The Graduate Program Director (GPD) can talk to you about MA and PhD programs, graduate course offerings, as well as more general academic and professional concerns. For procedural advice regarding registration, deadlines, and other student requests, the Graduate Program Assistant (GPA) can also provide information and assistance. The current GPD is Dr. Andrew Ivaska. The GPA is Donna Whittaker.
The tabs below include important information regarding MA and PhD programs, graduate funding, forms and guidelines, and links to other resources for career advice, conference and publication opportunities, and academic job searches.
Orientations are held each September for incoming MA and PhD student cohorts; there are also consultation sessions in January for MA students entering in the Winter Term. The orientation sessions are a good way not only to become familiar with your program and the department, but also to meet your fellow students; attendance is strongly recommended. For details about upcoming orientations, contact the GPD.
The program requirements for the MA and PhD in History are detailed on the “Programs” page. Both programs are thesis-based, meaning that every student works under a faculty supervisor (sometimes two) with expertise in a relevant field of research. For guidance on individual faculty members’ expertise, interests, and publications, please see the individual pages of the History faculty. Prospective students should contact potential supervisors as early as possible before applying. This is especially important for students contemplating the PhD.
The School of Graduate Studies is currently revising its guidelines. In the meantime, please see the previous SGS statement on graduate supervision here; this and other sets of guidelines touching MA and PhD study can be found here. In addition, the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies has produced sets of guidelines for graduate students and supervisors, available here (under “Best Practices”).
Besides your thesis supervisor, other faculty members will also play important roles in your academic and professional progress: as seminar instructors, field examiners, members of thesis committees, mentors – and as the referees you will need before and after you graduate. In identifying faculty members with whom to work, bear in mind that while scholars in your own field can often address your research most directly, you may also share methodological, theoretical, or thematic interests with faculty in other fields of history.
Finally: get in touch early and often – with potential supervisors, with faculty members whose work interests you, and with the GPD.
The Department of History holds workshops for graduate students on subjects such as grant-writing, conference presentations, academic publishing, and job applications. We also convene bi-weekly “works-in-progress” workshops during the Fall and Winter Terms, which give graduate students as well as faculty members a place to share their ideas and research. These events are announced by email and on the front page of the department website.
In addition, the Department Research and Colloquium Committee is available to offer feedback on student grant proposals and other work. During 2015-2016, the committee will include Professors Jacob, High, Chalk and (in the Winter Term) Ventura. Please see their Faculty pages for contact information.
The School of Graduate Studies also offers a wide variety of professional development seminars, including workshops on academic and non-academic job searches, time management, and graduate teaching, under the rubric of GradProSkills.
Our graduate student body plays an active role in sustaining our intellectual community, most notably through the annual History in the Making (HIM) conference, one of the oldest continuously running graduate student conferences in North America.
The Graduate History Students Association (GHSA) organizes HIM and functions as graduate students’ representative body in the department as a whole. Check here for more information about GHSA.
Major sources of graduate student funding include internal and external awards and Teaching Assistantships. For information on internal sources of graduate funding, please see the Graduate Funding page, which also includes useful links to major external funding sources. The deadlines, details and availability of internal awards is subject to variation; students will be notified by email of funding opportunities as they occur.
Teaching Assistantships are awarded both to incoming and to in-program/returning students. Incoming students are automatically considered for TAships, as well as for entrance awards, at the time of their application. Returning students will be invited to apply for TAships during the Winter Term prior to the year during which the TAships are to be held.
In addition, paid Research Assistantships may sometimes be available. RAs are generally hired by individual faculty members for specific projects, and are usually supported by individually held research grants. Contact your supervisor and/or the GPD for advice.
Finally, you may be eligible for financial awards or other support from professional organizations in your specific field of history, from specific archives or libraries that offer fellowships, or from various other academic, public or private organizations in Canada and elsewhere. Some of the links below (in “Other Resources”) may help you identify these.
Student Requests are required for leaves of absence, exemptions from the required language examination, changes between full- and part-time status, late registrations, and time-limit extensions. You can initiate a Student Request either online through your student portal or by contacting the Graduate Program Assistant.
The requirements for MA and PhD thesis submission are described in the “Student’s Guide to Thesis Preparation, Examination Procedures and Regulations” (or “Thesis Guide”). Please familiarize yourself with these requirements prior to submitting your thesis.
Please note that the thesis submission deadline for graduation in any given term is a deadline for submission of the final (i.e., approved and revised) version of the thesis to SPECTRUM, not the initial submission of the thesis to your supervisor and thesis committee. Deadlines for initial submission are suggested in the Thesis Guide. But bear in mind that scheduling a thesis defense, giving examiners 4-6 weeks to read the thesis before the defense, and completing any revisions they suggest after the defense all take time. You should plan on having a the initial version of the thesis ready for submission at least 8-10 weeks prior to the final submission deadline for graduation.
There are a variety of resources to aid students in preparing for academic and non-academic careers in history, as well as to find venues for presenting or publishing work, discussing academic and professional concerns, and so on. The following links may provide a starting point.
H-Net: a major online venue for discussion networks in specific historical and social-science fields, also including book reviews, conference and publication announcements, and comprehensive academic job listings for US, many Canadian, and other institutions. Probably the most important single website for those embarking on academic careers.
Academia.edu: a popular online social network for academics (faculty, grad students, and independent scholars). Create a profile, describe your interests, post and share papers, and follow other scholars in your field(s). A helpful site for establishing a public academic persona and identifying others with similar research interests.
Chronicle of Higher Education : The major North American periodical devoted to issues in higher education. The website hosts several blogs on academic career issues, as well as the online academic networking and job search service Vitae.
Canadian Historical Association: website of the Canadian Historical Association, the major professional association for historians based in Canada. The website includes some material on issues of professional development, career preparation, and the state of the historical profession.
American Historical Association: website of the American Historical Association, the major professional association for historians based in the US. Access to some parts, including some job listings, is limited to AHA members, but there is a lot of openly accessible material on professional issues, career development and goals, research practices and pedagogy, as well as links to further resources and organizations.
Canadian Association of University Teachers: website of the CAUT/ACPPU, with which a large number of academic unions in Canada are affiliated. Discusses issues of concern to academics in Canada and includes job listings (mostly limited to Canada).