Graduate Programs in History of Ideas

History of Ideas focuses on the study of history and philosophy, and especially the intersection of the two. Though students will choose an emphasis in either history or philosophy, their studies will be made in the context of both. While students with a history emphasis will not exclusively focus on intellectual history, their work will be informed by philosophical reflections on the nature of interpretation, history, and knowledge. While students with a philosophy emphasis will not exclusively focus on the history of philosophy, their work will be informed by the way that historical context influences philosophical ideas.

You will find the procedure for applying to the graduate program in History of Ideas here.

Doctor of Philosophy in History of Ideas

The PhD in History of Ideas requires 60 semester credit hours (SCHs) minimum. Click here to access the degree plan template for the PhD in History of Ideas.

Coursework: 42 semester credit hours

Forty-two semester credit hours of which at least thirty-three must be in organized courses.

Required Courses: 6 semester credit hours

  • IDEA 6300: Proseminar in History of Ideas (must be taken during the first fall semester after enrollment in the program)
  • ARHM 6310: Team-Taught Interdisciplinary Seminar

Breadth Requirements: 6 semester credit hours

One 3-semester credit hour course each in history (HIST) and in philosophy (PHIL)

Elective Courses: 6 semester credit hours

6 semester credit hours of electives in any organized graduate-level courses

Field Exam Preparation: 9 semester credit hours

  • 6 semester credit hours of IDEA 8305: Field Exam Preparation
  • 3 semester credit hours of IDEA 8305, LIT 8305, or VPAS 8305

Disciplinary Emphasis: 15 semester credit hours

Students must choose one of the following disciplines of emphasis:

History Emphasis

Required Courses (3 SCHs): HIST 6301: Historiography (must be taken during the first 18 semester credit hours of coursework)

Courses in History: 12 semester credit ┬áhours (not including “Field Exam Prep”)

Twelve semester credit hours in HIST courses, at least 3 of which must be in a course that is marked in the syllabus as "Research Oriented" and has a final product consisting of a research paper.

Philosophy Emphasis

Courses in Philosophy: 15 semester credit hours in PHIL courses (not including “Field Exam Prep”)

Foreign Language

Students in all PhD programs in the School of Arts and Humanities are expected to demonstrate intermediate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language (equivalent to two years of foreign-language study at the undergraduate level). Students must fulfill the language requirement before scheduling doctoral field examinations.

As part of its approval of a dissertation proposal, the Graduate Studies Committee will consider the appropriateness of a candidate's language preparation for the research or creative project. Faculty members chairing field examinations and dissertations should ensure that students possess the necessary language proficiency to carry out their proposed doctoral research.

Click here for more information related to satisfying the language requirement.

Doctoral Field Examinations

The doctoral field examinations consist of three written sections and an oral defense. The examining committee, composed of three members of the faculty (at least two in History of Ideas), oversees the definition and preparation of the three examination fields within guidelines established by the program.

Initial committee formation must take place during the 36th semester credit hour of coursework, which will typically be followed by nine semester credit hours in Field Examination Preparation. Exams normally should be completed before the completion of 60 semester credit hours.

Dissertation

Students are formally advanced to PhD candidacy when they have successfully completed the doctoral field examinations and received final approval for dissertation topics. Students should submit a preliminary dissertation proposal for consideration during the oral section of the doctoral field examination. After that examination, a four-person supervising committee is formed, normally from the examining committee plus another faculty member proposed by the student, to oversee dissertation work. The supervising committee must then approve a formal dissertation proposal before the student submits it to the Graduate Studies Committee for final approval.

Each candidate then writes a doctoral dissertation, which is supervised and defended according to general University regulations.

Master of Arts in History of Ideas

The MA in History of Ideas requires 33 semester credit hours (SCHs) minimum. Click here to access the degree plan template for the MA in History of Ideas.

Coursework: 33 semester credit hours

Thirty-three semester credit hours of which at least twenty-seven must be in organized courses.

Required Courses: 6 semester credit hours

  • IDEA 6300: Proseminar in History of Ideas (must be taken during the first fall semester of enrollment in the program)
  • ARHM 6310: Team-Taught Interdisciplinary Seminar

Breadth Requirements: 6 semester credit hours

One 3-semester credit hour course each in history (HIST) and in philosophy (PHIL)

Elective Courses: 6 semester credit hours

6 semester credit hours of electives in any graduate-level courses

Disciplinary Emphasis: 15 semester credit hours

6 semester credit hours of electives in any graduate-level courses

History Emphasis

Historiography (3 SCHs): HIST 6301: Historiography (must be taken in the first 18 hours of coursework)

Courses in History: 12 semester credit  hours in HIST courses

Philosophy Emphasis

Courses in Philosophy: 15 semester credit hours in PHIL courses

Professional Option

Students in the professional option must complete thirty-three semester credit hours of coursework, all normally in organized courses and distributed as in the research option above. They are not required to complete a portfolio or meet a foreign language requirement.

Research Option

Students focusing on the Research Option under the History Emphasis must take at least one 3 semester credit hours course that is marked in the syllabus as "Research Oriented" and has a final product consisting of a research paper.

Foreign Language

The research option MA degree requires demonstrated proficiency in an approved foreign language. Click here for more information related to satisfying the language requirement.

Portfolio

Two substantial pieces of work (two research papers or a creative project plus a scholarly essay) originating in or completed for graduate courses are revised and presented in a portfolio for evaluation by a master's committee.