|THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG|
|Table of Contents > College of Arts & Sciences|
Chairperson: Professor Kari Frederickson, Office: 202A ten Hoor Hall
Graduate Director: Professor Daniel Riches, Office: 209 ten Hoor Hall
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.
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.
Requirements for the MA Program
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.
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.
Requirements for the PhD Program
History field requirements. The Department of History offers the following PhD fields:
United States History to 1877
History of Race
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.
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.
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.
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
may be transferred from another institution.
HY 526 U.S.
as a World Power, 1898 to the Present.
HY 546 Age
of Reason, 1715–89.
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.
Group IV—Directed Study
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG