then either two courses in English or MLL or one course in English  and one course in MLL.  A list of courses for the academic year is posted regularly on the website of the Center for the Humanities.

Goals

The major goals of the Ph.D. in History are 1) to ground students in historical knowledge and scholarship at the most sophisticated level; 2) to provide each with the skills necessary to cultivate an area of specialization and an original research agenda; 3) to train students for teaching at the college/university level; and 4) to prepare graduates to obtain appropriate employment.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will grasp historical knowledge and scholarship at the most sophisticated level.
  • Students will cultivate an area of specialization and carry out an original research agenda.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to teach at the college/university level.