Program description

The Department of History at the University of Nevada, Reno offers graduate programs of study leading to the MA, the M.ATH., or the PhD degrees in History. In addition, we offer a twelve credit Graduate Certificate in History. These programs prepare graduate students for research, teaching, and scholarship.

This handbook describes general policies and procedures and the specific requirements for each degree program offered by the department.

Prospective applicants should first contact the Department to determine if their individual interests may be accommodated to suitable programs of graduate study. It is important to note that graduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno are admitted under two classifications: (1) students having Graduate Standing, i.e., students who have been admitted to work for a degree (MA, M.A.T.H., or PhD); and (2) students having Graduate Special status who do not intend to work for a degree or have not been admitted to Graduate Standing. Admission to the University under Graduate Special status does not guarantee admission to the MA, M.A.T.H., or PhD program. Moreover, successful completion of courses under Graduate Special status does not imply acceptance into Graduate Standing in History.

Graduate courses within the Department of History are offered within the Graduate School, and thus are subject to the regulations of the University and of the Graduate School. These regulations may be reviewed by obtaining the current General Catalog.

The information here supplements that available in the General Catalog and through the Graduate School website. Graduate students should familiarize themselves with both the general requirements and procedures listed in the catalog and the specific requirements for History listed in this handbook. They should also keep informed of changes in graduate programs and Graduate School requirements, which will be incorporated in subsequent editions of the handbook but may take effect before such editions are published. For this reason, ongoing communication with the Graduate Program Director is strongly encouraged.

Each student is responsible for a knowledge of degree requirements and for the timely submission of all Graduate School forms. The Graduate School maintains an up-to-date site, from which all Graduate School forms – including the application for admission – can be downloaded as well as other useful information for graduate students. Access the Graduate School website for current information and for all forms.

 

Program/student learning outcomes

Program objectives

  • To educate students about history and the history profession;
  • To maintain an academic environment where all graduate students feel free to engage in teaching, research, and community outreach in the spirit of academic and personal freedom;
  • To build a cohort of graduate students that support and challenge each other; and
  • To expose students to current research, methods, and interpretations in ways that will improve their work and enable them to engage with the discipline of history.

Student learning outcomes

  • Students will learn the tools needed to be professional historians in academic or non-academic careers.
  • Students will demonstrate a high level of understanding of historiography in their chosen fields.
  • Students will demonstrate the advanced writing, research, and presentation skills needed for a career as a historian.
  • Students will successfully complete all the requirements of their degree and graduate in a reasonable time frame.

The Graduate Program Director for the Department of History serves as the advisor of all graduate students until they have selected their faculty advisor/committee chair. The Graduate Program Director is also available to advise anyone who is considering applying to one of our graduate programs. For further information or to schedule an appointment, please use the contact information below.

 

Graduate assistantships

The Department of History offers a limited number of assistantships annually. All graduate students holding an assistantship (teaching GTA or GRA) are considered Nevada residents for tuition purposes. Non-resident tuition is only waived for the duration of the assistantship.

Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants admitted to the MA, M.A.T.H., and PhD programs in the History Department, and are contingent upon continued progress in the program and maintenance of good academic standing. The student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and must be continuously enrolled in at least 6 graduate level credits (600-700) throughout the duration of the assistantship.

Graduate Assistants may hold no other employment in the Nevada System of Higher Education without the approval of the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate School.

State-funded assistantships (GTA/GRA) may be held for a maximum of: three (3) years for master’s degree students and five (5) years for doctoral degree students.

The most updated information on graduate assistantships from the Graduate School may be found in General information and the Graduate Assistantship handbook.

 

Health insurance

All domestic degree seeking graduate students, who are enrolled in six or more credits (regardless of the course level) in a semester, will be automatically enrolled and billed for the University sponsored health insurance for each term they are eligible (fall & spring/summer). If a student has other comparable coverage and would like to waive out of the student health insurance, it is the student’s responsibility to complete the University online waiver form prior to the deadline. If approved, a health insurance waiver is good for the current academic year only. A new waiver must be submitted each academic year. All international graduate students are required to carry student health insurance, and the cost will be automatically added to your student account. Any international graduate students with insurance questions must contact the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) directly.

 

Leave of Absence Policies

Continuous Enrollment: To maintain “good standing” all graduate students are required to enroll in a minimum of three (3) graduate credits each fall and spring semester until they graduate. International students may be required to enroll in nine graduate credits each fall and spring semester depending on the requirements of their visa. All students holding assistantships (whether teaching or research assistantships) are required to enroll in a minimum of six (6) graduate credits each semester they hold the assistantship.

Leave of Absence: Students in good standing may request a leave of absence by completing a Leave of Absence form during which time they are not required to maintain continuous registration. Usually, a leave of absence is approved for one or two semesters. The leave of absence request may be extended by the student filing an additional leave of absence form. Students applying for a leave of absence should not have any “incomplete” grades which could be changed to “F” and have a detrimental impact on their cumulative GPA. Requests for leave of absences must be received by the Graduate School no later than the last day of enrollment for the semester the leave is to begin.

Reinstatement: When a student has been absent for one semester or more without an approved leave of absence, he or she may request reinstatement via the Reinstatement form. This form allows the program the option to recommend the student be re-admitted to their graduate program based on their previous admission OR require the student to re-apply for admission which would require students to submit a new application for admission and pay the application fee. The Notice of Reinstatement to Gradate Standing must be received by the Graduate School no later than the last day of enrollment for the semester the reinstatement is to begin.

 

Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association represents all graduate students and promotes the welfare and interests of the graduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno. The GSA works closely with appropriate university administrative offices, including the Graduate School and Student Services and reports to the President of the University. The GSA government functions through the Council of Representatives, Executive Council and established committees.

Contact information

Graduate Program Director
Dr. Edward Schoolman
eschoolman@unr.edu
(775) 682-8964 

Department chair

Dr. Dennis Dworkin
dworkin@unr.edu
(775) 784-6497

Department administrative assistant

Mikki Johnson
michellejohnson@unr.edu
(775) 784-6855 

Mailing address

Department of History
MS 0308
Reno, Nevada 89557-0308

 

Master of Arts Program in History (MA)

General information and requirements

The Master of Arts in History offers the student understanding in the scholarly discipline of history through the expansion of historical knowledge, the comprehension of historiography, and the practice of critical inquiry. Framing the questions that define particular scholarly debates underlies critical analysis of primary and secondary sources. Students gain exposure to these questions in course work and demonstrate their familiarity with them in comprehensive examinations. In the thesis, they display awareness of the scope and challenges of historical research: They define what questions can and cannot be addressed with a limited body of sources. They situate their research and analysis in the historiography of a field. Ultimately they discuss their work at a final thesis colloquium.

MA admission requirements

Applicants to the MA program must hold the baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, with a major, or a 24-semester-credit minor, in history or a closely related discipline (acceptable fields outside history to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Graduate Studies Committee). A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (unless the applicant has demonstrated unusual promise during in junior and senior years) and satisfactory scores on the GRE general test are also required for admission to Graduate Standing in History.

How to apply

Review the requirements for admission found at the website for the Graduate School.

Before applying to the MA program we suggest that you contact the Graduate Program Director of the History Department to ascertain if you meet minimum qualifications for admission and to determine if your goals for study and research can potentially be realized at UNR. Application to the MA Program is online. The following are required as part of the application:

  1. Scores from the GRE General Test are optional. If submitted, scores must be no more than five years old.
  2. Official copies of complete Transcripts of all college and university work.
  3. A Statement of Purpose that includes:
    1. Background and motivation to pursue a graduate degree in history.
    2. The specific area(s) of historical research you would like to pursue, and which faculty member(s) you would like to work with and why (please also include if you have been in contact with members of the department).
    3. The past experiences (classes, research, teaching, volunteer opportunities, work experiences, etc.) that have prepared you for the graduate-level work you describe above
    4. Interest in and qualifications for serving as a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant
    5. Any other pertinent experiences that allow the admissions committee to understand your background, preparation, and motivation.
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation that discuss your academic qualifications and aptitude for graduate study.
  5. A substantial Writing Sample of between 15-20 pages. Please include information about the context of the sample, and if truncated, explanation of the larger text.

The deadline is February 1st for matriculation in the Fall semester. Only under exceptional circumstances and with permission of the Graduate Program Director will students be admitted for matriculation in the Spring semester; in those cases, the deadline is October 15.

International students

International prospective students must also take into consideration additional requirements described in the section on International Students at the Graduate School website.

Degree requirements (MA program)

In addition to the three items required for graduation (30 credits, approved and defended thesis, and completion of the foreign language requirement), the following requirements apply to all students in the MA program.

  1. Time Limit. All requirements must be satisfied during the six calendar years immediately preceding the granting of the degree.
  2. Grades. A graduate student in the Department of History will not be granted credit toward the degree for any course (including transfer courses) in which the final grade is below a "B" (3.0).
  3. Course Expectations. A term paper or its equivalent will be required in each course taken for graduate credit in the Department of History.
  4. Continuous Registration. By Graduate School regulations, graduate students must maintain continuous registration of at least three graduate credits per semester to remain active in the pursuit of a degree. This means that students studying for comprehensive exams or writing theses must (even if they are not in residence) register for at least three graduate credit hours each semester (summers excluded) until they graduate. Failure to enroll in at least three credits per semester -- or to request an official Leave of Absence -- will result in a student's being dropped from Graduate Standing; the Department may subsequently decide whether or not to readmit the student. Students who wish to interrupt study must apply for a leave of absence which must be approved by the History Department and by the Graduate Dean. This form can be accessed Here.
  5. Residence. By Graduate School requirements, at least 21 of a student's credits must be earned in on-campus courses at the University.
  6. Paperwork. The student is responsible for a knowledge of the degree requirements and for the timely submission of all Graduate School forms. Early in their graduate careers, students should become familiar with the most important of these forms: the Declaration of Advisor, the Program of Study, the Notice of Completion, and the Application for Graduation.

Before proceeding beyond the first year of Graduate Study, the student must have accomplished the following:

  1. Historiography and Research Methods. All candidates for the MA in History are required to take History 783: Historiography ordinarily during the first fall semester of enrollment, and HIST 780: Methodology, during the spring. These courses offer and introduction to the discipline of history, tools of the craft, and a framework for beginning graduate-level research.
  2. Fields of Study. With the approval of the Graduate Program Director, the student selects a field of primary focus in the same area as the anticipated thesis and in which most coursework is taken, and a secondary field in which at least two courses are taken. The secondary field may be taken in a department outside History with the approval of the student's committee. Selection of fields and thesis topic must be approved by the student's committee, based on the current resources of the department. The list of fields and groups can be found below.
  3. Declaration of Faculty Advisor. MA students must secure the agreement of a member of the department faculty to supervise their work before the end of their second semester, at which time students file the Declaration of Advisor form available on the Graduate School website.
  4. Advisory Committee. The advisory committee consists this faculty advisor and at most two faculty members supervising the student’s fields of study, plus a member outside the Department of History who serves as the Graduate School Representative. If a student is pursuing a field outside the History Department, the faculty member supervising that field does not count as the outside member of the committee. All committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty unless they receive an exception (please contact the Graduate Program Director for further information and policies); for rules regarding the service of faculty who serve at other institution, consult the Graduate School website. In all cases the student's committee must include at least two members of the Department of History and at least one faculty member from outside the Department. Formal approval of all student advisory committees is made by the Graduate Dean.
  5. Program of Study Form. In consultation with the committee members and the Graduate Program Director, the student completes a draft of the Program of Study form by the end of their first year. Student should list all courses that they plan to take towards the degree and that will fulfill the requirements of the degree, including six credits of HIST 797: Thesis.
    1. Program of Study Meeting. Having completed the draft Program of Study form, students arrange a meeting to be attended by all members of their committee and the Graduate Program Director. At this meeting, students explain their program of study (fields and courses) and scholarly interests. The committee members and Graduate Program Director review the Program of Study form to ensure that it includes all courses necessary for the chosen fields and satisfies all requirements of the program. At this meeting, the committee members also determine which, if any, of the student's credits completed as a Graduate Special student or in graduate courses outside the University of Nevada, Reno may count toward the total degree requirements. When the Program of Study is deemed complete and satisfactory, the student submits it for signature by the faculty committee according to the procedures listed in the Graduate School website. Formal approval of all student advisory committees is made by the Graduate Dean. The Program of Study Meeting should ideally take place towards the end of the second semester of the MA program, and no later than the end of the third semester.
  6. Transfer Credits. These are credits transferred from another institution. Credits completed at UNR in another program or as a graduate special do not need to be transferred. Transfer credit can be requested on the Graduate Credit Transfer Evaluation Request form available on Graduate School website, and must be signed by the student, faculty advisor, and Graduate Program Director. Transfer credits applied to a master’s program must comply with the time limitation on master’s work (6 years). Thus, if a student took a course five years prior to admission, they would have to complete the degree within one year for the course to apply to the degree.
    1. Up to 9 credits completed as a Graduate Special student will count toward the total degree requirements, at the discretion of the student's graduate committee. In no event may more than nine credits earned as a Graduate Special student or outside the University (or combination thereof) be applied to the degree.

Over the course of the MA program, the student must accomplish the following:

  1. Credit Requirements. The MA program requires a total of 30 semester credits, including a six-credit thesis; reading knowledge of one foreign language; and a final oral examination (thesis colloquium).
  2. Specific Course Work Requirements. All candidates for the MA are required to take HIST 783 (Historiography) and HIST 780 (Methodology).
  3. 700-level Requirement. Students are required to complete at least 18 credits in 700-level courses, including six hours of thesis credit.
  4. Seminar Requirement. Ordinarily all graduate students working toward the MA will complete at least three seminars, including one in the major field of concentration and one in a non-major field. If there is an examination field in which students cannot complete a seminar, they should complete a directed readings course instead (History 703 or 705). Students should not take directed readings courses in lieu of available seminars. Also note: there is a maximum number of credits that may be taken under each directed readings course number (9 in History 698, 6 in History 697, 6 in History 703, 9 in History 705). Students should keep track of their credit hours in these courses, so as not to exceed the maximums. Any course taken under such an arrangement should be documented in writing before the beginning of the semester (please contact the Graduate Program Director for current procedure).
  5. Foreign Language Requirement. Reading knowledge of one foreign language other than the student's native language (not English) is required, the selection to be determined by the committee. Students undertaking thesis research which focuses on a foreign culture should expect to be examined in the principal language of that culture. The language requirement may be satisfied by: (1) two years of successful college work in one language, the fourth semester to be completed with at least the grade of "C"; (2) passing the foreign language placement test given at the University of Nevada, Reno (by the Department of World Languages and Literatures) at the second-year college level. Although the preference is for training in language if relevant and available, alternative arrangements in the form of Advanced Research Skills may be possible but must be approved by both the student’s faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director.
  6. Changes in Committee Members/Examination Fields. A student may change examination fields or committee members only with the approval of the faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director. Such changes may require the student to take additional courses. If the faculty advisor and Graduate Program Director determine that the resulting change in the student's program warrants a new program-of-study meeting, the student will arrange that meeting. A change in the student's major field and/or committee chair will ordinarily require a new program-of-study meeting. If the change does not warrant a new meeting, the student should complete the "Change in Advisory Committee" form (Graduate School form).
  7. Thesis. The following are the expectations for successful completion of the thesis:
    1. Writing a good thesis begins with the formulation of a critical or analytical question or questions.
    2. A thesis should demonstrate understanding of the historiography of the issue or question.
    3. A thesis should demonstrate the student's use and understanding of primary resources, as appropriate and possible in the chosen thesis field.
    4. A thesis should be the well-written product of critical analysis.
    5. Given the differences among fields of study, the precise nature and length of an acceptable thesis ranges widely and ultimately must be determined in consultation with the student's committee and chair. MA theses should not be more than 100 pages.
    6. The thesis should be submitted in the form prescribed in the Chicago Manual of Style, latest edition, and in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Graduate School. Students should obtain those guidelines at the beginning of the thesis process, in order to avoid reformatting later.
  8. Application for Graduation. Students must complete an online application for graduation in the semester when they wish to graduate; see the Graduate School Website for details and current procedure. The application for graduation provides a final list of all courses the student has taken in order to complete the program. If that list in any way deviates from the one on the Program of Study form, the student must attach a "Change in Program of Study" form detailing the changes. If a student's committee has changed, the student must attach the "Change of Advisory Committee" form.
  9. Final Oral Examination (Thesis Defense). A final oral examination (60-90 minutes) will be conducted in which candidates will be expected to display a thorough and detailed understanding in the area of their thesis research. The thesis must be submitted to the committee members no later than one week before the oral examination (earlier if so directed by the committee chair). The final oral exam is a public event, to which the History faculty and graduate students are invited. Upon passage of the oral exam and acceptance of the thesis, the committee members sign the “Notice of Completion Form,” and following any emendations or corrections to the thesis, the faculty advisor signs the “Thesis Final Review Approval.”
  10. The Notice of Completion Form. The Notice of Completion form and the approved thesis are generally due to the Graduate School ten days to two weeks before the end of the semester in which the student intends to graduate. Deadlines are published on the Graduate School's website and in each semester's course schedule. It is the responsibility of students to plan their work so as to meet these various deadlines.
 

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.H.)

General information and requirements

The M.A.T.H. in History is a 30-credit program designed primarily for elementary and secondary teachers of history and social studies. The M.A.T.H. degree does not, however, lead to a Nevada public schools teaching certificate for grades K-12; such certification is available at UNR only through the College of Education. Most students in the M.A.T.H. program already have received this certification.

No competence in a foreign language is required for completion of the M.A.T.H. program. The M.A.T.H. program does not require a thesis. Requirements and information pertaining to the application process to our M.A.T.H. Program can be found on the M.A.T.H. webpage.

M.A.T.H. admission requirements

Applicants to the M.A.T.H. program must hold the baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, with a major or a 24-semester-credit minor in history, education (history or social-studies emphasis), or a closely related discipline. A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (unless the applicant has demonstrated unusual promise during junior and senior years), a statement of purpose, and two letter of recommendation are also required for admission to Graduate Standing in History. Applicants must have at least one year's teaching experience or its equivalent at the primary and/or secondary level before the semester in which they seek to enter the M.A.T.H. program. The GRE examination is not required for M.A.T.H. applicants.

How to apply

Before applying to the M.A.T.H. program we suggest that you contact the Graduate Program Director to ascertain if you meet minimum qualifications for admission and to determine if your goals for study and research can potentially be realized at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Application to the M.A.T.H. Program is online. The following are required as part of the application:

  1. Official copies of your complete Transcripts of all college and university work.
  2. A Statement of Purpose (uploaded to the online application) that describes:
  3. Employment and history as a secondary teacher and your goals for advanced study.
    1. The specific area(s) of historical research you would like to pursue, and which faculty member(s) you would like to work with and why (please also include if you have been in contact with members of the department).
    2. Any other pertinent experiences that allow the admissions committee to understand your background, preparation, and motivation.
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation.

The deadline is February 1st for matriculation in the Fall semester.

Degree requirements (M.A.T.H. program)
  1. Time Limit. All requirements must be satisfied during the six calendar years immediately preceding the granting of the degree.
  2. Grades. A graduate student in the Department of History will not be granted credit toward the degree for any course (including transfer courses) in which the final grade is below a "B" (3.0).
  3. Course Expectations. A term paper or its equivalent (essays and other written assignments, lesson/unit plans, etc., as specified by the instructor) will be required in each course taken for graduate credit in the Department of History.
  4. Continuous Registration. By Graduate School regulations, graduate students must maintain continuous registration of at least three graduate credits per semester to remain active in the pursuit of a degree. This means that students studying for comprehensive exams or writing theses must (even if they are not in residence) register for at least three graduate credit hours each semester (summers excluded) until they graduate. Failure to enroll in at least three credits per semester - or to request an official Leave of Absence - will result in a student's being dropped from Graduate Standing; the Department may subsequently decide whether or not to readmit the student. Students who wish to interrupt study must apply for a leave of absence which must be approved by the History Department and by the Graduate Dean.
  5. Residence. By Graduate School requirements, at least 23 of a student's credits must be earned in on-campus courses at the University.
  6. Paperwork. The student is responsible for a knowledge of the degree requirements and for the timely submission of all Graduate School forms. Early in their graduate careers, students should become familiar with the most important of these forms: the Program of Study, the Notice of Completion, and the Application for Graduation.

Before proceeding beyond nine credits of Graduate Study, the student must have accomplished the following:

  1. Historiography. All candidates for the M.A.T.H. in History are required to take two historiography courses: the general HIST 783 (Historiography) and a historiography course related to their field of interest.
  2. Declaration of Faculty Advisor. M.A.T.H. students must secure the agreement of a member of the department faculty to supervise their work before the end of their second semester, at which time the student files the Declaration of Advisor form available on the Graduate School website.
  3. Fields of Concentration. With the approval of their faculty advisor, students must select two fields of concentration (leading to comprehensive course work and reading covering a broad spectrum of historical material) from the list of M.A.T.H. Fields. No more than one field may be selected from Group III. In one field, comprehensive work leads to a three-hour examination; in the other field, comprehensive work is evidenced in a teaching unit plan with extensive annotated bibliography of scholarship on the topic (see below).
  4. Graduate Committee/Initial Meeting. Each student in the M.A.T.H. program will have a faculty advisory committee, composed of three members. Two should be members of the History faculty, who will supervise the student’s examination field and curriculum unit field; one of these serves as chair of the committee. The third should a faculty member from outside the Department of History. All committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty. Once the student’s committee has been determined, a meeting of the student and the committee takes place. At this meeting, the student discusses the proposed fields of study, and the faculty members recommend courses that will prepare the student for the examination or the unit plan in those fields.

After beginning the M.A.T.H. program but before taking the comprehensive examination, the student must accomplish the following:

  1. Specific Course Work Requirements. The M.A.T.H. degree requires a total of 30 credits, which should include the following (substitutions may be made with the approval of the Graduate Program Director)
    1. Historiography: two seminars (6 credits)
    2. 24 credits in additional graduate-level courses, as follows:
      1. Graduate-level history courses (at least 12 credits)
      2. College of Liberal Arts graduate-level courses outside History, approved by faculty advisor (at least 3 credits).
      3. Graduate-level courses in the College of Education, to be approved by faculty advisor. (at least 6 credits)
    3. History 795: Comprehensive Examination (1 credit)
  2. 700-level Requirement. Of the courses above, at least 15 credits must be in 700-level courses. The historiography requirement and comprehensive examinations (History 795) count toward fulfilling this requirement.
  3. Independent Study/Readings. Students are expected to take nine credits in the field in which they will take the comprehensive examination, including at least one 3-credit independent readings course with the faculty member supervising that field (see #12 below). Students are also expected to take nine credits in the field in which they will prepare their teaching unit plan. In some cases, a course will contribute toward both fields.
  4. Changes in Committee Members/Examination Fields. A student may change the examination fields or committee members only with the approval of the Graduate Program Director. Such changes may require the student to take additional courses.
  5. Program of Study Form/Meeting. In consultation with the Graduate Program Director and the committee members, the student completes the "Advisory-Examining Committee/Program of Study" before completion of 24 credits. Student should list all courses that they have taken and plans to take en route to the degree, including comprehensive examinations (History 795). To complete the Program of Study form, the student arranges a meeting to be attended by all members of the committee, including the Graduate Program Director. At this meeting, the student explains how the fields have taken shape through the course work. Committee members review the Program of Study form to ensure that it includes all courses necessary for the chosen fields and satisfies all requirements of the program. At this meeting, the committee members also determine which, if any, of the student's credits completed as a Graduate Special student or in graduate courses outside the University of Nevada, Reno may count toward the total degree requirements.
  6. Transfer Credits. Credit completed as a Graduate Special student or in graduate courses outside the University of Nevada, Reno may or may not count toward the total degree requirements, at the discretion of the student's graduate committee. In no event may more than nine credits earned as a graduate special student or outside the University (or combination thereof) be applied to the degree.

After the Program of Study meeting, if credits from non-University of Nevada, Reno courses are to be counted toward the degree, the student should submit the "Graduate Transfer Evaluation Request" to the Graduate Program Directory for processing. The Graduate School staff checks to be certain that the transfer courses were offered for graduate-level credit and computes the equivalent number of semester hours (if the courses were taken on a quarter basis).

  1. Graduation. Students must complete an online Application for Graduation in the semester when they wish to graduate. Deadlines will be listed on the Graduate School Website. (There is no longer a policy allowing graduation applications to "roll over" to a subsequent semester.)

The application for graduation provides a final list of all courses the student has taken in order to complete the program. If that list in any way deviates from the one on the Program of Study form, the student must attach a "Change in Program of Study" form detailing the changes. If a student's committee has changed, the student must attach the "Change of Advisory Committee" form.

Comprehensive work
  1. Description. In one of the student's two fields of concentration, the student must pass a comprehensive examination, based upon nine credits of course work -- at least three credits of which should consist of an independent-reading course (History 703 or 705) with the supervising faculty member. The comprehensive examination is a 20-30 page synthetic “bibliographic essay” prepared by the student over the course of a semester and guided by member of the committee responsible for the examination field. This essay can take the form of historiographical responses to written questions, but is prepared in advance by the student on the basis of an agreed-upon reading list.
    1. In the other field of concentration, the student must develop a teaching unit plan (3-4 weeks of a primary or secondary class curriculum). This unit plan should be based upon substantial readings in historical scholarship and relevant pedagogical scholarship, should reference appropriate state, county, and national history curriculum standards, and should contain a historiographical essay and an annotated bibliography of relevant scholarship.
  2. Reading Lists. In the examination field, the student is responsible for a reading list drawn in part from the readings in the courses taken with guidance for a faculty member. The independent study with the supervising faculty member should occur toward the end of the student's course work, so that the faculty member can prescribe readings to address gaps in prior work. Reading lists for the M.A.T.H. comprehensive examination consists of twenty to thirty books or their equivalent (where three or four articles are the equivalent of a book).
  3. Schedule. Students should plan to write their “bibliographic essay” in the semester when they complete their course work. Examinations are administered within a one-week period, generally around the thirteenth week of the semester. The teaching unit plan is due at the beginning of the week of comprehensive examinations.
  4. Evaluation. All comprehensive examinations are read by at least two members of the Department of History. The Department may permit the student to arrange for re-examination in case of failure. After a student's examination has been evaluated, readers' reports will be made available to him or her. The teaching unit plan will also be evaluated by two members of the faculty, generally one from the Department of History and one from a related College of Liberal Arts department or the College of Education. The readers will either approve or recommend revisions to the unit plan.
  5. Final Oral Presentation. After the readers have approved the student’s teaching unit plan, the student will give a presentation of approximately twenty minutes in a meeting lasting about one hour. The presentation should demonstrate engagement with the historiography of the subject matter and awareness of contemporary methods of studying and teaching that subject matter. The presentation is a public event, to which the History faculty and graduate students are invited. Upon passage of the presentation and acceptance of the unit plan, the committee members sign the "Master's Degree -- Notice of Completion." Deadlines for submitting this form are published on the Graduate School's website and in each semester's course schedule. It is the responsibility of students to plan their work so as to meet these various deadlines.
 

PhD Program in History

Description of the program and application process

Applicants to the PhD program must hold a Bachelor of Arts or a Master’s degree in History or a closely related discipline. Applicants without a Master’s degree applying for direct admission to our Ph.D. program must have excellent GRE scores and an exceptional academic record (acceptable fields outside history to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Graduate Studies Committee).

Admission to full Graduate Standing for PhD applicants requires a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate and graduate work and satisfactory scores on the GRE general test. Students intending to apply to our PhD Program should contact the Graduate Program Director in advance of application to ascertain minimum qualifications for admission are met and to determine if the goals for study and research can potentially be realized at the University of Nevada, Reno.

How to apply

PhD admissions are entirely separate from MA admission, and completion of the MA program at the University of Nevada, Reno does not ensure admission to the PhD program.

Application to the PhD Program is online. The following are required as part of the application:

  1. Scores from the GRE General Test are optional. If included, scores must be no more than five years old.
  2. Official copies of complete Transcripts of all college and university work.
  3. A Statement of Purpose that includes:
    1. Background and motivation to pursue a graduate degree in history.
    2. The specific area(s) of historical research you would like to pursue, and which faculty member(s) you would like to work with and why (please also include if you have been in contact with members of the department).
    3. The past experiences (classes, research, teaching, volunteer opportunities, work experiences, etc.) that have prepared you for the graduate-level work you describe above
    4. Interest in and qualifications for serving as a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant
    5. Any other pertinent experiences that allow the admissions committee to understand your background, preparation, and motivation.
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation that discuss your academic qualifications and aptitude for graduate study.
  5. A substantial Writing Sample of between 15-20 pages. Please include information about the context of the sample (a chapter from your MA thesis if a thesis was part of your program), and if truncated, explanation of the larger text.

Applications to the PhD program are due February 1 for matriculation in the following Fall semester. The Graduate School does not allow admissions to roll over to the following semester.

International students

International prospective students must also take into consideration additional requirements described in the section on International Students at the Graduate School website.

General requirements

The following requirements (listed in order of completion) apply to all students in the PhD program.

  1. Time Limit. All requirements must be satisfied during the eight calendar years immediately preceding the granting of the degree.
  2. Admission to Candidacy. Admission to a PhD program of study does not imply admission to candidacy for the PhD degree. No PhD students are admitted to candidacy until they have passed the comprehensive examinations.
  3. Total Credits. The PhD degree in History requires a minimum of 49 credits past the MA, of which at least 24 must be in course work. In addition, the PhD degree requires a current working knowledge of one foreign language, written comprehensive exams, a prospectus colloquium, dissertation and oral defense. The comprehensive examination is for 1 credit and can be used to fulfill the 30 required credits of 700-level course work.
  4. Grades. A graduate student in the Department of History will not be granted credit toward the degree for any course (including transfer courses) in which the final grade is below a "B" (3.0).
  5. Continuous Registration. By Graduate School regulations, graduate students must maintain continuous registration of at least three graduate credits per semester to remain active in the pursuit of a degree. This means that students studying for comprehensive exams or writing theses must (even if they are not in residence) register for at least three graduate credit hours each semester (summers excluded) until they graduate. Failure to enroll in at least three credits per semester -- or to request an official Leave of Absence -- will result in a student's being dropped from Graduate Standing; the Department may subsequently decide whether or not to readmit the student.
  6. Residence. By Graduate School requirements, a PhD degree requires a minimum of six semesters of full-time work beyond the baccalaureate degree, including at least two consecutive semesters (excluding summer sessions) to be spent in full-time residence at the University of Nevada, Reno. (Full-time residence requires a minimum of nine credits per semester. Graduate teaching assistants taking at least six credits per semester are also considered to be in full-time residence.) This requirement may be satisfied by dissertation credits earned in residence, but admission to candidacy may not occur until the residency requirement has been met.

Before proceeding beyond nine credits of Graduate Study, the student must have accomplished the following:

  1. Fields of Study. In consultation with their faculty advisor, the student must select four fields of study (leading to comprehensive examinations over a broad spectrum of historical material) from the list of PhD Examination Fields. Usually these fields will be from a minimum of two groups. One field should be in the same subject area as the dissertation. One field may be taken in a department outside History with the approval of the student's committee. The student's examination fields, research emphasis, and dissertation topic must be approved by the committee and the Graduate Program Director on the basis of adequate resources and committed faculty involvement.
  2. Faculty Advisor. Students must secure the agreement of a member of the department faculty to supervise their work as faculty advisor and formalize this by filing a Declaration of Advisor form. For PhD students, the completed Declaration of Advisor form must be submitted to the Graduate School by the end of the student’s third semester.
  3. Advisory Committee. The advisory committee consists the faculty advisor and faculty members supervising the student’s fields of study, plus a member outside the Department of History who serves as the Graduate School Representative. If a student is pursuing an examination field outside the History department, the faculty member supervising that field does not count as the outside member of the committee. All committee members must be members of the Graduate Faculty unless they receive an exception (please contact the Program Director for further information and policies).
  4. Program of Study Form. The Advisory Committee is formalized through the submission of the Program of Study form. With consultation of the Graduate Program Director and the faculty advisor, students arrange a meeting to be attended by all members of their committee and Graduate Program Director. At this meeting, students explains their program of study (fields and courses) and scholarly interests. The committee members and Graduate Program Director review the Program of Study form to ensure that it includes all courses necessary for the chosen fields and satisfies all requirements of the program.
    1. When the Program of Study is deemed complete and satisfactory, the student submits it for signature by the faculty committee according to the procedures listed in the Graduate School website. Formal approval of all student advisory committees is made by the Graduate Dean. For PhD students, the completed Program of Study form must be submitted to the Graduate School by the end of the student's fourth semester.
  5. Transfer Credits. A maximum of 24 credits in graduate courses with grades of "B" or higher may be transferred from another university and applied toward the PhD, with the approval of the student's committee and the Graduate Advisor. A master's degree from another university can thus transfer as 24 credits, at most. Credit completed as a Graduate Special student or in graduate work outside the University may or may not count toward the total degree requirements, at the discretion of the student's committee. To transfer graduate credits from another university, a student must complete the "Graduate Transfer Evaluation Request." Normally only courses taken in History will be considered for transfer credit.

After beginning the PhD program but before taking comprehensive examinations, the student must accomplish the following:

  1. Specific Course Work Requirements. All PhD students are required to take History 783 (Historiography) or a comparable historiography course such as History 785 (U.S. Historiography) or History 781 (Historiography: The Americas) AND History 780 (Methodology). Substitutions must be approved by the Faculty advisor with consultation of the Graduate Program Director.
  2. Seminar Requirement. Of the applicant's course work, at least 12 credits must be in seminars. Three of these credits must be chosen from a group other than the major field of study. The student should complete a seminar related to each examination field in order to prepare for the comprehensive examinations. Exceptions to this policy may be approved by the student's committee.
  3. Independent Study/Readings. For most students, some course work occurs as independent graduate readings in history (History 697, 698, 703, or 705). Under each of these numbers, a limited number of credits may be taken (9 in History 698 and 705, 6 in History 697 and 703). Students should keep track of their credits in these courses, so as not to exceed the maximums. Any course taken under such an arrangement should be documented in writing before the beginning of the semester (please contact the Program Director for current procedure).
  4. History 737. History 737 (Practicum in History) may be prescribed, on an individual basis, for those students who will be teaching in the Department. It is also available to students seeking internship or supervised research experience. History 737 may not count toward fulfilling credit requirements for the PhD in History.
  5. Foreign Language Requirement. A current working knowledge of one foreign language other than the student's native language (not English) is required. Students planning on dissertation research which focuses on a foreign culture should expect to be examined in the principal language of that culture. Currency is determined by the student's completion with a grade of "C" or better of a fourth- level language course while a graduate student at UNR, or by the successful passing of a language examination designed and administered by the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. The student's committee may impose further requirements if deemed necessary for the student's program and professional objectives. The language requirement must be satisfied before taking comprehensive examinations.
  6. Changes in Committee Members/Examination Fields. A student may change examination fields or committee members only with the approval of the faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director. Such changes may require the student to take additional courses. If the faculty advisor and Graduate Program Director will determine that the resulting change in the student's program warrants a new program-of-study meeting, the student will arrange that meeting. A change in the student's major field and/or committee chair will ordinarily require a new program-of-study meeting. If the change does not warrant a new meeting, the student should complete the "Change in Advisory Committee" form, obtain the requisite signatures of the outgoing and incoming committee members, and submit the form to the Graduate Program Director for processing.
  7. Comprehensive Examinations: Format and Schedule. Each student must pass comprehensive written examinations in each of their four fields of study. The exams take the form of synthetic and bibliographic essays prepared by the student as guided by members of the committee responsible for each field and following a prescribed reading list, with greater weight placed on the student’s main field of study. The written exams should be scheduled for the last semester of regular course work, and may not be scheduled for the summer. Students have 12 weeks to complete the exams on a timeframe agreed upon between the student and their faculty advisor and with the consultation of the committee. Upon completion, these exams will serve as the Written Examination Component, and all written essays will be reviewed by the entire committee. Within 2 weeks of the submission of the written examinations, the committee and student will schedule a Comprehensive Exam meeting, which will serve as an Oral Examination component.
    1. Evaluation and Re-examination. The entire committee reads and evaluates all of the written essays, and participates in the oral examination during the Oral Examination component. Failure in the student's main field of study may lead to dismissal from the PhD program. No part of the examination may be retaken more than once. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination, students must submit the Admission to Candidacy form.
    2. Credits. During the semester exams are taken, students may enroll in 1 to 6 credits of Comprehensive Examinations (History 795). If students must retake an exam after the semester in which exams were originally taken, they will receive a grade of Unsatisfactory, to be replaced with Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory after the re-examination

After successful completion of comprehensive examinations:

  1. Admission to Candidacy. The student is formally admitted to candidacy upon passing the comprehensive examination. At this point, the "Doctoral Degree Admission to Candidacy/ Comprehensive Examination Report" should be completed.
  2. Prospectus Colloquium. Upon passing the comprehensive examinations, students prepare a prospectus for their dissertation, which is formally presented to the advisory committee at a prospectus colloquium. Typically the prospectus includes a bibliography and an extensive description of intended contents, methodology, and archival sources. The colloquium is a public event of roughly ninety minutes, to which the History faculty and graduate students are invited. Ordinarily candidates will make a brief (15-20 minute) presentation on their proposal, followed by questions from the committee and others assembled. After approval of the prospectus, the student may proceed to the dissertation.
  3. Dissertation. The fields of study for the PhD should be agreed upon between the PhD student and their faculty advisor, but the specific topics must be approved by the student's graduate studies committee based upon factors such as requisite language skills, library and archival resources, and available faculty expertise.
    1. The dissertation is a work of significant original scholarly research and analysis. It should contribute to historical knowledge, exhibit a mastery of the sources and secondary literature of the subject and the techniques of exploiting them, and display a fair degree of literary skill. It should be submitted in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Graduate School. Students should obtain those guidelines at the beginning of the dissertation process, in order to avoid reformatting later. The Chicago Manual of Style, latest edition, will be the authoritative guide to style and form for all doctoral dissertations.
  4. Application for Graduation. Students must complete an online application for graduation in each semester when they wish to graduate. Applications are due in accordance with the information on the Graduate School Website. The application for graduation provides a final list of all courses the student has taken in order to complete the program. If that list in any way deviates from the one on the Program of Study form, the student must attach a "Change in Program of Study" form detailing the changes. If a student's committee has changed, the student must attach the "Change of Advisory Committee" form.
  5. Final Oral Examination. After the doctoral dissertation has been received by the advisory committee, a final dissertation oral presentation and defense (60-90 minutes) will be conducted, upon the committee’s recommendation. The PhD program in History holds both a public and a private defense of the dissertation. The public defense, which precedes the private defense, shall be announced in the University events calendar.
    1. Upon successful completion of the defense and acceptance of the dissertation, the candidate signs the “Notice of Completion Form,” and following any emendations or corrections to the thesis, the faculty advisor signs the “Thesis Final Review Approval.” Deadlines for submission of required forms are published on the Graduate School's website and in each semester's course schedule.
    2. Submission of a substandard dissertation, or an unsuccessful performance during the defense, may be grounds for dismissal from the PhD program.
  6. Notice of Completion. The Notice of Completion form and the approved dissertation are generally due to the Graduate School approximately two weeks before the end of the semester in which the student intends to graduate. Deadlines are published on the Graduate School's website and in each semester's course schedule. It is the responsibility of students to plan their work so as to meet these various deadlines.
 

Graduate Certificate in History

General information

The 12-unit program is designed for, but not limited to, classroom teachers in social studies seeking advanced preparation in specific history content areas. Students will improve their professional preparation by expanding knowledge of content areas and research and writing skills, selecting areas of study linked to their professional goals. The program has been designed to expand the ability of teachers to instruct across the curriculum based upon the district standards.

Students currently enrolled in a program for social studies credential in the College of Education, may also pursue the certificate. If they are pre-bachelor’s students, their enrollment must conform to the policy of the Graduate School regarding enrollment of undergraduates in graduate level courses as stated in the UNR catalogue.

Students with majors in disciplines of the social sciences or humanities whose goals include historical writing, research, study, and or applied history, may also work toward the certificate.

Admission

To pursue the certificate, the student must meet one of these requirements: a Bachelor’s degree in a humanities or social science; a bachelor’s degree in Education; or Teaching Credential; or if they are undergraduates, they may pursue the certificate provided they are working on one of the degrees or credentials described above, and that they meet the requirements of the Graduate School, as stated in the UNR catalog, for undergraduates taking graduate courses.

Applications

There is no formal application process. Students seeking to obtain a Graduate Certificate in History enroll as a Grad Special following the procedures.

Contact the Graduate Program Director about your intent to pursue the certificate before you have completed three graduate credits.

If you are an undergraduate who meets the qualifications for enrolling in graduate credit contact the Graduate Program Director before enrollment in graduate credits for the certificate.

Program requirements

Students must complete twelve units of graduate-level courses with a grade of at least B. At least three credits must be taken at the 700 level. Students must notify the Graduate Program Director of the Department of History, in writing, of their intent to pursue the certificate and must meet with the Director to plan their course work.

 

Graduate fields of study

MA fields of study

Group I

  • 18th Century America
  • U.S. 19th Century
  • U.S. 20th Century
  • U.S. Social History
  • U.S. Cultural/Intellectual History
  • U.S. Political/Constitutional History
  • History of Environment/Landscape
  • Nevada and Westward Expansion
  • U.S. and the World
  • Race and Ethnicity in the U.S
  • Gender and Sexuality in the U.S

Group II

  • Medieval European History
  • Italian Renaissance
  • Age of Discovery
  • Europe 1789-1914
  • Europe 1890-present
  • European Cultural/Intellectual History
  • European Social History
  • Modern British Isles
  • Modern Irish History
  • British Empire
  • Russia to 1900

Group III

  • Colonial Latin American History
  • Latin American Ethno-history
  • Latin America Religious Studies
  • Latin American Cultural/Social History
  • Contemporary Latin America
  • Traditional East Asian History
  • Modern East Asian History
  • 20th Century East Asia
  • East Asian Cultural History
  • Ancient Africa
  • Modern Africa

Group IV

  • Cultural Theory
  • Gender, Race and Identity
  • History and Memory
  • Applied History
  • Transnational History
  • Post-Colonial Studies
  • History of Science
  • History of Medicine
  • History of the Body
  • Print Culture
  • Popular Culture and Diaspora Studies

Comparative fields

(Such as slavery, socialism, environmental history, 16th-century studies and settler societies)

Fields in other departments

(Such as Basque Studies, historical archeology, Anthropology, Geography, and GRI)

Comprehensive Work Fields: M.A.T.H.

Note: Chronological and geographical fields are aligned with the Washoe County School District history standards. The lists of courses here is not comprehensive: additional courses may count toward particular fields, with the permission of the Graduate Program Director.

Group I: Chronological fields (covering both World and U.S.)

  • 1200-1750 (Standard 5): History 611, 639, 642, 654, 684a, 682, 690, 694a, 710, 711
  • 1700-1865 (Standard 6): History 601, 610, 604, 632, 607a, 611, 612, 613, 617b, 639, 642, 661, 662, 663, 665a, 684a, 684b, 685, 690b, 691, 692, 694a, 721
  • 1860-1945 (Standards 7 and 8): History 601, 605, 607b, 608, 610, 615c, 627a, 632, 639, 642, 650a, 655,
  • 663, 664, 688, 690a, 694b, 722
  • 1920-present (Standards 8, 9, and 10): History 601, 604, 607b, 609, 610, 616b, 627a, 632, 639, 642, 650a, 655, 664, 665b, 688, 690a, 694b, 722

Note: Several topical courses may or may not be appropriate to one or more chronological fields; the student should consult with the Graduate Program Director and the instructor to ascertain whether these courses fulfill the requirements in a specific field. These courses include History 606, 627, 680, 680a, 687, 694c, 698, 712, 713, 714, 724, 740. Relevant courses from other departments in Arts & Science and Education may be included, with the approval of the Graduate Advisor and the History faculty member supervising the field.

Group II: Geographical fields

  • World 1700-1865 (Standard 6): History 627a, 639, 642, 661, 662, 663, 665a, 684a, 690, 690b, 694a
  • World 1860-present (Standards 7-10): History 627a, 639, 642, 650a, 663, 664, 665b, 690a, 694b
  • US 1200-1865 (Standards 5 and 6): History 601, 603, 604, 605, 607a, 609, 611, 612, 613, 655, 684b, 721
  • US 1860-present (Standards 7-10): History 601, 604, 607b, 609, 610, 615c, 616b, 632, 655, 688, 690b, 722
  • Nevada and the West (Standards 6-10): History 617a, 617b, 617c, 618, 688, 725

Note: Several topical courses may or may not be appropriate to one or more chronological fields; the student should consult with the Graduate Program Director to ascertain whether these courses fulfill the requirements in a specific field. These courses include History 606, 627, 680, 681, 687, 694, 695, 712, 713, 714, 724, 740. Relevant courses from other departments in Arts & Science and Education may be included, with the approval of the Graduate Advisor and the History faculty member supervising the field.

Group III: Topical interdisciplinary fields

To determine appropriate courses, consult with the Graduate Advisor and the faculty member supervising the field.

Daily struggles and patterns of social life

Social history, gender and ethnic studies related courses in Sociology, Anthropology, Geography, Women's Studies, Education, etc.

Power and Politics, War and Money

Political, military, diplomatic, and economic history related courses in Political Science, Economics, Education, etc.

Dangerous ideas and prescribed beliefs

Intellectual, religious, and cultural history; history of medicine and science related courses in Philosophy, English, Art, Music, Education, etc.

Expressions of self and encounters with others

Cultural history; diversity and multi-cultural issues related courses in Geography, Anthropology, English, Theater, Art, Education, Psychology, etc.

Comprehensive Examination Fields: PhD

The following are the groups and fields of historical study open for PhD examinations: Potential dissertation fields are indicated by an asterisk.

Group I

  • US 1740-1815
  • US 19th Century*
  • US 20th Century*
  • US Social History*
  • US Cultural/Intellectual History*
  • African American History
  • American Environmental History*
  • Nevada and the West*

Group II

  • Renaissance
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Europe 1789-1914
  • Europe 1890 - Present*
  • European Cultural/Intellectual History*
  • Family and Community in European History
  • British Isles Since 1688*
  • British Empire
  • Russia to 1900
  • 20th Century Russia and the Soviet Union*

Group III

  • Colonial Latin American History*
  • Modern Latin America
  • Traditional East Asian History
  • Modern East Asian History
  • 20th Century East Asia
  • Latin American Cultural/Social History*
  • East Asian Cultural History
  • Ancient Africa
  • Modern Africa

Group IV

  • Cultural Theory*
  • Gender Studies*
  • History of Medicine*
  • History of Science*
  • Popular Culture and Diaspora Studies
  • Comparative Fields (such as slavery, socialism, environmental history, 16th century studies)
  • Fields in other departments (such as Basque Studies, historical archaeology)