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Department Of History Images In History



At the MA level, the selection of courses is made in cooperation with the Graduate Adviser and the student's faculty advisers. Each new M.A. 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 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. Committee. Normally, faculty advisers will counsel students on the nature of their program (two-field M.A., cross-divisional M.A., U.S. divisional M.A.), choice of courses and selection of 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 advisers and advisees will meet at least once each quarter before classes begin, and again during the Spring Quarter, to review progress and plans.

At the PhD level, it is the practice of the Department to allow each faculty member to determine what a student has to do to be prepared to take the General Examination. Students are usually required to take the "Field Course" in a specialty; they may also be required to take a seminar (this often means that students prepare more than the one seminar paper required for the degree), take independent study credit to prepare reading lists, bibliographic essays, etc., or take undergraduate lecture courses. Other requirements, such as mastery of relevant languages, may be imposed. It is the student's responsibility to contact faculty members as early as possible after admission to the Ph.D. program to find out what requirements may be imposed, and to plan coursework accordingly, taking into consideration when the necessary courses are to be offered.

Core Sequences

Students specializing in US history take the HSTAA 501-521-522 core sequence. This sequence 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 and should be completed in the student's first year in the History graduate program.

Students specializing in Russian and East European history are required to take HSTEU 510. Students whose major field is medieval Russia have the option of taking a similar course in medieval European history, subject to the approval of their faculty adviser. This course is generally offered every academic year in the fall. Students should expect to complete this course during their first year in the History graduate program.

Credit Load

Students enrolled full-time in the History graduate program must take a minimum of 10 credits each quarter. Part-time students must take a minimum of 5 credits each quarter. 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 checking with relevant agencies according to their personal circumstances.

HIST 600: Independent Study

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.

HIST 800: Dissertation Research and Writing

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. 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.


Graduate courses at the UW are evaluated on a numerical 4.0 scale. Occasionally, a numerical grade 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 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.

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, 601, 700, 750, and 800. An "N" grade carries with it no credit or grade until a regular grade is assigned.

HIST 494/498: Undergraduate Seminars

HIST 494 and 498 are undergraduate seminars and, consequently, HIST 494 and 498 credits are not applicable to a graduate degree. Because HIST 494 and 498 are intended for undergraduates, it is the History Department's policy not to permit graduate students to register for these courses.