THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG
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6.12 DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY (HY)

Chairperson: Professor Kari Frederickson, Office: 202A ten Hoor Hall

Graduate Director: Professor Daniel Riches, Office: 209 ten Hoor Hall

 

Admission Requirements

 

General requirements for all history degree programs. Admission decisions for all graduate history programs at The University of Alabama are made by the Graduate School based on a composite of subjective and quantitative information, including the applicant's statement of purpose and letters of recommendation, the academic standing of the programs in which the applicant has studied, evidence of appropriate college or graduate-level work in history courses, test scores, previous grades, and the recommendation of the Graduate Committee of the history department. Each application is considered in the context of other applications to the program, with due consideration given to the availability of space in the program, the need to maintain a pool of students of superior potential, and the need to encourage minority applications. Not every student whose credentials meet stated quantitative standards is admitted.  Additional information is in the Admission Criteria section of this catalog.

 

Quantitative requirements for unconditional admission to MA program. The applicant must have a grade point average, based on a 4.0 system, of 3.0 overall or 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program, and a score of at least 300 on the combined verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination and at least 4 on the analytical writing section.

 

Quantitative requirements for conditional admission to MA program. An applicant whose credentials do not meet the requirements for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission if he or she meets either the GPA requirement for regular admission (GPA of 3.0) or the entrance examination score requirement for regular admission. Conditional admission is rare and requires a special recommendation by the Graduate Committee. Students admitted conditionally must maintain a 3.0 average for the first 12 semester hours attempted. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.

 

Special requirements for admission to PhD program. Only applicants holding an MA degree in history issued within the previous six years are eligible for admission to the PhD program. All other applicants should apply to the MA program. Students applying to the PhD program are expected to have GRE scores substantially above the minimum acceptable for MA applicants, a GPA in previous graduate work of 3.5 or better, and strong recommendations. A successful applicant must also be endorsed by a faculty member prepared to serve as chairperson of the student's dissertation committee.

 

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.

 

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General Degree Requirements

 

Course load. Resident students are expected to register for full loads each semester—at least 9 hours, except in the case of .50 FTE teaching assistants, who must take at least 6 hours. All courses must be numbered 500 or above, but HY 699 Dissertation Research does not count toward the course hour requirement for any graduate degree.

 

History Colloquium requirement. All incoming graduate students (MA or PhD) are required to register for the History Colloquium (HY665) during their first semester of study.

 

Historiography requirement. All incoming graduate students (MA or PhD), unless specifically exempted by the Graduate Committee, must take at least two of the basic historiography courses (HY 601/HY 602 Literature of American History, HY 603 Literature of European history, and HY 605 Literature of Latin American History) as part of their degree program. They are encouraged to take these courses as early as possible in their program.

 

Seminar requirement. All MA students who choose Plan II (described under "Requirements for the MA Program" below) must take at least one research seminar. All doctoral students must complete at least two research seminars.

 

Language requirement. All graduate degree programs in history require that each student demonstrate reading proficiency in one or more foreign languages. These languages should be selected from the standard research languages (Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Russian), but other languages relevant to the student's program may be substituted with the recommendation of the student's advisor and the permission of the Graduate Committee. The student must fulfill this requirement by passing the examination administered by the relevant language department at The University of Alabama.

 

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Requirements for the MA Program

 

Plan I:

Coursework. Coursework totaling 24 credit hours in history and a thesis (an additional 6 credit hours of HY 599) are required, and the student must demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language before taking the final oral examination.

 

Thesis. The topic of the thesis will be selected by the student in consultation with his or her advisor. After the topic has been agreed upon, the student will prepare a prospectus describing the topic and the proposed plan of approach, including the principal sources to be used. Copies of the prospectus will be distributed to the student's advisory committee, which shall consist of three members, all of whom must indicate their acceptance of the topic.

 

MA exam. The Plan I MA exam will consist of a ten-page synthetic essay, the thesis, and an oral exam. The examination committee consists of three professors who served as readers on the thesis. In the event that the student wishes to be considered for continuation to the PhD program and the student’s potential dissertation advisor is not included in this group, he or she will be added to the examination committee as a fourth member. The M.A. thesis must be submitted to the student’s primary advisor no later than six weeks before the scheduled defense, and the revised thesis must be submitted to the remaining members of the student’s committee at least three weeks before the scheduled defense. For students wishing to be considered for continuation to the PhD program, the committee will file with the director of graduate studies a written opinion regarding the student’s suitability for further graduate work in history.

 

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Plan II:

Coursework. Coursework totaling 30 credit hours in history is required, and the student must demonstrate proficiency in reading one foreign language before taking the final oral examination.

 

MA exam. The Plan II MA exam will consist of a ten-page synthetic essay, the revised seminar paper, and an oral exam. Copies of the synthetic essay and the revised seminar paper must be furnished to the members of the examining committee at least 10 days before the date of the oral examination. The examining committee must consist of three history professors with whom the student has taken courses, one of whom must be the professor with whom the student has written his/her seminar paper. In the event that the student wishes to be considered for continuation to the PhD program and the student’s potential dissertation advisor is not included in this group, he or she will be added to the examination committee as a fourth member. For students wishing to be considered for continuation to the PhD program, the committee will file with the director of graduate studies a written opinion regarding the student’s suitability for further graduate work in history. 

 

Special note on MA oral exams. In all of the MA oral examinations, two negative votes constitute failure of the examination. History graduate students may repeat failed oral examinations one time only, after an interval specified by the examining committee. The use of faculty from outside the department to serve on MA examination committees must be approved well in advance by the Graduate Committee.

 

 

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Requirements for the PhD Program

 

History field requirements. The Department of History offers the following PhD fields:

United States History to 1877 
United States History since 1877 
History of the U.S. South 
European History to 1815 
European History, 1815 to present 
Latin American History
Military and Naval History

Gender History

History of Race

Religious History

 

PhD students may also create their own thematic field, the exact boundaries of which will be settled in consultation with the student’s dissertation director and the Graduate Committee, provided that there are professors in the department who specialize in that area.

 

The PhD requires a total of 54 hours of graduate coursework, at least 48 of which must be in history. MA hours, including those accepted for transfer from other institutions, are included in this total. PhD students will offer three fields of history, in each of which they must earn at least 12 hours of graduate credit. 
 

Language requirement. Each student is expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages, with the exception of those whose major fields are in American history. Those working primarily in American history must demonstrate a knowledge of only one foreign language, although any advisor may require his or her student to continue to fulfill the two-language requirement if it seems necessary to the area of the student's research. For those who must satisfy the two-language requirement, a special skill pertinent to the candidate's doctoral dissertation may be substituted for one language on the recommendation of the student's advisor and with the permission of the Graduate Committee. The language and special skill requirements must be met before the scheduling of the comprehensive examinations.

 

Comprehensive examinations. The comprehensive examinations for admission to candidacy for the PhD consist of a written examination in each of three fields of history offered by the candidate, each administered by professors representing the respective field. An oral examination will be administered subsequently by a committee consisting of the professors who administered the written examinations. The comprehensive examinations are to be completed in a two-week period, with the written exams given the first week and the oral exam given the following week. The exam schedule must allow at least five days between the last written exam and the date of the oral exam. The written and oral exams in each field are considered a unit, which the student will pass or fail as a whole. Two negative votes constitute failure. A minimum of six months must elapse before the student may repeat a failed examination, the time of which will be set by the examining committee. A student is permitted to repeat a failed examination one time only.

 

Dissertation. Dissertations are to be based upon research in history and make an original contribution to knowledge. Students will select dissertation topics in consultation with their advisors. After the topic has been agreed upon, the student will prepare a prospectus describing the topic and the proposed plan of approach, including the principal sources to be pursued.

 

Copies of the prospectus will be distributed to the members of the student’s dissertation committee in advance of the oral defense of the prospectus, which must take place by the end of the semester in which the student passes his or her  comprehensive examination.

 

The Graduate School requires each student admitted to candidacy for the PhD to pursue completion of the dissertation without interruption by enrolling each semester in HY 699 for at least 3 credit hours. The student must register for a total of at least 24 hours of dissertation research.

 

Final oral examination. The candidate must pass an oral examination on the dissertation and the field of the dissertation in accordance with the rules of the Graduate School. The dissertation committee consists of four  professors from the Department of History, plus at least one additional member outside from outside the Department of History. The outside member may come from another department at the University of Alabama or from outside the University altogether. Two negative votes constitute failure of the examination, which the student may repeat one time only, after an interval specified by the examining committee.

 

Using outside faculty on PhD examinations. Except in cases where faculty from other disciplines are prescribed by the graduate regulations, the use of faculty from outside the department to serve on PhD comprehensive or oral examinations must be approved well in advance by the Graduate Committee.

 

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Scholastic Requirements

Any student who receives 6 hours of "C" grades or 3 hours of "D" or "F" grades in history courses shall be dismissed from the program, although the student dismissed may petition the Graduate Committee for reinstatement.

A student on probation or whose transcript carries a grade of "I" will ordinarily be ineligible for a teaching assistantship or other departmental financial support.

 

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Transfer of Credit

Courses of full-graduate level credit earned in an accredited institution where a student was enrolled in the graduate school may be submitted for review for inclusion in a History degree program. Evaluation of credit for transfer will not be made until the student has enrolled in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama. Acceptance of credit requires the approval of the student’s advisor, the Graduate Committee of the Department of History, and the Dean of the Graduate School. Credit will not be accepted for transfer from any institution at which the student failed to achieve a “B” average on all of the graduate work attempted. Only courses in which a student earned a "B" grade or better may be transferred.

A student initiates with the Graduate School a request for evaluation of graduate credit obtained at another institution. The form is available at the “Web Forms” icon of the Graduate School’s homepage. It is also the student’s responsibility to ensure than an official transcript of the credit concerned is received by the Graduate School. All credit toward the MA degree must have been earned during the six years immediately preceding the date on which the degree is awarded. All credit toward the PhD must have been earned in the six years immediately preceding admission to the doctoral program. 
 

The history department usually allows the transfer of 6 semester hours of credit toward the MA degree, although in exceptional cases up to 12 hours may be accepted. No more than one-half of PhD coursework hours (not including HY 699) may be transferred from another institution. 

Additional information is in the 
Degree Requirements section of this catalog for both the MA and PhD degrees. 

 

 

 

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Course Descriptions


HY 500 Special Studies in History.  Three hours. 

HY 501 Japanese Civilization to 1550.  Three hours. 
Survey of Japanese history from the beginning through the 16th century. Major emphasis is on the period after A.D. 400. 

HY 502 Modern Japan since 1550.  Three hours. 
Major emphasis is on the end of the Tokugawa Period (1800–68) and the rise of modernized Japan in the Meiji Period (1868–1912) and the 20th century. 

HY 503 Chinese Civilization to 1600.  Three hours. 
Survey of Chinese culture from the Shang Period through the Ming Period.


HY 504 Modern China since 1600.  Three hours. 
Survey of Chinese history in the Ch'ing Dynasty and the 20th century. Major emphasis is on 19th- and 20th-century events. 

HY 508 Colonial United States to 1763.  Three hours. 
Topical survey of major themes in U.S. colonial history, with particular emphasis on Anglo-American developments.  

HY 509 American Revolution and the Founding of the Nation, 1763–1815.  Three hours. 
The development of revolutionary sentiment in the North American colonies, the resulting revolution, and the subsequent efforts to establish the new nation. 

HY 513 From the Mexican War through the Civil War.  Three hours. 
Examines how Americans made war in the middle of the 19th century and how waging war affected the evolution of politics and society. 

HY 516 U.S. from Reconstruction to World War I.  Three hours. 
Selected topics relating to the development of the U.S., especially domestic affairs and the growth of important institutions.  

HY 517 U.S. from World War I through World War II.  Three hours. 
Covers the participation of the U.S. in two world wars and the events of the intervening years. Government, commerce, and industry receive attention and analysis. 

HY 521 American Legal History (same as LAW 772).  Three hours. 
Critical history of American law and institutions, emphasizing the period since 1750. 

HY 522 History of American Labor Law (same as LAW 617).  Three hours. 
Problems in the legal history of U.S. labor movements, including slavery law, the law and the American worker, the labor conspiracy doctrine, the labor injunction, and the growth of federal labor legislation and case law. 

HY 523 Constitutional History of the U.S. to 1877.  Three hours. 
Deals with evolution of U.S. constitutional law and the nature and process of judicial review, including 18th-century constitutional theory and Supreme Court decisions. 

HY 524 Constitutional History of the U.S. since 1877.  Three hours. 
Continuation of 
HY 523

HY 525 Rise of America to World Power.  Three hours. 
Survey of American foreign policy from the Revolution to the Spanish-American War of 1898. Jones. 
 

HY 526 U.S. as a World Power, 1898 to the Present.  Three hours. 
Survey of American foreign policy from the Spanish-American War of 1898 to the present. 

HY 529 American South and Southwest, 1513–1821.  Three hours. 
History of the Spanish advance into the present-day borders of the U.S., explaining how Spain fought and finally succumbed to the more dynamic and aggressive French and English.


HY 530 U.S. Economic History since the Colonial Period.  Three hours. 
A survey of U.S. economic history from the colonial period to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the role of business, social, and voluntary organizations. 

HY 534 U.S. Social History to 1865.  Three hours. 
Topical survey of major social forces in the U.S., emphasizing the colonial experience of Americans and its impact on future generations.


HY 535 U.S. Social History since 1865.  Three hours. 
Topical survey of major social forces, with particular emphasis on immigration, voluntary association, and suburbanization.  

HY 541 History of the U.S.–Vietnam War.  Three hours. 
A survey of the historical background of the conflict in Indochina leading to U.S. involvement in that conflict. 

HY 542 The Middle Ages.  Three hours. 
Foundations of the modern world in barbarian Europe : retreat into the countryside and private government, recovery of public institutions, money economy, and cultural vitality. 

HY 543 Renaissance.  Three hours. 
Intellectual movements associated with the Renaissance, with readings in Machiavelli's Prince, More's Utopia, and other humanist writings; social and economic life, religion, politics, and statecraft. 

HY 544 Reformation and Counter-Reformation.  Three hours. 
History of the separation of Catholic and Protestant churches from the ideal of the universal Christian church; late-Medieval religious practice. 

HY 545 17th-Century Europe.  Three hours. 
Troubled times, dominated by wars, depressions, harvest failures, and epidemics, but also the times of Baroque art, classical literature, critical philosophy, and scientific revolution.

 

HY 546 Age of Reason, 1715–89.  Three hours. 
The Enlightenment of Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Franklin, Hume, Goethe, and Kant, whose writings exalted individual reason, tolerance, liberalism, science, and public service and set the stage for the French Revolution.

 

HY 547 French Revolution and Napoleon. Three hours.

Causes, course, and effects of the revolution, from the storming of the Bastille to Napoleon's seizure of power, conquests, and final defeat at Waterloo.


HY 548 Europe, 1815–50.  Three hours. 
Europe in the first half of the 19th century: industrial expansion, changes in social structure, and the new ideologies of romanticism, nationalism, socialism, and liberalism. 

HY 549 Europe, 1850–1914.  Three hours. 
Culture and history of Europe to World War I: major institutions, values, and ideas, as well as the social environment in which Europeans lived. 

HY 551 Europe since 1914.  Three hours. 
Zenith and decline of the great imperial powers of Europe through World Wars I and II; tensions of the Cold War, the Common Market, and European unity. 

HY 554 German History to 1740.  Three hours. 
A survey of the Germanies from the early migrations to the rise of Prussia under the Hohenzollern dynasty, with emphasis on the development of German particularism and distinctive characteristics. 

HY 555 German History since 1740.  Three hours. 
A survey of German history from Frederick the Great to Adolph Hitler, with emphasis on the Austro-Prussian conflict, the Bismarckian Empire, and the two world wars. 

HY 557 World War I.  Three hours. 
"The War to End All Wars," from the European crises culminating at Sarajevo in 1914 to peacemaking at Versailles in 1919. Major emphasis is on the western and eastern fronts and on the war at sea.  

HY 558 World War II.  Three hours. 
The global conflict—or series of conflicts—from Manchukuo in 1931 to Tokyo Bay in 1945. Battles on land, at sea, and in the air; life on the home fronts and in enemy-occupied areas; and the war's legacy to future generations.


HY 561 Russia to 1894.  Three hours. 
Conventional political history of Russia from the ninth century to the 19th century, followed by the social and cultural history of the Russian revolutionary movement. 

HY 562 History of Russia since 1894.  Three hours. 
Crisis in Russian society and the coming of the revolution; emergence of Stalinism; and political developments since World War II, including the post-Cold War era. 

HY 570 Spanish Viceroyalties of America.  Three hours. 
The conquest and colonization of America by Spain, from the voyages of Columbus to the Wars of Independence in the early 19th century. 

HY 571 The Age of Exploration and Conquest.  Three hours. 
A history of exploration from ancient times to the 16th and 17th centuries, when European nations expanded by sea voyages and conquest, penetrating the Americas, Africa, and Asia and basically completing the geographical knowledge of the earth.


HY 572 Modernization of South America.  Three hours. 
Survey of political, economic, and social trends in the major nations since 1930. 

HY 573 The Andean Nations.  Three hours. 
Examines the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the Andean nations since independence, with emphasis on Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. 
 
HY 574 Relations of the U.S. and Latin America.  Three hours. 
Chronological survey of diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations, with emphasis on the 20th century.


HY 575 Caribbean Basin, 1492 to the Present.  Three hours. 
Traces the evolution of the nations of the Caribbean and Central America from the first European settlements in the 16th century to the present.


HY 580 Survey of Military History.  Three hours. 
Introduction to the field of military history and to the writing of military history from ancient times to the present, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. 

HY 583 Comparative Revolutions in the Modern World.  Three hours. 
Comparative study of revolutionary movements in the Western and non-Western worlds. 

HY 590 England under the Tudors.  Three hours. 
Development of an early modern state: establishment of strong central monarchy, religious crises from the Reformation to the Puritan movement, and exuberance and excess of an expanding society.


HY 591 England under the Stuarts.  Three hours. 
How Englishmen of the 17th century worked out the great questions of their day: Was liberty compatible with strong and effective government? Could English elites share their power without destroying it? Finally, what did God want for England?


HY 593 Britain in the 18th Century.  Three hours. 
From the Hanoverian Succession in 1714 to victory at Waterloo in 1815: political development, agrarian and industrial revolutions, John Wesley, Samuel Johnson, and an apparently endless succession of wars.


HY 594 Britain in the Victorian Age.  Three hours. 
Britain at her apogee: possessor of the empire on which the sun never set; world economic leader; nation of Peel and Palmerston, Gladstone and Disraeli, Dickens and Trollope, Tennyson and Browning, Turner and Constable, and Victoria and Albert.


HY 595 Britain in the 20th Century.  Three hours. 
The course looks at Britain from the death of Queen Victoria to Mrs. Thatcher: the decline of the British Empire, the two World Wars, the rise of the welfare state, the Common Market, and economic resurgence. 

HY 599 Thesis Research.  One to six hours. 

HY 600 Teaching History.  One hour.

 

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Group I—Historiography Courses

HY 601 Literature of American History to 1865.  Four hours. 

HY 602 Literature of American History since 1865.  Four hours.

HY 603 Literature of European History.  Four hours. 

HY 605 Literature of Latin American History.  Four hours.

 

 

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Group II—Proseminars

HY 606 Proseminar in United States History to 1877.  Four hours. 

HY 607 Proseminar in United States History since 1877.  Four hours. 

HY 608 Proseminar in Southern History.  Four hours. 

HY 620 Proseminar in Latin American History.  Four hours. 

HY 631 Proseminar in Early Modern European History.  Four hours. 

HY 635 Proseminar in Recent European History.  Four hours. 

HY 639 Proseminar in Military and Naval History.  Four hours.

 

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Group III—Seminars

HY 651 Seminar in United States History to 1877.  Four hours. 

HY 657 Seminar in United States History since 1877.  Four hours. 

HY 658 Seminar in Southern History.  Four hours. 

HY 660 Seminar in State and Local History.  Four hours. 

HY 665 Special Studies Seminar.  Four hours. 

HY 670 Seminar in Latin American History.  Four hours. 

HY 682 Seminar in European History.  Four hours. 

HY 684 Seminar in Military and Naval History.  Four hours.

 

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Group IV—Directed Study

HY 697 Directed Readings.  One to four hours. 
Prerequisite: Written permission of the director of graduate studies. 

HY 698 Directed Research not Related to Dissertation.  One to four hours. 
Written permission of the director of graduate studies is required for admission. 

HY 699 Dissertation Research.  Three to twelve hours. 
Not to be counted for required credit for advanced degrees.

 


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