Mar 04, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, PhD

Students in the History PhD program pursue careers both as academic historians at colleges and universities and as researchers and scholars with libraries and archives, historical societies, and other public and private institutions. The department aims to train its students to be researchers, teachers, and engaged citizens, and the core of the graduate program is built around graduate research and readings seminars. Students must excel in these courses to be prepared to advance to the qualifying exam and the doctoral dissertation.  

Admission Requirements  

Students applying for the PhD program must have earned an MA degree in History at the University of Kentucky or at another doctoral institution. Applicants who wish to be considered for financial assistance and fellowships should review the department’s web-site for specific deadlines. For additional information on application procedures and requirements, consult:



Degree Requirements 

The doctoral program consists of two stages. One involves meeting specific requirements leading to the qualifying examinations, which include:  

  • HIS 606  (unless the student has taken it for the M.A. degree) 
  • HIS 750 , a one-credit Professional Development Seminar   
  • Complete a minimum of eight 600- and 700-level reading seminars. (HIS 606  counts toward this requirement; HIS 750  does not; HIS 695  independent study courses do not unless approved by the DGS.) Students who have completed their M.A. degrees at UK may apply all 600- and 700-level seminars completed as an M.A. student toward this requirement. 
  • Two 700-level research seminars. Students who have completed two 700-level seminars while earning the M.A. at UK need take only one additional research seminar. Students who have written an M.A. thesis in History at another institution may petition to take only one 700-level research seminar 
  • Achieve a grade point average of 3.6 or higher in the 600- and 700-level seminars  
  • Meet specific field requirements. Students specializing in U.S. history must take HIS 640   and HIS 641 , an additional readings seminar in the pre-1877 period, and an additional readings seminar in the pos1877 period; students specializing in pre-modern and early modern European history must take a minimum of one semester of HIS 705  , the Pre-Modern European Colloquium (unless is not offered). 
  • Satisfy the foreign language requirement as outlined in the Graduate School Bulletin  

A second set of requirements pertains to the post-qualifying examination stage of doctoral study. These requirements include:  

  • Prepare and defend a dissertation prospectus 
  • Enroll in HIS 767  for two credit hours each semester until finishing the dissertation 
  • Research, write, and defend a dissertation. 

More information about the History PhD program and its requirements can be found at