Each new M.A. and PhD student is initially assigned an informal faculty adviser based upon the student's selection of fields and supervising faculty submitted at the time of application to the graduate program. While the informal adviser's research interests will be in the student's major field of historical study, the adviser will not necessarily be the person the student ultimately asks to serve as Chair of the M.A. or PhD Supervisory Committee It is the student's responsibility to contact faculty members as early as possible after admission to the MA or PhD program to find out what requirements may be imposed to prepare for their particular fields, and to plan coursework accordingly, taking into consideration when the necessary courses are to be offered.
The student’s formal faculty advisers (ie., field supervisors) are determined by the establishment of the MA or PhD fields and Supervisory Committee, which should done no later than the third quarter of graduate work. The field supervisors determine the required and recommended coursework needed to prepare for the exams in their respective fields, which likely would include field courses, and independent study credit to work on bibliographic essays and reading lists. Faculty can also require or recommend that students take 400-level History lecture courses, special topic classes, and relevant classes taught in other departments. Faculty supervisors also advise students in regards to the selection of the research seminar. The faculty supervisors also determine the foreign language requirements for their fields. The nature of the relationship between students and their advisers will, of course, vary, but it is the expectation of the Graduate Studies Committee that faculty advisers and student advisees will meet at least once each quarter before classes begin, and again during the Spring Quarter, to review progress and plans.
Students enrolled full-time in the History graduate program must take a minimum of 10 graduate-level credits each quarter. A normal fulltime class load is two History graduate courses per quarter, with any language classes done in addition. The Graduate School requires a minimum enrollment of at least 2 credits each quarter for any student not formally on-leave. Please note, however, that this is a Graduate School requirement. There may be different enrollment requirements in effect for student loan deferment, etc., that supersede the 2-credit requirement. Students are responsible for knowing the terms of their student loans and for complying with the loan’s registration requirements.
Students specializing in US history take the HSTAA 501-521-522 core sequence. This sequence of field courses (Early America/Nineteenth Century US/Twentieth Century US) is generally offered every academic year and should be completed in the student's first year in the History graduate program.
Students specializing in European history take the HSTEU 510-511-512 core sequence. This sequence is generally offered every academic year, or every other year. Students should take the European Core sequence in their first year in the History graduate program, or their second year if the sequence is not available during their first year. The second two quarters of the sequence (HSTEU 511/512) are research seminar, in which students complete a seminar paper.
Students specializing in Russian and East European history are required to take HSTEU 510. This course is generally offered in the fall every academic year, or every other year. Students should expect to complete this course during their first year in the History graduate program, or their second year if HSTEU 510 is not available during their first year.
A field course is a bibliographic and historiographic introduction to the scholarly literature of a particular field (such as HSTEU: 551: Eastern Europe, 1772-1939 or HSTAS 570: Modern China). A field course is the foundation for a student’s mastery of the content of a field and preparation for the field examination in the field.
A research seminar is a two- or three-quarter sequence of hyphenated courses (such as HSTAA 552/553: Seminar in African American History or HIST 512/513: Seminar in the History of Science) in which students research, write and present seminar papers.
Special Topics courses (HIST 590/HSTAA 590/HSTAM 590/HSTEU 590/HSTAS 590) are courses that are one-time only offerings (usually tied to a particular speaker series, art exhibit, etc.), or classes that are being offered for the first time before they are added to the History curriculum as regular 500-level courses. History graduate students are limited to taking a total of 15 credits of 590 in each division (ie., 15 credits of HIST 590, and/or 15 credits of HSTAA 590, and/or 15 credits of HSTAM 590, and/or 15 credits of HSTAS 590, and/or 15 credits of HSTEU 590).
In addition to appropriate field courses, many students use independent study (HIST 600) as a means to develop reading lists or to read more extensively in preparation for their written divisional/field exams. Students can maximize the benefits derived from independent study credit by clearly defining their goals and expectations and those of the faculty member with whom they will be working. Before the quarter begins, the student should meet with the faculty member to discuss the student's purpose in taking the HIST 600 credits, to clarify the type and number of assignments that will be required, and to arrange regular meetings throughout the quarter.
The agreed-upon course workload will determine the number of HIST 600 credits the student can earn. For study centered on readings only, the student may register for 1-3 credits. If the faculty member requires a substantial writing component as part of the independent study (a long paper or 3-4 shorter papers), the student may register for 3-6 credits.
In conjunction with supervising faculty, students must complete a HIST
600 Learning Contract before an entry code for HIST 600 can be issued.
During the research and writing of the dissertation, the student registers for HIST 800, Doctoral Dissertation. Students can begin registering for HIST 800 credits the quarter they take their General Examination, if they already have met the Graduate School’s credit requirements for taking the General Examination. To ensure that doctoral students are making satisfactory progress, the Graduate Studies Committee solicits quarterly student evaluations from faculty members who are directing dissertations. Many students go on-leave during part of their dissertation research and writing--sometimes to undertake research off-campus, and sometimes to undertake professional employment elsewhere. This is certainly acceptable to the Department, provided it does not unduly extend the dissertation writing process. Students are required to have taken 27 credits of HIST 800 over a period of at least three quarters prior to their Final Examination. Normally, two of these quarters must be after the student passes the General Examination and before a warrant is issued for the Final Examination. Students must be registered for the quarter in which the Final Exam is taken.
HIST 494 and 498 are undergraduate seminars and, consequently, HIST 494 and 498 credits are not applicable to a graduate degree. Because HIST 494, 498, and 499 (undergraduate independent study) are intended for undergraduates, it is the History Department's policy not to permit graduate students to register for these courses.
Graduate courses (500-level) at the UW are evaluated on a numerical 4.0 scale; HIST 600, HIST 700 and HIST 800 credits are graded credit/no-credit (CR/NC).
Occasionally, a numerical grade or CR cannot be assigned. In those cases a grade of I, X, or N may be assigned.
I Incomplete. An Incomplete is given only when the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control. Remaining work for the course should be completed by the end of the quarter following assignment of the Incomplete. If work is not completed before the end of the following quarter the I will not be removed from the student's transcript; the numerical grade or CR will be followed by "/I".
X grades are assigned when a faculty member, for whatever reason, is unable to submit a grade. Grades of X are removed completely from the student's transcript once the faculty member submits a numerical grade or CR.
N Indicates that the student is making satisfactory progress and a final grade will be given at the end of the quarter the work is completed. Used only for thesis, research, and hyphenated courses (courses not completed in one quarter) and courses numbered 600, 700, and 800. An "N" grade carries with it no credit or grade until a regular grade is assigned.