History Courses

History PhD Courses

Most graduate seminars and tutorials are one term in length. The content of these courses varies from term to term. Students should consult the department for more detailed information.

Research, Theses, and Comprehensive Examinations

Component(s): Tutorial

Notes:
  • Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Changes in content are indicated by changes to the course title. Students must register for this course twice in order to fulfill their degree requirements.
  • In exceptional cases, student may, with permission of the graduate program director, do three credits of course work at an equivalent level in another discipline.

Description: This course includes an explicit course-preparation component, where the student prepares an annotated syllabus for an undergraduate lecture course encompassed by the major field. In exceptional cases, students may, with permission of the graduate program director, do three credits of course work at an equivalent level in another discipline.

Component(s): Tutorial

Notes:
  • This course includes an explicit course-preparation component, where the student prepares an annotated syllabus for an undergraduate lecture course encompassed by the major field.

Description: Subject to the availability of appropriate faculty members, the Department of History is normally prepared to supervise comprehensive examinations in a range of broadly defined geographical and chronologically limited fields, as well as in thematic fields, as suits the student's program. Example of fields recently supervised include: History of Canada since 1867; History of France since 1789; History of Haiti from 1801 to 1986; Labour History. For other fields available, applicants may consult the faculty research pages of the department's website. The major field will be that in which the student’s proposed doctoral thesis falls. Normally students choose at least one field defined in specific geographical terms. Any student may offer one examination in a related discipline when approved by the History Graduate Committee and by the appropriate faculty member and/or program administrator in that discipline. The preparation of a comprehensive field should give students sufficient background to teach at an introductory level and/or do advanced research in the field. Although the requirements may vary from one field to the next, a core reading list of 50 to 100 titles per field is suggested as reasonable. The reading list for a field is be drawn up by the professor in consultation with the student in the context of the reading courses associated with the field taken in the student's first year, and once established, both must agree to any significant changes. The comprehensive examinations consist of take-home examinations in three selected fields, each is completed over a 72-hour period. These written examinations are normally completed within a three-week period. If successful, they are followed by an oral examination, involving all three examiners,normally held within two weeks of the last written comprehensive. The purpose of the oral comprehensive is to allow the doctoral student the opportunity to explain or expand on parts of the written examinations which professors found inadequate or unclear, as well as to allow for more general discussion among the examiners and the student as a group of historians.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Description: Following the successful completion of the comprehensive exams, students prepare a written thesis proposal for the approval of the internal members of their thesis committee. The thesis proposal should describe and justify the intended topic, explain its place in the historiography of the field, discuss the intended research methods, and identify the source requirements including their availability. Students are normally expected to submit and defend their thesis proposal by the end of the fifth term of their studies. When the written proposal is approved the student presents an oral colloquium about the proposal to the department. When the proposal and colloquium requirements are satisfied, the student is admitted to candidacy.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Description: This seminar complements students’ individualized tutorial preparation for comprehensive exams and facilitates their preparation of the thesis proposal by offering a forum for faculty guidance in and peer discussion of matters of scholarly, pedagogical, and professional practice. Subjects to be addressed include study and writing strategies for comprehensive exams; thesis topics and proposal-writing; research methods and resources; and professional skills.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • The seminar meets bi-weekly during the fall and winter terms.

Description: Doctoral students must submit a thesis based on their research and defend it in an oral examination. A doctoral thesis in history is expected to be based on extensive research in primary sources, to make an original contribution to historical knowledge, and to be presented in an acceptable literary form. The PhD thesis should normally run to no more than 400 pages including all critical apparatuses.

Component(s): Thesis Research

History MA Courses

Most graduate seminars and tutorials are one term in length. The content of these courses varies from term to term. Students should consult the department for more detailed information.

Description: This course examines the history of the discipline and the nature of historical knowledge, as well as contemporary debates about the meaning and practice of history. The content varies from term to term depending on the instructor(s). The material covered may include the following: research tools (e.g. library resources, the archives and the Internet), major approaches to history (e.g. Marxist, Annaliste, feminist), the debate about objectivity and truth in history, public history (history in film, television, schools, museums), and the impact of postmodernism on historical practice.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course guides students in the initial stages of developing an MA thesis topic and elaborating a substantial research proposal.

Component(s): Seminar

European History

Canadian History

United States History

Latin American and Caribbean History

Asian History

Middle Eastern History

African History

History of Genocide and Human Rights

History of Gender and Sexuality

Public History

Selected Areas of History

Research, Theses, and Comprehensive Examinations

Description: The thesis is a work of primary research that normally runs to 18,000-24,000 words (about 60-80 pages), exclusive of footnotes and bibliography. Prepared under the supervision of one or more faculty, it must be defended orally before a committee of three History faculty including the supervisor.

Component(s): Thesis Research

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