Master of Arts in History
Promotion to the PhD Program
The promotion from M.A. to Ph.D. is a major step, to be considered carefully
by both the student and the Department. After successful completion of
the field examinations or the divisional examination,
a student who wishes to continue on for the Ph.D. degree in the Department
must submit to the Graduate Studies Committee an application to be considered
for promotion to the Ph.D. program. Students who complete their M.A. exams during the Spring Quarter should
be aware that, except in very unusual circumstances, the Graduate Studies
Committee does not meet during the Summer Quarter. Therefore, if decisions
about promotion are to be made before the beginning of Autumn Quarter,
the process of consideration should begin as early as possible during
the Spring Quarter.
The promotion application must include a brief (1 or 2 page, single-spaced) statement of purpose and two letters of support from History faculty.
The statement of purpose should indicate the student's plans for future study and
specifying which fields the student proposes
to offer for the Ph.D. field exams. Students should determine their fields and
their supervising faculty members in consultation with the faculty member who will supervise the first PhD field. Please note that the faculty member who supervises the students first (i.e., primary) field will serve as Chair of the student's Doctoral Supervisory Committee. If a student has done a two-field MA, these two fields are usually continued at the PhD level. One of the two will normally constitute the student's first field. If a student has done the Divisional MA in US history, the student will not have any formal fields to carry over into the PhD program. However, since students specializing in US history are required to offer at least one chronological US field at the PhD level, most Divisional MA students select this field based on their Divisional MA work. PhD fields must be drawn from
at least two divisions; at least
one of the four fields should offer genuine diversity from the student's
primary area of concentration. The student should list the fields in order of importance on the statement of purpose. Graduate fields are ranked in descending order. Tat is, expectations for a student's first field should be greater than for the third, and so on. Since the faculty members who supervise
the student's Ph.D. fields serve as the student's Doctoral
Supervisory Committee, the student should speak with each of them
to confirm that they are willing to serve in this capacity before submitting
the promotion application to the Graduate Studies Committee.
The student's application for promotion must also include two letters of support from History faculty members. These letters should come from faculty with whom the students has worked previously (usually at the MA level) so they can address the student's capacity for graduate work at the doctoral level. One letter must be provided by the faculty member wh will supervise the student's proposed first PhD field. These letters must be submitted directly by the faculty members to the History Graduate Office at the time that the student submits the statement of purpose for promotion to the PhD program.
The Graduate Studies Committee is responsible for making the promotion
decisions. Upon receipt of the student's promotion application, the Committee
reviews the student's record and may consult with those History faculty
members with whom the student has worked and with whom the student proposes
to work. Written notification of the Committee's decision is sent to the
student together with a request for the student to make an appointment
to meet with the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee (the Graduate
Program Coordinator) by a specified date. At this meeting the GPC discusses
the Committee's evaluation of the student's file, answers any questions
the student might have, and if the student has been promoted, gives the
student the Request Form For Establishing A Doctoral Supervisory Committee. Students who are promoted to the Ph.D. program will normally be expected
to submit this form and establish their Doctoral
Supervisory Committee officially by the end of the next quarter (excluding
If the student is not promoted to the Ph.D. program, the Graduate Advisers will inform the Graduate School and the student will not be allowed to register for any further coursework as a History graduate student.