|THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG|
|Table of Contents > College of Arts & Sciences|
Chairperson: Professor Kari Frederickson, Office: 202A ten Hoor Hall
Graduate Director: Professor John Giggie, Office: 235 ten Hoor Hall
General requirements for all history degree programs. Admission decisions for all graduate history programs at The University of Alabama are made by the Graduate School based on a composite of subjective and quantitative information, including the applicant's statement of purpose and letters of recommendation, the academic standing of the programs in which the applicant has studied, evidence of appropriate college or graduate-level work in history courses, test scores, previous grades, and the recommendation of the Graduate Committee of the history department. Each application is considered in the context of other applications to the program, with due consideration given to the availability of space in the program, the need to maintain a pool of students of superior potential, and the need to encourage minority applications. Not every student whose credentials meet stated quantitative standards is admitted. Additional information is in the Admission Criteria section of this catalog.
Quantitative requirements for unconditional admission to MA program. The applicant must have a grade point average, based on a 4.0 system, of 3.0 overall or 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program, and a score of at least 1500 on the combined verbal, quantitative, and analytical portions of the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants who take the GRE after October 1, 2002, must score at least 1000 on the combined verbal and quantitative portions and at least 4 on the analytical writing section.
Quantitative requirements for conditional admission to MA program. An applicant whose credentials do not meet the requirements for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission if he or she has a quality point average of at least 2.5 overall and a score of 1400 on the GRE. For applicants who take the GRE after October 1, 2002, conditional admission will require a score of 930 on the combined verbal and quantitative portions and at least 4 on the analytical writing portion. Conditional admission is rare and requires a special recommendation by the Graduate Committee. Students admitted conditionally must maintain a 3.0 average for the first 12 semester hours attempted. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.
Special requirements for admission to PhD program. Students applying to the PhD program are expected to have GRE scores substantially above the minimum acceptable for MA applicants, a GPA in previous graduate work of 3.5 or better, and strong recommendations. Normally a successful applicant must also be endorsed by a faculty member prepared to serve as chairperson of the student's dissertation committee.
See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.
General Degree Requirements
Course load. Resident students are expected to register for full loads each semester—at least 9 hours, except in the case of.50 FTE teaching assistants, who must take at least 6 hours. All courses must be numbered 500 or above, but HY 699 Dissertation Research does not count toward the course hour requirement for any graduate degree.
Historiography requirement. All incoming graduate students (MA or PhD), unless specifically exempted by the Graduate Committee, must take at least two of the basic historiography courses (HY 601/HY 602 Literature of American History, HY 603 Literature of European history, and HY 605 Literature of Latin American History) as part of their degree program. They are encouraged to take these courses as early as possible in their program.
Seminar requirement. All MA students who choose Plan II (described under "Requirements for the MA Program" below) must take at least one research seminar. All doctoral students must complete two research seminars.
Language requirement. Unless specified to the contrary, all graduate degree programs in history require that each student demonstrate reading proficiency in one or more foreign languages. These languages should be selected from the standard research languages (Spanish, French, German, and Russian), but other languages relevant to the student's program may be substituted with the recommendation of the student's advisor and the permission of the Graduate Committee. The student must fulfill this requirement by passing the examination administered by the relevant language department at The University of Alabama. Completion of any of the various "language for reading proficiency" courses offered at The University of Alabama with a final grade of "B" or above also meets the language requirement.
Requirements for the MA Program
Coursework. Coursework totaling 24 credit hours in history and a thesis (an additional 6 credit hours of HY 599) are required, and the student must demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language before taking the final oral examination.
Thesis. The topic of the thesis will be selected by the student in consultation with his or her advisor. After the topic has been agreed upon, the student will prepare a prospectus describing the topic and the proposed plan of approach, including the principal sources to be used. Copies of the prospectus will be distributed to the student's advisory committee, which shall consist of three members, all of whom must indicate their acceptance of the topic.
Oral exam. The Plan I oral exam is on the MA coursework and the thesis. The examination committee consists of three professors who served as readers on the thesis, plus one additional history professor. The M.A. thesis must be submitted to the student’s primary advisor no later than six weeks before the scheduled defense, and the revised thesis must be submitted to the remaining members of the student’s advisory committee at least three weeks before the scheduled defense. The committee files with the director of graduate studies a written opinion regarding the student’s suitability for further graduate work in history.
Coursework. Coursework totaling 30 credit hours in history is required, and the student must demonstrate proficiency in reading one foreign language before taking the final oral examination.
Oral exam. Plan II students must take an oral examination on their history courses and on a revised seminar paper, copies of which must be furnished to the members of the examining committee at least 10 days before the date of the oral examination. The examining committee must consist of at least four history professors, including as many as possible with whom the student has taken courses. The committee files with the director of graduate studies a written opinion regarding the student’s suitability for further graduate work in history.
Special note on MA oral exams. In all of the MA oral examinations, two negative votes constitute failure of the examination. History graduate students may repeat failed oral examinations one time only, after an interval specified by the examining committee. Two negative votes constitute denial of admission to the doctoral program. The use of faculty from outside the department to serve on MA examination committees (except in cases where faculty from other disciplines are prescribed by the graduate regulations) must be approved well in advance by the Graduate Committee.
Requirements for the PhD Program
History field requirements.
The PhD degree is offered in
PhD students may, as their fourth, non-testing field, also create a thematic field, the exact boundaries of which will be settled in consultation with the Graduate Committee, provided that there are a minimum of two professors in the department who specialize in that area.
PhD requires a total of 54 hours of graduate coursework. MA
hours, including those accepted for transfer from other
institutions, are included in this total. PhD students will offer
four fields of history, with at least two, but not more than three,
related to the same geographic area (U.S., Europe, or Latin
America). The student must earn at least 12 hours of graduate credit
in each of the four fields.
Language requirement. Each student is expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages, with the exception of those whose major fields are in American history. Those working primarily in American history must demonstrate a knowledge of only one foreign language, although any advisor may require his or her student to continue to fulfill the two-language requirement if it seems necessary to the area of the student's research. For those who must satisfy the two-language requirement, a special skill pertinent to the candidate's doctoral dissertation may be substituted for one language on the recommendation of the student's advisor and with the permission of the Graduate Committee. The language and special skill requirements must be met before the scheduling of the comprehensive examinations.
Comprehensive examinations. The comprehensive examinations for admission to candidacy for the PhD consist of a four-hour written examination in each of three fields of history offered by the candidate, each administered by a committee of two or more professors representing the respective field. An oral examination will be administered subsequently by a committee consisting of not less than five professors who administered the written examinations. The comprehensive examinations are to be completed in a two-week period, with the written exams given the first week and the oral exam given the following week. The exam schedule must allow at least five days between the last written exam and the date of the oral exam. The written and oral exams in each field are considered a unit, which the student will pass or fail as a whole. Two negative votes constitute failure. A minimum of six months must elapse before the student may repeat a failed examination, the time of which will be set by the examining committee. A student is permitted to repeat a failed examination one time only.
Dissertation. Dissertations are to be based upon research in history and make an original contribution to knowledge. Each doctoral student will select and obtain approval for a dissertation topic before scheduling his or her comprehensive examinations. Students will select dissertation topics in consultation with their advisors. After the topic has been agreed upon, the student will prepare a prospectus describing the topic and the proposed plan of approach, including the principal sources to be pursued.
Copies of the prospectus will be distributed to the members of the student’s comprehensive exam committee in advance of the oral examination. The prospectus is accepted or rejected at the time of the oral comprehensive examination.
Final oral examination.
The candidate must pass an oral examination on the dissertation and the field of
the dissertation in accordance with the rules of the
Using outside faculty on PhD examinations. Except in cases where faculty from other disciplines are prescribed by the graduate regulations, the use of faculty from outside the department to serve on PhD comprehensive or oral examinations must be approved well in advance by the Graduate Committee.
Any student who receives 6 hours of "C" grades or 3 hours of "D" or "F" grades in history courses shall be dismissed from the program, although the student dismissed may petition the Graduate Committee for reinstatement.
A student on probation or whose transcript carries a grade of "I" will ordinarily be ineligible for a teaching assistantship or other departmental financial support.
Transfer of Credit
Courses of full-graduate level credit earned
in an accredited institution where a student was enrolled in the graduate
school may be submitted for review for inclusion in a History degree
program. Evaluation of credit for transfer will not be made until the
student has enrolled in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama.
Acceptance of credit requires the approval of the student’s advisor, the
Graduate Committee of the Department of History, and the Dean of the
Graduate School. Credit will not be accepted for transfer from any
institution at which the student failed to achieve a “B” average on all of
the graduate work attempted. Only courses in which a student earned a "B"
grade or better may be transferred.
The history department usually allows
the transfer of 6 semester hours of credit toward the MA degree, although in exceptional
cases up to 12 hours may be accepted. No more than one-half of PhD coursework
hours (not including HY 699) may be transferred from another institution.
HY 526 U.S. as a World Power, 1898 to the Present. Three
HY 546 Age of Reason, 1715–89. Three hours.
HY 547 French Revolution and Napoleon. Three hours.
Causes, course, and effects of the revolution, from the storming of the Bastille to Napoleon's seizure of power, conquests, and final defeat at Waterloo.
Group IV—Directed Study
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG