Attainment of the Ph.D. requires mastery of selected historical fields and a demonstrated ability to conduct original research. The department expects all of its Ph.D. students to locate and classify historical evidence from historical sources, to interpret the evidence, and to present its synthesis in written and oral forms. Ph.D. students must be able to use research tools such as foreign languages and, in some cases, statistics. The doctoral dissertation is the culmination of the historian's training and constitutes an enlargement of our knowledge and understanding of history. Fulfillment of all requirements for the Ph.D. usually involves at least four years of full-time study. Students must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. within seven years.
The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 90 graduate credits beyond the B.A. degree. The M.A. in History degree at Wayne State may account for 35 of these, but only 30 credits in post-bachelor's programs may be transferred from other institutions.
The 90 graduate credits for the Ph.D. program must be taken so as to fulfill the following requirements:
Fields of Study
Students should prepare themselves in three fields of history (see below). These will include two major fields and one minor field, at least one of which must be in a geographical field, and the other of which must be in a transnational field or a geographical field outside of one's area of specialization. The fields of study must be chosen from the following:
Foreign Language and Research Tools
Students whose major field is in American History must demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language before the oral defense of their dissertation. Students whose major field is in a non-American field must demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages or, with the permission of the graduate director, mastery of one foreign language and the acquisition of certain specific auxiliary skills, such as statistics, as a substitute for the second language.
For a fuller description of the doctoral program, please consult the Graduate Handbook.
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