Baylor University
Department of History
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Jeffrey S. Hamilton, Chair Tidwell Bible Building, 2nd Floor, Waco, TX 76798 | 254-710-2667

Graduate Degree Requirements

Baylor > History > Graduate Program (M.A. and Ph.D.) > Degree Requirements

Graduate study in the Department of History prepares students for careers in teaching and scholarship. We expect our Ph.D. graduates to assume academic positions at accredited colleges and universities where they will be excellent classroom teachers and productive research scholars. In addition to the Ph.D., the department has long offered the M.A. degree. M.A. graduates typically pursue admission to a Ph.D. program. Some M.A. graduates go on to careers in secondary education, public history, museum work, law, journalism, or government service.

The M.A.

A two-year Master of Arts degree designed to acquaint students with the methods and skills of the historical profession, the program engages young historians with research-intensive seminars taught by faculty renowned for their excellence in graduate education.

With specializations available in European, United States, and Latin American history, the variety of past thesis topics demonstrates the breadth of the M.A. program. Especially strong in the areas of twentieth century U.S.; American religion, church and state, Texas, Public, Women's, French, Civil Rights, German, Oral, Latin American, Medieval, and Diplomatic history, the flexibility of the 30-hour program gives students maximum exposure to diverse fields of study.

Requirements of the M.A. program:
  • Thirty hours of history, including History 5370 and six hours of thesis.
  • At least eighteen hours, exclusive of thesis, at the 5000-level.
  • A language requirement.
  • A comprehensive written examination over course work.

The Ph.D.

The history Ph.D. program at Baylor focuses on the study of religion and American culture as well as religion and culture in the English-speaking North Atlantic. The department accepts 2-3 highly qualified students per year who have interests in these areas. History Ph.D. students at Baylor study on a campus where the focus on religion cuts across disciplines and departments. With Ph.D. degrees in religion, the sociology of religion, philosophy, political science, religion and literature, and church-state studies, Baylor provides history graduate students a wealth of cross-disciplinary opportunities for intellectual enrichment within their areas of interest.

In addition to these departments Baylor has a variety of institutes and centers that also focus on various aspects of religion: Institute for the Study of Religion, Institute for Faith and Learning, Institute of Church-State Studies, Institute for Oral History, the Center for Christian Ethics, and others. History Ph.D. students at Baylor, focusing as they do on the study of religion and culture, enjoy a wealth of opportunities unimaginable at other universities.

Requirements of the Ph.D. program:
  • Fifty-four hours of course work (thirty-six if entering with the M.A. in hand), including History 5370
  • Six hours of preliminary exam reading, History 6v85
  • Twelve hours of dissertation, History 6v99
  • A language requirement
  • Written preliminary exams over comprehensive reading lists in three fields
  • Dissertation

Dissertation and Thesis Information:

A history dissertation or thesis should include:

  • Abstract Page
  • Signature Page with Approval Signatures by the Dept. Chair, Thesis Committee, and the Thesis Committee Chair
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Bibliography

Students should provide the department with two thesis copies, one of which printed on bond paper. You can also see a list of Past Theses which include the author, subject of the thesis, the date and area of concentration.

Dissertation and Thesis Timeline for Graduation

  • Verify all semester deadlines
  • File for graduation and complete exit survey
  • Plan defense with your director
  • Attend thesis workshop (watch your email for the dates each semester)
  • Do your best to have your thesis formatted according to the guidelines before your preliminary review
  • Schedule preliminary review with Sandra Harman at the Graduate School (Sandra_Harman@baylor.edu) at least 2 weeks prior to defense. Bring the following items to your review:
  1. All preliminary pages
  2. A 3-4 page sample of the body of your thesis
  3. Bibliography
  4. Any pages that include tables, maps, or images
  • Submit defense announcement to the Graduate School at least 10 days prior to defense
  • Suggested forms to bring to defense (if you can get these all signed at the defense it will save you a good bit of time!)
  1. Two copies of your signature page
  2. Two copies of the permission form
  3. Result of Oral Examination Form
  • Within 10 days after your defense you need to submit your entire PDF to Sandra Harman via email. This will include:
  1. Abstract Page
  2. Unsigned signature page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Thesis Body
  7. Bibliography
  8. Any appendices
  • You also need to submit a scanned copy of the signed signature page and signed Permission form via email to Sandra_Harman@baylor.edu.
  • She will notify you of any revisions needed. Upon fixing those you need to turn in the following documents to Sandra Harman:
  1. Preliminary Checklist
  2. Approval of Final Dissertation/Thesis Copy form
  3. Signed Permissions Form
  • At the same time you need to turn in these documents into the Graduate School:
  1. Results of Oral Examination Form
  2. Change of grade for Thesis Hours Form, for all thesis hours
  3. Foreign Language Examination Report (even if you took your language at Baylor)
  • Sandra Harman will notify you that you are clear to submit to Beardocs. Please follow these instructions.