Ph.D. Program Requirements

From the History Dept. Graduate Student Handbook

Requirements to achieve Ph.D. Candidacy
  • Complete 39 hours of course work (if entering with Master's) within first 2 years including:
    • 3 hours European
    • 3 hours Global
    • Recommended: 3 hours Theory/Method
    • Recommended: 6 hours Professional
    • 6 hours of preliminary exam reading (HIS 6v85)
  • Fulfill language requirement
  • Identify advisor and pass both 18-hour and 36-hour review
  • Identify comprehensive exam fields and pass both written and oral exams (3 fields) by Fall of the 3rd year. The last date to do orals is the last day of Fall classes.
  • Present prospectus
Requirements to achieve Ph.D.
  • Fulfill 12 hours of dissertation (HIS 6v99)
  • Fulfill Baylor Graduate School requirements for dissertation formatting and defense
  • Complete a dissertation deemed sufficient by advisor and committee (approx. 250-350 pages)
  • Successfully defend dissertation
Minimum Admission Requirements

1. Standard minimum GRE score:(Minimum 162 verbal + 148 quantitative = 1150)

2. Overall GPA: (3.00)

3. Major GPA: (3.5)

4. Three Letters of Recommendation

5. Personal Statement outlining why the student wants to study in the Ph.D. program, what research and teaching interests the student intends to pursue, and which faculty he or she intends to have as a mentor and eventual dissertation advisor

6. Brief Writing Sample-Undergraduate or masters-level research paper

7. On-campus interview with proposed major professor and Graduate Studies Committee. Finalists for admission will be invited to campus for interviews

These minimum requirements do not ensure that an applicant will be accepted into the program. The graduate committee will consider each applicant individually in light of several factors including the student's proposed area of interest and suitable faculty mentor willing to take that student, the applicant's recommendation letters, university funding and availability of financial support, and the quality of the applicant pool in a given year.

Course Work Requirements

1. Three years residence (minimum on-campus time)

2. Course Work

A. Students entering with a bachelor's degree will need to complete 54 hours of course work. For these students, the M.A. thesis will be waived, and the student will be granted an M.A. degree after successfully completing prelims

B. Students entering with a master's degree in their doctoral field will need to complete 39 hours of course work

C. All entering M.A. and Ph.D. students will be required to take HIS 5369 and HIS 5370, the historical research and writing/historiography course, during their first semester

D. All Ph.D. students are required to take 1 global (i.e. non-Western) seminar, 1 European seminar, and 1 American seminar, with at least two courses (seminars or readings) in their prelim minor field

Preliminary Examination Readings

Following course work, students will be required to develop three prelim reading lists in consultation with their dissertation advisor, the graduate program director, and the graduate studies committee. Each list should have between 50-150 books and major articles. It is expected that the reading list for the student's dissertation field will be longer than the other lists (see dissertation field below). The lists should comprise the following fields:

1. Major field (Examples include U.S. to 1877; U.S. 1877-present; Medieval and/or Early Modern Britain)

2. Minor field (must be global or on a continent other than student's major)

3. Dissertation field (field within the major field in which the student anticipates his or her dissertation work; examples include Religion in America; Religion in Modern Britain; Medieval Women and Religion in Britain; U.S. Women and Religion)

Dissertation

1. The capstone of the Ph.D. degree is the dissertation. Students will enroll in a total of 12 hours of HIS 6v99 as they write the dissertation. The dissertation must make an original scholarly contribution to the student's chosen area of study. The student will be required to make an oral defense of the written dissertation to a dissertation committee composed in accordance with Graduate School regulations.

2. Starting during the application process and continuing during coursework, students should be in conversation with a professor in their area of interest about the possibility of doing a dissertation with that professor.

3. Once a professor has agreed to direct a student's dissertation, the student will submit a dissertation prospectus to the director.

4. Once the prospectus has been approved by the director, it will be presented for approval to the graduate program director and either the dissertation committee (if the committee has been formed) or the Graduate Studies Committee. The student may then begin formal work on the dissertation.

5. The student and director should recruit 3 other professors on the graduate faculty to serve as dissertation readers, 1 of whom must be outside the history department. A fifth member must be part of the dissertation defense examining committee, but that member does not have to be a reader of the dissertation. In all, the dissertation defense examining committee must have 5 members of the Baylor University graduate faculty, 4 of whom are readers and 1 from outside the history department. There may be additional readers and examiners from outside the Baylor graduate faculty, including committee members from other universities.

6. Early in the semester in which the student intends to defend the dissertation, the director and the student will schedule a defense date that falls before the deadline for that particular semester. Students should consult the Graduate School website for all appropriate deadlines.

7. At least ten days before the defense, the director must submit a dissertation announcement form to the graduate program director that will be signed and forwarded to the Graduate School.

8. Following the successful dissertation defense all members of the dissertation committee will sign the Completion Form, which will be sent to the graduate program director to be signed and forwarded to the Graduate School.

9. Dissertation students should follow the above guidelines and all others listed on the Graduate School websites.

10. Required Graduate School Forms for Dissertations:

See Graduate School Forms for Thesis and Dissertation Students here.

11. Dissertation Defense Deadline: The deadline for thesis and dissertation defenses falls on slightly different days each semester. Typically, the defense deadline is during the last week of October for a student planning to graduate in the Fall semester. For Spring semester the deadline is typically during the first week of March. For Summer the deadline is typically the first week of July.

Check the Graduate School Calendar here.

Language Requirement

Students are required to demonstrate competence in one foreign language. The language requirement can be met in the ways specified below.

1. Present an undergraduate transcript from Baylor University or another regionally accredited college or university showing that while enrolled the student received a grade of "B" or better in a fourth semester language course. A copy of the page of the student's transcript showing the course grade should be attached to the Graduate School Petition and submitted to the graduate program director to be signed and forwarded to the Graduate School. This option is valid only if the course was taken not more than five years before the student was accepted into the Baylor graduate program.

2. After enrolling in the M.A. or Ph.D. program at Baylor students may enroll in a fourth semester language course. Students must attain a "B" or better in the course. A copy of the page of the student's transcript showing the course grade should be attached to the Graduate School Petition and submitted to the graduate program director to be signed and forwarded to the Graduate School.

3. After enrolling in the M.A. or Ph.D. program at Baylor students may take the French, German, Spanish, Latin, or Greek 5370 and 5371 course sequence, which are usually offered in the summers. Students must attain a "B" or better in the courses. A copy of the page of the student's transcript showing the course grade should be attached to the Graduate School Petition and submitted to the graduate program director to be signed and forwarded to the Graduate School.

4. Students may take a reading examination offered by the Department of Modern Foreign Languages. After passing the exam, students will receive a receipt from the MFL and will attach the receipt to the Graduate School Petition. The petition is then submitted to the graduate program director to be signed and forwarded to the Graduate School.

Click here for Graduate School Petitions.

Graduation

Students must file for graduation with the Graduate School at the beginning of the semester they intend to graduate (see Graduation Information).

Exit Survey

After completing all requirements for the degree, students should complete and submit the departmental Exit Survey.