Areas of Study

Students in the MA and PhD programs must design their fields of study in consultation with their supervisory committee, according to Department guidelines. You may view descriptions of the Department's areas of graduate study using the links at left. The information is accessible in two ways: by Division (broadly defined chronological/geographical/topical categories, such as United States, Pre-Modern Asia, etc.), or by Faculty (descriptions of the fields individual faculty are willing to supervise).

For all students, the following guidelines are in effect:

All students preparing fields should consult closely with the relevant faculty to ensure a mutual understanding of how their fields are to be defined for the purposes of examination.

Each of the student's two MA or four  PhD fields must be different in content, and each must be supervised by a different faculty member (a faculty member cannot supervise more than one field).

At both the MA and PhD level, adjunct faculty members do not normally supervise primary fields.

Fields within the Comparative History division (Comparative Colonialisms, Comparative Gender, Comparative Ethnicity and Nationalism, and Historiogaphy) cannot constitute a student's primary field at the MA or PhD level.

MA students must choose among:

  • A 2-field MA, in which students select two fields from a single division.
  • A cross-divisional MA, In which students select two fields from two different divisions

Both fields at the MA level must be History fields and both must be supervised by History faculty.

PhD students are expected to choose four fields drawn from at least two divisions.  PhD students should ensure that at least one of their four fields offers genuine diversity from their primary area of concentration. Fields within the Comparative History division may satisfy the requirement for a field outside the student's primary division of concentration only if they do not significantly overlap with the student's main fields of study. It is the responsibility of the student's Supervisory Committee to ensure that the proposed four fields reflect sufficient diversity.  A PhD student may choose to present a field involving work in another department of the University. An outside field should be of particular methodological and/or comparative value to the student's doctoral program and should contribute to the program's intellectual coherence. A PhD student can offer no more than one field outside of History.