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History PhD

Admission Requirements

  • MA degree in History, with high standing, from a recognized university.
  • Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.

Additional Admission Requirement

Applicants should understand that admission is contingent on a superior academic record, strong references, and a convincing statement of purpose which clearly describes their professional goals and intended area of research. In addition, admission is contingent on the availability of an appropriate faculty member in the Department of History to serve as supervisor.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

Please see the History Courses page for course descriptions.

History PhD (90 credits)


credits of Required Courses:

HIST 889 Doctoral Seminar (6.00)
HIST 878 Comprehensive Major Field Tutorial (6.00)

6credits chosen from two 3-credit reading courses at the 800 level in the student’s minor comprehensive field.


HIST 880 Comprehensive Examinations (12.00)



HIST 885 PhD Thesis Proposal and Colloquium (6.00)



HIST 890 Thesis Research (54.00)

Additional Degree Requirements

Courses. (18 credits). During the first two years of their program, doctoral students must register for HIST 889.

Comprehensive Examinations. (12 credits). Early in their first term in the program, and in consultation with the GPD, new PhD students form an advisory committee of three faculty members to assist in the selection and preparation of comprehensive fields. In the first year of their program, students take reading courses with the supervisors of each of the three fields, which prepares the students to complete the full requirements of each field's preparation over the following terms. The examinations are normally scheduled by the end of the fourth term (or fall of the second year) of the student’s program. Please see the course description for HIST 890 for further detail.

PhD Thesis Proposal Preparation and Colloquium. 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. Please see the course description for HIST 885 for detail.

Thesis. (54 credits). Doctoral students must submit a thesis based on their research and defend it in an oral examination. Please see the course description for HIST 890 for detail.

Language. Doctoral candidates are required to demonstrate their ability to read and translate historical material in one modern language other than English. In addition, students may elect, or may be required, to demonstrate competence in a second language. Language examinations, which are normally given twice a year, are administered by the department. Dictionaries are not allowed in writing the exam.

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
  2. Residence. The minimum period of residence is six terms (including summer terms) of full-time graduate study beyond the master’s or magisteriate degree, or nine terms of full-time graduate study beyond the bachelor’s degree for those students who are permitted to enrol for doctoral studies without a master’s or magisteriate degree, or the equivalent in part-time study.
  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulations page for further details regarding the Time Limits.
  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.

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