Rutgers History Phd Application Essay

Doctoral Program Description

The key objective of the doctoral degree program in History at Rutgers—New Brunswick is to impart rigorous training for innovative research, publication in professional forums, and teaching at the college level. The program is designed for full-time students who ideally will complete the cycle of course work, qualifying examinations, and doctoral dissertation in five years of uninterrupted study. To facilitate this timetable, the department admits annually a select number of full-time students with typical packages of five years of financial support. The department will also consider applications from students wishing to study on a part-time basis. A limited number of students may be admitted without fellowship support; depending on their performance, they may become eligible for financial aid in subsequent years.

Admitted students funding packages' usually include two years of fellowship, two of TA-ship, and a fifth year either of fellowship or TA-ship, depending on students' needs. It goes without saying, finally, that the benefits and services of our program are available to students without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or handicap, marital status, or veteran status. See the program's Learning Goals and Assessment.

 l. Requirements of the Ph.D. Program

  1. New Brunswick Graduate School Ph.D. Requirements and Stage Definition
  2. The History Department's Doctoral Program Basic Requirements

II. Ideal Timetables for Completing the Program

  1. General Expectations For Timely Progress to the Ph.D.
  2. Timetable For Students Entering With the B.A.
  3. Timetable For Students Entering With Prior Graduate Work
  4. Graduate Courses in History

III. Major Fields of Study

  1. Departmentally Defined Areas and General Major Field Requirements
  2. Major Fields With Further Specified Requirements:  
    1. American History
    2. Early American History African-American History
    3. European History (Early Modern & Modern) 
    4. History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health 
    5. Women's and Gender History 
    6. History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora

lV. Minor Fields of Study

  1. Departmentally Defined Minors and General Minor Field Requirements
  2. Minor Fields With Further Specified Requirements:
    1. American History
    2. African-American History
    3. Comparative and Global History
    4. History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health
    5. Women's and Gender History
    6. History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora 
    7. Minor Field Options for Early Americanists and Europeanists

V. Language Requirements

  1. For Students Majoring In American History
  2. For Students Majoring In Early Modern / Modern European History
  3. For Students Majoring In Medieval History
  4. For Students Majoring In Women's and Gender History
  5. For Students Majoring In Other Fields
  6. Assistance for Students in Completing Language Requirements

VI. Evaluation of Students

VII. Advisors and Dissertation Committees

  1. Faculty Advisors and Dissertation Committees
  2. Peer Advisors

Vlll. Examinations

  1. Examinations Administered in the History Graduate Program
  2. General Procedure and Calendar for Exams
  3. Minor Field Exams
  4. Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage I (Field Exam)
  5. Fields with Specific Requirements for Major Field: Stage I and Minor Field Exams
  6. Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage II (Proposal Defense)
  7. The Doctoral Dissertation

IX. Terminal Master's Degree

  1. Course Requirements
  2. Thesis or Examination Requirements

X. Training In Teaching

XI. The Funding Pattern

  1. Fellowships and Teaching- and Graduate-Assistantships
  2. Criteria for Renewal of Funding
  3. Extra-Departmental Dissertation Research Fellowships
  4. Departmentally Awarded Travel and Research Grants
  5. Graduate School Travel and Research Grants

XII. Registration and Academic Policy Regulations

  1. Registration Options
  2. Full Time Status and Registration Requirements
  3. Transfer of Previous Graduate Work and Adjustments
  4. Changes in Program Requirements
  5. Rutgers-Princeton Exchange Program
  6. Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
  7. Pass/Fail, Audit, and other No-Credit Courses
  8. Incompletes


I. Requirements of the Ph.D. Program

I. A. New Brunswick Graduate School Ph.D. Requirements and Stage Definitions

To obtain the Doctor of Philosophy degree, the Graduate School-New Brunswick has generally mandated a minimum of three years of full-time study, entailing two years of course work (48 credits), and one year of research (24 credits), culminating with a dissertation. Most students, however, require more than three years to fulfill course and dissertation requirements.

The Graduate School defines the stages leading to the Ph.D. in these terms:

  • The Preliminary General Phase—the two- (or more) year period when the student pursues required course work, and then takes qualifying examinations. In the history department, this is a three-part series of examinations. After passing exams, the student is admitted to candidacy for the doctorate, and has the status of doctoral candidate (or, more colloquially, "ABD": All But Dissertation).
  • The Later Special Phase—the year (or more) during which the student researches and writes a dissertation, which is defended in a final examination.

I. B. The History Department's Doctoral Program Basic Requirements

Regardless of field or area specializations, all history doctoral students are required to fulfill the following requirements, within the framework of the Graduate School's basic requirements.

Pre-Examination Course Work. During the Preliminary General Phase, all history doctoral students must minimally attain the forty-eight credits in course work [sixteen courses] mandated by the Graduate School. In the history doctoral program, this general requirement is refined as follows:

  • Thirty-nine of the forty-eight credits [twelve courses] must consist of carefully directed work—i.e. courses in the category of readings, colloquia, seminars, supervised independent study (510:678-79 ‘Advanced Topics In History’), and, in exceptional circumstances, approved upper-division undergraduate courses. Of these twelve core courses, four to five are in a Major Field, and two to three are in a Minor Field. At least two  of these courses (six credits) must be research seminars.
  • The remaining nine credits [three courses] may be attained through exam prep study and research (for which there are no formal classroom requirements) by enrollment in 510:680 Minor Field Prep., 510:681 Major Field Prep. and 510:682 Dissertation Prep.
  • No more than two courses with grades of "C" or "C+" may be used to meet the pre-examination course work requirement.
  • Students entering with an M.A. may, with appropriate approvals, transfer up to twenty-four credits of prior graduate work to their Rutgers-New Brunswick doctoral program. The Graduate Vice-Chair will determine which program course requirements will be satisfied by  transferred credits.

The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. After completing the course work and passing the necessary language exams (as stipulated by fields), the student proceeds to the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. In the history program, this represents a three-step process:

  • the Minor Field Exam
  • the Major Field Exam: Stage I (Field Exam)
  • the Major Field Exam: Stage II (Dissertation Proposal Defense)

The character of these exams is outlined below. After passing all three examinations, the student is then admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

The Dissertation. During the next period of graduate work—the period the Graduate Catalog terms the "Later Special Phase"—students research, write, and defend their doctoral dissertations. Throughout these semesters, they enroll in the course 510:701-702 ‘Research in History’, for a total accumulation of twenty-four credits.

II. Ideal Timetables for Completing the Program

II. A. General Expectations For Timely Progress to the Ph.D.

The program expects that all students will complete the pre-examination course work during their first and second years of study, though supplementary course work may extend into the third year.

Students entering with a B.A. are expected to take their written exams (Minor Field Exam and Major Field Exam: Stage I) in the Spring semester of their second year and the Fall semester of their third year. Students are given some flexibility in deciding the sequence of examinations. Students are expected to have completed their Major Field Exam: Stage II ("Dissertation Proposal Defense") by early in their fourth year at the latest. Students entering with relevant prior graduate work will adjust their timetables, in consultation with the Graduate Vice-Chair, according to the number of credits transferable from their previous program(s). The regulations concerning transfer of credits are outlined below.

II. B. Timetable For Students Entering With the B.A.

For students entering the program with no prior graduate study, a model five-year course of study would be as follows:

Year 1: Course Work (21 credits)

  • 6 Courses (18 credits)
  • 2 semester sequence (1.5 credits) Introductory course  (510:500, 502) (3 credits)

 Year 2: Course Work (24-27 credits)

  • 6 Courses (18 credits)
  • 2-3 Preparation courses (510:680, 681, 682) (6-9 credits)
  • Minor Field Exam, or Major Field Exam: Stage I at the end of Spring Semester

Year 3

  • Major Field Exam: Stage I, or Minor Field Exam in October
  • Begin dissertation proposal

Year 4

  • Major Field Exam: Stage II (dissertation proposal defense) in first semester (at the latest)
  • Dissertation research and writing.

Year 5

  • Dissertation writing and defense.

II. C. Timetable For Students Entering With Prior Graduate Work

Students entering with prior relevant graduate work will adjust their timetables according to the number of credits transferable from their previous program(s). In the event the maximum allowable number of credits transfer—i.e., twenty-four—a model four-year course of study would be as follows:

Year 1: Course Work (21 credits)

  • 6 Courses (18 credits)
  • 2 semester sequence (1.5 credits) Introductory course  (510:500, 502) (3 credits)
  • At end of Year 1, transfer 24 credits.

Year 2

  • 1-3 Preparation courses (510:680, 681, 682) (3-9 credits)
  • Fall Semester: complete any outstanding course work required for Rutgers Major and Minor Fields, and prepare for the Qualifying Examination.
  • Spring Semester: Minor Exam and Major Field Exam-Stage I.

Year 3

  • Fall Semester: Major Field Exam: Stage II (dissertation proposal defense);
  • Spring Semester: dissertation research and writing.

Year 4

  • Dissertation writing and defense.

II. D. Graduate Courses in History

The following kinds of courses are the chief vehicles of graduate training in the History Department:

  • Introductory Surveys or Readings. These courses are generally arranged in chronological sequence and are intended to provide the substantive core of a student's preparation in the Major Field. They acquaint the student with the classic literature of the area, survey the most significant new work, and in some fields (notably American history) provide a foundation for independent study for the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. There are three introductory surveys in American History, and three in European History (Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern European History).
  • Colloquia. These typically are collective discussions around readings on a defined theme (e.g., topical or methodological). They provide an opportunity for wide-ranging reading, combined with critical oral discourse.
  • Seminars, often termed "Research Seminars". The purpose of seminars is to instruct students in the processes of formulating research projects, conducting innovative research in primary sources, writing and revising papers of publishable quality, and (in some areas) formulating a dissertation proposal. Students customarily take two  research seminars (of one or two semesters each) related to their major and minor fields. Students who enter the program with an M.A. often take only one seminar (either one- or two-semester) at Rutgers.
  • Advanced Topics. These are individualized readings and discussion courses, approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, and by the responsible faculty advisor.
  • Undergraduate Courses. With the approval of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, graduate students may register for upper-division undergraduate courses (300- or 400-level). No more than six of such approved credits (i.e. two courses) may be used to fulfill requirements for the Ph.D., or, in exceptional circumstances, the terminal M.A.

III. Major Fields of Study

III. A. Departmentally Defined Areas and General Major Field Requirements

After consultation with his or her advisor and the Graduate Vice-Chair, the student selects one of the following departmentally defined areas as a Major Field of study:

  • American History
  • Early American History, with these optional secondary emphases:
  • Modern America
  • African-American History
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Ancient History (to the death of Constantine I)
  • Medieval History, with these optional major emphases:
    • Western Europe
    • Southeastern Europe (the "Balkans") and Byzantium
    • Early Turkic and Ottoman History (to 1481, the death of Mehemmed II)
  • Early Modern European History
  • Modern European History
  • History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health
  • Women's and Gender History
  • History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora
  • Latin American History 
  • East Asian History 
  • African History

For doctoral students in all fields, the general course of study consists of four or five reading courses in the Major Field, combined with two semesters of seminar work. The fields of American History, Early American History, Early Modern and Modern European History, History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health, History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora, and Women's and Gender History have adopted more specific requirements outlined below. For requirements in other Major Fields, which are frequently tailored to individual interests, the student should consult with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education and with relevant field faculty.

III. B. Major Fields With Further Specified Requirements

III. B. (1) American History

Six total course requirements:

  • Two readings courses (chosen among four: Readings in US history, I, II, III, and Readings in African American History)
  • Two colloquia
  • Two research seminars

Students with previous graduate work may petition the Graduate Vice-Chair for a waiver of individual requirements. Such determinations will be made after careful examination of the student’s graduate transcripts, and in close consultation with his or her Major Field advisor.

III. B. (2) Early American History

All students selecting a Major Field in Early American History must take Readings I (510:555 ‘North America from the Era of European Expansion to the United States’), and at least one colloquium in colonial, Atlantic or Native American history. Beyond this, students must select one of the following additional supplementary emphases:

  • Early Modern Europe, requiring two additional courses (6 credits) in Early Modern European History. OR,
  • Modern America, requiring two additional courses in Modern America, one of which must be Readings II (510:557) or Readings III (510:559).

Regardless of the preferred option, one of the student's research seminars must include a paper on an Early American topic.

III. B. (3) African-American History

Six courses from the following list are required for the African-American Major. In addition, students are encouraged to take one course in the African-American field in a discipline outside history, such as English or American Studies, and/or at a university outside Rutgers; Columbia, NYU, and Princeton courses are freely available to Rutgers students. Please check yearly course listings for relevant offerings.

  • Readings in African-American History (510:553)
  • Seminar in American and African-American History (510:574)
  • Colloquium in African-American History (510:562)
  • Two of the three American History Readings; Readings I: North America from the Era of Expansion to the United States (510:555); Readings II: Ninetieth Century America (510:557); or Readings III: Modern America (510:559)
  • One other seminar in American, African-American, or Atlantic Cultures and African Diaspora History. (Please note that the last option is not open to students minoring in the Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora field, as this course would be required for their minor field, and may not be used for both.) 

III. B. (4) European History (Early Modern & Modern)

 The minimum core course requirements for both the Early Modern and the Modern European major field are stipulated as follows:

  • A two-semester (six-credit) Readings sequence—the first focusing on Early Modern Europe (510:597), and the second on Modern Europe (510:599).  The Readings sequence is generally taken in the first year. Students who wish to substitute a colloquium for the second Readings may occasionally do so with the approval of their advisor and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
  • Four three-credit colloquia in European history. Colloquia are offered in a variety of fields; they have included both courses on specific periods of national history (e.g. Early Modern Britain, Modern Germany, etc.) and more thematic courses.
  • One two-semester (six-credit) research seminar in European history (taken by both Early Modernists and Modernists), typically beginning in the spring of the first year and continuing in the fall semester of the second year.

Students should also be aware that course work in Comparative and Global History is becoming increasingly advantageous in preparing for teaching, and in obtaining positions in European history.

III. B. (5) History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health

Students will take six classes during their first two years, as follows:

  • A two-semester sequence: STEH Seminar I: History and Social Theory (510:546); and STEH Seminar II: Research Seminar (510:547). The first semester of this sequence will introduce students to broad theoretical perspectives on historical studies, classic and contemporary, as well as to pragmatic issues of research design, literature and source searching, et al., leading to supervised research projects during the second term.
  • Two colloquia among three to be offered: Colloquium in the History of Technology (510:535); Colloquium in Environmental History (510:534); and Colloquium in the History of Health and Medicine (510:536).
  • Two Special Topics courses in STEH, among two to be offered in each two-year cycle (510:678 & 679).

III. B. (6) Women's and Gender History

All students selecting a Major Field in Women's and Gender History must take five courses, including a year-long research seminar. The other four courses consist of Readings courses, which provides a broad overview of significant issues in the field; a Colloquium which is thematically organized and cross-cultural; a course in Feminist Theory; and a related course from inside or outside the department. We encourage students to draw on the strengths of Rutgers’ other departments and programs—Women's Studies, English, Women and Politics, etc.—by taking at least one course, such as Feminist Theory, outside the History Department. Students selecting all their course work from inside the department should strongly consider courses from another thematic major, such as Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora or History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health. Most Women's and Gender History majors will take their minor field in a national/regional area, such as Early Modern European or Modern American History.

The required courses are:

  • 510:560 Readings in Women's and Gender History
  • 510:539 Colloquium in Women's and Gender History
  • 510:549/550 Seminar in Woman's and Gender History (a two-semester sequence)
  • 988:582 Feminist Theory (Women Studies) or approved alternative

Plus: A related course from inside or outside the department; or a second Colloquium in Women's and Gender History in Comparative Perspective; or an independent study.

III. B. (7) History of the Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora

The department's program in the history of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora is designed to allow students to pursue the study of black histories and cultures from transnational perspectives. The requirements for this program blend African-American history, African history, and Atlantic history. In addition to taking core courses in these three fields, students who major in this program will be expected to minor in the history of a specific region--Latin America, North America, or Europe.

Requirements for the Major:

  • Colloquium in Global History (510:541)
  • Colloquium in Atlantic History and the African Diaspora (510:532)
  • Colloquium in African history (510:625)
  • One course in a geographic area outside the minor field
  • Seminar in African-American history (510:573)

Additional Requirements:

  • Minor in American, European or Latin American History
  • Demonstrated mastery of at least one relevant non-English language

III. B. (8) Latin American History

Requirements for the Major:

  • One readings course/colloquium in early modern Latin America 
  • One readings course/colloquium in late modern Latin America 
  • One research seminar (this may be with a faculty member working outside Latin America, as long as the research topic centrally concerns Latin America)
  • Other coursework in (and out of) the dept. and independent studies, as per individual consultation with one's advisor 

IV. Minor Fields of Study

IV. A. Departmentally Defined Minor Fields and General Minor Field Requirements

Minor fields are intended to broaden a student’s knowledge and expertise and are often useful in preparing students for teaching beyond their area of primary study. All doctoral students must select a Minor Field different from the chosen Major Field. Any departmental Major Fields listed above can be chosen as Minor Fields. In addition, students can elect to take Minor Fields in the following officially defined areas: Comparative and Global History, and African-American History. Students wishing to minor in a topical or interdisciplinary field (e.g. theory, cultural history, immigration history, labor history, jewish history, anthropology, political science, medieval French etc.) may do so only with the approval of both the student’s advisor and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. Students whose major fields are essentially comparative and inherently theoretical are encouraged strongly to select a traditional teaching field as a minor.

Except where specifically stated to the contrary (see below), the minimum requirements for the Minor Field are the completion of at least two courses (6 credits) in the Minor Field and the passing of the Minor Field Exam. Only one course of Independent Study can be counted towards the Minor Field minimum requirements. The Minor Field examination may not always be based exclusively on the courses the student has taken, but may assume a more general knowledge of the field. Students will develop reading lists for their minor exam in conjunction with their advisors and their Minor Field examiners.

lV. B. Minor Fields With Further Specified Requirements


 Students taking a Minor Field in American History are required to take two of the three Readings in American History.


Students taking a Minor Field in African American History are required to take the “Colloquium in African-American History” and the two-semester “Seminar in African-American History.”


Students taking a Minor Field in Comparative and Global history must take a minimum of three courses:

  • 510:511 Colloquium in Comparative History
  • 510:541 Colloquium in World History
  • 510:551 Seminar in Global and Comparative History (one semester).

With the approval of an advisor in World History, the student may substitute a directed study course (510:678, 679) or an additional course that is global or comparative.


A Minor Field in STEH may be created by those undertaking major fields in American or European history, and requires two Colloquia and one special topics course.


 A Minor Field in Women's and Gender History will consist of two courses over three semesters:

  • 510:549-50 Seminar: Women's and Gender History (a two-semester sequence). and, either one of the following:
  • 510:539 Colloquium in Women's and Gender History
  • 510:560 Readings in Women’s and Gender History


 A Minor Field in the History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora requires two courses:

  • 510:625 Colloquium in African History
  • 510:532 Colloquium in Atlantic History and the African Diaspora


In choosing a minor field, students majoring in Early America or European history should bear in mind the following options:

  • any student whose Major Field is Early America, and who opts for an additional emphasis in Early Modern Europe, may minor in Modern America; 
  • any student whose Major Field is Early America, and who opts for an additional emphasis in Modern America, may minor in Early Modern Europe; 
  • a Europeanist whose Major Field is Early Modern Europe may select Modern Europe as a Minor Field, and vice versa.

V. Language Requirements

V. A. For Students Majoring in American History

There is no non-English language requirement in American History. However, Early Americanists should have a reading knowledge of one non-English language -- preferably French, Portuguese, Spanish, or Dutch.

V. B. For Students Majoring in Early Modern or Modern European History

The general expectation is that Europeanists are obliged to have a reading knowledge of two non-English languages -- one upon entrance to the program, and the other before attempting the Major Field Exam: Stage I. Variations from this norm may be approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education in conjunction with the student's advisor. Students emphasizing British history, for example, may dispense with the second language requirement with appropriate approval.

V. C. For Students Majoring in Medieval History

Students majoring in medieval history must demonstrate reading fluency in the medieval and modern languages pertinent to their special areas of concentration.

  • For those concentrating on western European medieval history, the pertinent languages are Latin, French, and German. 
  • For those concentrating on southeastern European medieval history (including Byzantium), the pertinent languages are Latin, Byzantine Greek, French, and German.
  • For those concentrating on early Turkic through early Ottoman history, the pertinent languages are Ottoman Turkish, modern Turkish, French, and German.

Whatever the student's particular emphasis, it is expected that he or she will have attained a solid foundation in the pertinent medieval languages prior to admission. Competence will thereafter be verified by departmentally administered exams at the end of the student's first year. Reading fluency in one of the relevant modern languages must be demonstrated upon entrance. All additional modern language requirements must be resolved by the end of a student's second year. Finally, students are required, wherever possible, to utilize the Graduate Student Foreign Languages Reading Test, the minimum passing score being 600.

As the foregoing implies, medievalists may not attempt the Qualifying Examination until all language requirements have been satisfied.

V. D. For Students Majoring in Women's and Gender History

There is no specific foreign language requirement for Women's and Gender History, but we expect students to learn those languages pertinent to her or his area of research. Students should discuss specific language needs with their advisors and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education during their course of study.

V. E. For Students Majoring in Other Fields

In other Major Fields, language requirements are determined by the student's major advisor in consultation with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.

V. F. Assistance for Students in Completing Language Requirements

Funds may be available from both the Vice Dean of the Graduate School and the History Department, to assist students in defraying the costs of specialized language studies at other institutions. Those interested should contact the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education for further information.

Students should likewise note that courses offered through the Rutgers language departments can be taken on a non-credit basis ("E" or "N" credit), at no additional cost.

VI. Evaluation of Students

Students receive grades and written evaluations for their course work, all of which are kept in the students' permanent departmental files. Evaluations of the key examinations (Minor, Major Field: Stage I, Major Field: Stage II, or Terminal M.A.) are also maintained in students' files. Students may review these evaluations at any time.

The Graduate Education Committee annually evaluates the record of all doctoral students. In this review, the GEC (which includes the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education) examines students' course evaluations, recommendations, GPAs, numbers of incompletes, and general progress towards the Ph.D. After the review, the GEC will notify students with serious academic problems. When such notifications occur, the student’s record will be reviewed again during the following semester. If, at that time, the outstanding problems or difficulties have not been corrected, the GEC may recommend dismissal, probation, or suspension of financial aid.

Students' dossiers are additionally evaluated if they apply for departmental financial aid.

Students have the right to appeal any evaluative decision or disciplinary action they deem unacceptable. The hierarchy of appeal is the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, the Chair of the Department, the Graduate Education Committee, and finally the Vice Dean of the Graduate School. In the history department, the ultimate authority is the Graduate Education Committee.

VII. Advisors and Dissertation Committees

VII. A. Faculty Advisors and Dissertation Committees

New students will meet with the Vice Chair for Graduate Education concerning course selection and any other important, immediate issues; they are strongly encouraged to also meet with one or two faculty members in their chosen field for additional advising. 

Generally in the second year, or shortly after completing the Major Field Exam: Stage I at the latest, a student selects a Dissertation Chair. This is done in consultation with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, and with the approval of the proposed Dissertation Chair. The Dissertation Chair may well have been the student's major advisor, and must be a member of the Rutgers History Graduate Faculty. He or she will now be responsible for directing the student's dissertation research, and assisting in job placement. It is also possible for students to have two faculty members acting as co-advisors to a dissertation.

After selecting a Dissertation Chair, the student establishes her or his Dissertation Committee, which consists of the Dissertation Chair, two other members of the History Department, and one member external to the Rutgers History Graduate Program. This "outside member" can come from another Rutgers department or program, or from another university. Students select their Dissertation Committee members in consultation with their Dissertation Chairs, and with the approval of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. All Dissertation Committee members act as resource persons and helpful critics, but the Dissertation Chair is primarily responsible for supervising the student's research and writing.

Any changes in the composition of the Dissertation Committee must be approved by the Dissertation Chair (unless the proposed change is to the Chair position), and by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. It is the student's responsibility to deal directly with the Dissertation Chair, and/or the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, regarding any proposed changes. Once a student has apprised the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education of proposed changes, the Vice- Chair will discuss the matter with the Dissertation Chair, or—if the proposed change involves the Dissertation Chair —the Department Chair, and make the appropriate decision. If the committee is indeed reconstituted, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education will promptly notify any members being removed from the committee of this action, and provide them with the rationale.

VII. B. Peer Advisors

During their first semesters, incoming graduate students may also avail themselves of the counsel of individually matched peer advisors. Having experienced the rigors and realities of graduate life at Rutgers, peer advisors play an invaluable role in helping new students successfully embark on their doctoral programs.

VIII. Examinations

Vlll. A. Examinations Administered in the History Graduate Program

In the history program, the examination process for the Ph.D. is in three parts, consisting of the Minor Field Examination, the Major Field Examination: Stage I, and the Major Field Examination: Stage II. In certain non-Anglophone Major Fields, it may be necessary to pass specified language exams before attempting the Qualifying Exam. Students are considered ABD (“All But Dissertation”) only after successful completion of all examinations.

Vlll. B. General Procedure and Calendar for Exams

Each Spring, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education appoints common examiners (faculty members who write questions and grade examinations for everyone in a particular field) for the coming academic year. Students should consult the common examiners about the nature of the examination, and they are encouraged to do so as early as possible.

Examinations are given in October, February, and May. Students are graded pass/fail on the examinations. In most fields—the exceptions are stated below—the grade of pass or fail reflects the consensus of the examination committee, which consists of the two common examiners and the student’s advisor. A written evaluation of the examination becomes part of the student’s permanent dossier. This evaluation is prepared by the Chief Examiner or, if the circumstances dictate, by the other common examiners. As part of the student’s record, it is consulted when evaluations of student progress, or decisions concerning financial aid awards, are made.

Vlll. C. Minor Field Exams

The Minor Field Examination is often taken before the Major Field Exam: Stage I. If not, it should be taken no later than one semester after a student completes the Major Field: Stage I Examination. The format of the minor field exam can vary: it may be written or oral, require a timed or take-home exam, or include the preparation of sample lectures and course syllabi. The chosen format must be approved in advance by the student’s advisor and examiners, and by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. Unless otherwise specified by a particular field, the timed written examination will be four hours in length, with the student required to answer two of five questions. An oral examination will usually be one hour in length.

This exam is usually not based exclusively on the courses the student has taken in the Minor Field, but assumes a more general knowledge of the area or discipline. For Minor Fields that do not coincide with departmentally defined Major or Minor Fields, questions for the student’s examination will be drawn from a reading list prepared by the student and an advisor, and approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.

In general, the examination will be prepared and assessed by a committee of two professors. These can include either the professor or professors who taught the courses taken by the student in the Minor Field, or the student’s advisor and/or members of his or her dissertation committee if they possess expertise in the Minor Field. If necessary, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education may appoint an examiner. For the Women’s and Gender History Minor Field exam, two common examiners are assigned by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The Minor Field examination in American History will be prepared by the common examiners for the American Major Field Exam.

To declare a minor field and sign up for the exam, students should complete the ‘Minor Field Form’ available from the office of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The form, which requires the signed approval of the student’s advisor and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, asks the students to list the courses taken for the minor field, the date and format of the exam, and the examiners. Upon successful completion of the exam, the examiners will sign the form and return it to the office of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education within two weeks of the exam’s completion. The form will then, along with more detailed written comments by the examiners, constitute the official record of the completion of the Minor Field exam and will be placed in the student’s file.

If a student fails the minor exam, he or she can retake it with the approval of the original examiners, who will write new questions.

Vlll. D. Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage I (Field Exam)

The Major Field Examination: Stage I must be taken after or near the end of two years of course work, and before the third anniversary of the student’s entrance into the graduate program. Students are encouraged to take this exam soon after their course work is completed, so they may initiate their dissertation research. The exam may be written or oral.

The examination committee will be composed of the student’s advisor and two common examiners in the Major Field for that academic year. The examination provides a thorough test of the student’s knowledge of the history and historiography of the Major Field. The written examination is eight hours in length. Normally, there will be nine questions, arranged in three sections, with the student answering one question in each section. The oral examination is two hours in length.

In American History, the sections of the exam cover Early American History, the Nineteenth Century, and the Twentieth Century. The student’s advisor prepares questions in the most appropriate time period, and the common examiners prepare questions in the other two periods.

The Major Field Exam: Stage I in Early American History, with the Early Modern European option, requires that the student answer one question (of three) on Early Modern Europe, and two questions (arranged in two groups of three) on Early America (1607-1815). Those who take option two (Early America, plus the Modern America emphasis) answer two questions on Early America and one question on Modern America.

After receiving the results of their exam, students may consult with their advisor or with the common examiners about their answers, as well as the grading of the examination.

If a student twice fails the Major Field Exam: Stage I, in whatever form, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Education Committee for either a third examination, or permission to proceed without passing the examination. This appeal may be made by the student, or by his or her advisor. The GEC will consider this appeal along with the student’s overall record.

If the request for a third examination is granted, and the student then passes, the GEC will then make a summary judgment on whether the student should proceed in the doctoral program.

Vlll. E. Fields with Specific Requirements for Major Field: Stage I and Minor Field Exams

Vlll. E. (1) American History

The American history major and minor exams are designed to prepare students to teach survey courses in this field and give them a broad understanding of the kinds of historiographical and historical questions that should inform their dissertation research.  The exams cover the three chronological fields addressed in readings courses I, II, III.  Suggested reading lists for each exam field, as well as instructions on how to use them to prepare your own list are available at this link.

Students whose Major Field is American History, and who enter without an M.A. in American History, must complete both their Major and Minor Field exams by the Winter (February) of their third year.  Students entering with an M.A. in American History must complete both exams by the Fall (October) of their third year.

The initial Major Field exam in American History is written, and will draw questions from the extended bibliography of all three American Readings courses.  All three examiners grade each question.  Students pass or fail each question (with a 2-1 vote required to pass a question).  If a student fails a question, then he or she retakes the exam on that failed section with a new set of three questions.  The re-examination can be written or oral (at the student's request), and must be done within a month of the initial failure if the student has failed one question, or at or before the next common examination if the student has failed two or more questions.

The Minor Field examination in American History is based on readings on the periods covered by two of the three American Readings courses.  For each Readings period examined, students will answer one of two questions for a total of two answers.  The common examiners for the American History Major Field Examination will compose the questions for the Minor Field examination.  Each student's Minor Field examination will be based on the two Readings courses he or she has chosen.

Preparing for the Examination:

Students must meet with examiners at least three times prior to taking an exam.  Meetings will allow students and examiners to determine reading lists and consider practice questions.  Students who do not see examiners at least three times and have their lists approved will not be allowed to take an exam.. It is up to the student to schedule these meetings with the appropriate examiners.

To facilitate this process, each spring, the Americanist caucus will hold a meeting of the examiners from the past and coming year, and of the students planning to take exams the coming year.  Requirements and guidelines will be discussed and clarified.  Students planning to take exams the following year must attend.

For the sake of ease and efficiency, as well as fairness, all students taking the exam at the same time will be given common questions (except for the one developed with the advisor).  For example, if two students are taking the minor field exam in US history at the same time (say, 19th and 20th century U.S.), the examiner for 20th century will write three total questions, all of which will be given to both students, and the 19th century will do the same.

Students for the major exam will be examined in three chronological periods, with the student's advisor stepping in, in place of the one common examiner, to provide questions for the student for the chronological period in which she focuses.  Students for the minor exam will be examined in two chronological periods by the appropriate common examiners.

There will be three common examiners each year, one for colonial, one for 19th -C, and one for 20th-C.  One will be designated chief examiner.  The chief examiner will lead the exam process, gathering questions from all the examiners, putting the total exam together, giving the exam to Dawn, and then collecting responses from examiners at the end of the process, which will then be compiled and returned to Dawn and the students. Students can expect to receive a written account of their exam results no later than two weeks after they take the exam.

Vlll. E. (2) European History  (Medieval, Early Modern , Modern)

What is the purpose of these exams?

These exams serve a variety of goals.  First, they are intended to help prepare you to teach survey courses in the field, for which you need a board knowledge of the history and historiography of the field as a whole.  Second, the exam should help you to place your dissertation research in a larger, broadly European framework and enable you to speak about your own work in a relevant way to scholars who are interested in the same general topics or themes, but in a very different content, to each student.

Major Exam Format:

The major exam has both a written and an oral component.  The written portion of the exam consists of three take-home essays and lasts seven days.  On the first day of the exam, you will receive three sets of questions; two sets will be prepared by the common examiners and one set will be devised by your adviser.  You will choose one question from each set to answer.  Each answer should be approximately 15 double-spaced pages in length, excluding notes.  Quality is more important than quantity; the 15-page number is a suggestion, not a mandate.  If you tend toward prolixity, try to keep to 15 pages as an upper limit.  You may consult any sources that would be appropriate for a scholarly article (books, notes, etc.) in composing these essays.  All material used must, however, be appropriately and completely cited.  Plagiarism automatically results in a failed exam.

Within two weeks after turning in your essays, you will meet with the examiners for an oral defense of your written answers.  During this oral portion of the exam, the examiners will ask questions about the choices you made in your essays, the historiography you used (or did not use) to answer the questions, and your general approach to the essay topics.  This format also leaves room for you to amend your written work by correcting errors of fact and interpretation and more fully developing some of your arguments.  Ideally, the oral exam will evolve into a conversation about your ideas.  In the event that the exam is not judged to be a pass, you may at this point be invited to retake all or part of it.

If the examiners feel that a written exam has not met basic standards, they may decide to not proceed with the oral defense.  Instead, you will meet with the examiners to discuss strategies for improving your written answers and may be invited to retake all or part of the exam.

Minor Exam Format:

The minor exam has only a written component, consisting of two take-home essays.  You will receive two sets of questions and will answer one question form each set.  In most cases, one question will be historiographical and one will have a pedagogical focus (i.e. asking for an annotated syllabus for survey course or the like).  Both sets of questions will be prepared by the common examiners.  As with the major exam, you will have seven days to complete your answers.  Finished essays should be approximately 15 double-spaced pages in length, excluding notes.  Again, quality is more important than quantity; the 15-page number is a suggestion, not a mandate.  You may consult any sources that would be appropriate for a scholarly article (books, notes, etc.) in composing these essays.  All material used must, however, be appropriately and completely cited.  Plagiarism automatically results in a failed exam.

Exam Preparation:

Each year, there will be a preparatory meeting with the common examiners in the spring for all those who intend to take either the major or minor exam.

The first step in preparing for the exam is composing your reading list.  The reading list for the major exam should contain 100-125 items; the minor exam should have 60-75 items (here taken to be primarily books; if half your list is articles, the number of items might be larger).  The list should be broken down into broad themes that strike a balance between general coverage and relevance to your own work.

The starting place for developing your list should be the reading you have already done for classes and papers.  You should fill out the list with most significant books for each theme you have chosen.  Figuring out which books to include is part of the exam process.  Simply copying what others have put on their lists is not a good approach.  You should instead consider which books seem to be most discussed or cited.  Make use of review essays and also make use of your adviser, and common examiners, and other faculty.  You should go over your list in detail with both your adviser and the common examiners.

In the two months or so before the exam, you should meet with the common examiners several times to discuss the themes of your list and how your thinking has been developing as you continue your reading.   As part of this process, you will generate you r own questions or themes that the examiners will then rework into your exam questions.

Vlll. F. Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage II (Proposal Defense)

Prior to this examination, the student will submit an approximately twenty-page dissertation proposal to her or his dissertation committee, as well as the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The proposal defines the themes and purpose of the dissertation, discusses the available source material, and relates the topic of the dissertation to the existing literature in the field.

The Major Field Examination: Stage II is given by the Dissertation Committee, consisting of the Dissertation Chair, two professors on the Rutgers history graduate faculty, and one professor from outside the department. The exam is oral, and it covers both the proposal and the student’s field of specialization.

A student who fails the Major Field: Stage II examination may retake the exam after resubmitting the dissertation proposal in a timely manner. Likewise a student may appeal a Committee’s negative decision to the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.

Vlll. G. The Doctoral Dissertation

After passing the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, each candidate must prepare a dissertation based on original investigation, under the direction of the Dissertation Chair and a committee of faculty members (one of whom is external to the history department). Including the time in which the dissertation proposal is prepared, students typically take a year-and-a-half to three years to complete a dissertation.

During this period, the student must accumulate twenty-four research credits beyond the forty-eight course credits already completed. Normally, one member of the dissertation committee besides the Chair will read the thesis as it is being prepared, and consult with the student along the way. However, all members of the committee must have an opportunity to read and criticize the thesis before the final draft is prepared. It is the student’s responsibility to remain in contact with her or his committee and to make arrangements for the final thesis defense.

With the approval of the Graduate School and the Graduate Education Committee, alternative forms of dissertations can be submitted. For example, the department is prepared to consider a series of scholarly essays as the equivalent to a standard dissertation—providing these represent a body of research and writing equivalent to that of a conventional thesis. Students considering an alternative form of a dissertation are warned that the more conventional thesis is generally required when seeking employment in a tenure-track position at a college or university.

The final examination, or defense of the completed dissertation, is conducted by the candidate’s committee. The candidate must defend the thesis and exhibit knowledge of his or her field of specialization. The candidate is responsible for arranging the exam and obtaining her or his candidacy form from the Graduate School.

The student passes or fails the defense based on the decision of the committee as a whole. In this, as in other matters, the student may appeal to the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, the department Chair, and the Graduate Education Committee.

IX. The Terminal Masters Degree

lX. Master’s Degrees

lX. A. Course Requirements

In addition to the master’s degree in Global and Comparative History, the History Department offers a terminal M.A. for students who entered the department as doctoral students but who could not, for various reasons, complete the Ph.D. program.

The course requirements for the terminal M.A. are as follows: students must have completed twenty-four credits of course work (eight courses) and six credits of research and independent study. The Major Fields are the same as for the Ph.D., and four of the student’s eight courses must be in the Major Field. One course must be a research seminar (either one- or two-semester). A maximum of two undergraduate courses, at the 300 or 400 level, may be included, if approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. Two courses may be taken outside the History Department. No more than six credits (two courses) of “C” work can count towards the requirements for the terminal M.A.

lX. B. Thesis or Examination Requirements

After completing the required course work, the student must either pass a Master’s examination in his or her Major Field, or write a Master’s thesis.

The Master’s thesis is a lengthy essay (usually about one hundred pages) reflecting original research on a significant topic. A student considering this option should discuss it carefully with his or her advisor.

The Master’s examination will normally be taken after a year-and-a-half (eight courses) of study. This is a written exam, and is given by three members of the faculty—the student’s advisor, and two other members of the faculty chosen by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The examination is four hours in length. It will include six questions, divided into two parts, with the student responsible for answering one question in each part. The terminal Master’s Examination is based on the introductory surveys Readings) and colloquia given during the student’s residence in the department. This examination tests general knowledge of major themes in the history of the field, and/or knowledge of significant works the student should know from course work. Ph.D. candidates do not take the terminal M.A. examination.

X. Training in Teaching

An important goal of the program is to prepare graduate students to teach. The department offers the course 510:509 ‘Teaching of History’ as one step in the process, but it does not expect a single course to provide all the training a student needs before she or he obtains a university position. Ideally, a doctoral student will successively take 510:509 ‘Teaching of History,’ assist a professor as a teaching assistant (delivering one or more lectures in his or her class), and possibly teach her or his own class in summer school (something usually restricted to ABD students). In addition, all new teaching assistants are required to attend a one-day introduction/orientation meeting organized by the Graduate School. History students also often have an opportunity to serve as teaching assistants in the English Department’s introductory composition courses, and have found the experience useful for their own teaching and for strengthening credentials while looking for an academic job.

The course 510:509 ‘Teaching of History’ is highly recommended for all graduate students. The student receives credit for the course, and a grade on the transcript, but it does not count as one of the core twelve courses taken in the pre-examination stage. Successful completion of the course is among the factors considered when appointing students as summer school teachers and Visiting Part-Time Lecturers (VPLs). Students often enroll in it when they first serve as teaching assistants. Clearly, however, the course will be of maximum benefit if taken prior to the TA-ship; in any case, it should definitely be taken well before a student applies to teach his or her own course. Class meetings of 510:509 ‘Teaching of History’ focus on developing a syllabus, selecting readings, preparing a lecture, utilizing audio-visual materials, running a discussion, employing alternative teaching methods (debate, role-playing), devising writing assignments, testing and grading, designing web pages for teaching, and dealing with problem situations (plagiarism, discipline, sexual harassment, tardiness).

Students who have passed their Major Field Exam: Stage I may request to teach a summer school course. This is done in the Fall, when the Department asks all faculty and graduate students who wish to teach in summer school to submit a request. The Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Education makes the assignments to teach in summer school. In designing a summer school course, students are free to consult with a faculty member in an appropriate field and should discuss with the Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Education the programmatic needs and preferences of the summer school program. Students are also strongly encouraged to invite a faculty member to their class who can discuss their teaching with them and, at a later date, write a job recommendation for them that comments substantively on their teaching.

When students first teach their own courses for the department (usually as VPLs), a faculty member will observe their teaching and prepare a written evaluation of their performance. The Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Education will keep this evaluation and a copy of the student's syllabus, and may use the evaluation in making teaching assignments to specific courses. This evaluation does not go, however, into the student's permanent file, and is not used to determine whether a student should receive financial aid. Having been observed, the student may ask the faculty member for a recommendation for employment.

In summary, while the department recognizes that securing an academic position will depend primarily on the quality of a student's dissertation and publications, it likewise affirms that teaching is integral to the life of a historian, and that learning to do it well is fundamental to the student's professional development.

XI. The Funding Pattern

Virtually all students admitted in the program are recipients of four- or five-year equalized aid packages, which are combinations of fellowship and teaching- or graduate-assistantship awards. These packages derive from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on the recommendation of the department Chairperson and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The department intends to continue this pattern of funding for future incoming classes, in the conviction that students ideally should complete the Ph.D. within a four- to five-year period (depending on prior graduate work), and that students cannot accomplish this goal if they are pursuing their programs on a part-time basis, with insignificant financial support. Consequently, the department has resolved to extend financial aid targeted for new students to limited numbers of full-time doctoral students, and only under exceptional circumstances to admit students without guaranteed aid packages.

Students holding such packages normally receive fellowship support their first year, and thereafter act as TAs or GAs for approximately half the duration of their package. The department attempts to allocate another fellowship year to students engaged in dissertation research. (This is subject, however, to an assessment of departmental needs and Graduate Education Committee review). All students with funding packages will have at least one year with a TAship; most will have a year with a GAship, assisting on a research project or at a historical institute.

Students who have exhausted their initial funding packages, and exceptional new admits without funding packages, are eligible to apply for whatever fellowship, Teaching- and Graduate-Assistantship support the department may have at its disposal.

XI. A. Fellowships, Teaching- and Graduate-Assistantships

History graduate students on fellowship receive a stipend of $24,000 per annum, plus tuition remission. They are expected to pursue course work or dissertation research and writing, and have no teaching obligations.

Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants are obliged to work fifteen hours a week, during both Fall and Spring semesters, either on a research project (GAs), or in some teaching capacity (TAs). The salaries of GAs and TAs are set according to contract, and include medical benefits; fractional, that is half-year TAs, do not receive health benefits. Likewise the terms of reappointment, non-reappointment, and notification of current GAs and TAs are regulated by the University contract with the AAUP (copies of which are available on request).

Teaching Assistants are generally assigned to teach (and grade) several discussion sections of a large lecture course; to teach their own lecture course (for which they will get grading help to the same extent as other members of the faculty); or to grade in several courses. ABD students can be assigned to teach courses in their major or minor fields; students who had not yet passed their Major Field: Stage I exam will only be asked to teach their own course if they have had previous teaching experience. Teaching Assistants in lecture courses are expected to attend lectures and hold office hours.

Workload and job requirements for Teaching and Graduate Assistants are partially regulated by the University-AAUP contract, and are subject to review by a six-member committee of the history graduate program. This committee consists of the Chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee, two other faculty members of the TEC appointed by the Chair of the TEC, and three elected Teaching Assistants. Any Teaching Assistant can bring a complaint or a concern to the committee's attention or to the Department Chair, and may appeal decisions to the Graduate School. Contractual matters can also be reported to the AAUP.

The department does not allow students to hold, concurrently, a departmental resource along with another major non-departmental resource of support (e.g., fellowship, grant).

XI. B. Criteria for Renewal of Funding

The department's overriding aim is to ensure four to five years of support for all deserving students. The total varies according to whether a student entered the program with:

(a) an M.A. (in history), or a graduate degree on the basis of which significant transfer of course credits has been obtained, and/or the minor field requirement has been waived (e.g., J.D.) -- in which case the stipulated maximum is four years; -or-

(b) a B.A., in which case the stipulated maximum is five years.

The department normally expects students entering with relevant prior graduate work to complete their doctoral programs within four years. It likewise normally expects students entering with the B.A. to complete their doctoral programs within five years.

In making annual allocations of fellowships and GA-/TA-ships, the Department's first objective is to ensure that all deserving students within the "funding pool" (i.e., those who received departmental funding the previous academic year), who are not yet at maximum levels of aid, and who are making timely progress to the Ph.D., will be provided support for the next academic year. In assessing whether students are making timely progress toward the Ph.D., the Graduate Education Committee considers course records, grades (including number of incompletes), professors' letters of evaluation, progress through exams, and (for advanced students) length in the program and progress in researching and writing the dissertation.

The annual funding review begins normally in late December or early January. All students who seek funding the following academic year (including those who arrived with provisional guarantees in aid packages) are required to submit, to the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, a funding application. When these are collected, the Vice-Chair and Department Chair assemble the data for presentation to the faculty members of the G.E.C. Those professors then examine applicants' records, identifying all deserving students within the pool eligible for further funding, and drawing up a list of tentative allocations (fellowships, GA-/TA-ships) for departmental approval. At the same time, the G.E.C. reviews the records of students seeking aid who either (a) are currently not within the funding pool (i.e., did not receive departmental funding the previous academic year), and/or (b) have reached the stipulated maximum level of support. If additional funding resources are available (i.e., after ensuring support for deserving students within the funding pool, who are not at maximum levels of aid), or if such resources are expected to become available, the G.E.C. identifies applicants from among those not currently in the pool, or at maximum support levels, who may deserve further funding. First priority is given to students currently not within the funding pool, particularly those who have never received aid. The next priority is students who have already reached maximum levels of support, but who--for legitimate reasons--need another semester or two of aid. The latter process involves a ranking of candidates according to merit.

After the G.E.C. has established a preliminary funding list, the list is discussed by the full Department (normally at a March meeting). The purpose of the meeting is to explain the funding decisions, solicit advice about students on the waiting list, and discuss general policy issues raised by a review of funding decisions. Final decisions about funding rest with the G.E.C.

All students who have applied will be notified in writing of what aid they have been awarded. Students may discuss the decision with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education and may, on this as on any matter, further appeal in writing to the Graduate Education Committee.

In point of fact, final decisions on funding may extend late into the Spring semester, since additional fellowships and Teaching Assistantships often become available after the initial aid decisions have been made. The Vice-Chair for Graduate Education will make these decisions following the priorities established by the Graduate Education Committee.

XI. C. Extra-Departmental Dissertation Research Fellowships

Within Rutgers, students may apply through the Graduate School for Louis Bevier Awards of $21,000. These awards do not provide tuition remission or benefits, and are intended only for the support of dissertation research and writing. The History Department usually receives one or two Bevier awards annually. The Graduate School distributes announcements about the application process in late Fall.

Beyond Rutgers, students should apply for whatever externally funded fellowships they may be eligible for (e.g., Fulbright, AAUW, DAAD, NEH Dissertation Fellowships). Students should search for promising sources of external funding by visiting the Chaser Funder Database at, a service offered by the Graduate School-New Brunswick to assist graduate students in identifying and applying for external funding.

A year of external funding will be in addition to the funding commitment initially made to the student by the University.

XI. D. Departmentally Awarded Travel and Research Grants

Through a variety of funds, the History Department is generally able to provide limited support for graduate student travel and research.

The Graduate History Program

The History Federation at Rutgers University - Newark and New Jersey Institute of Technology offer a master's level Graduate History Program, administered by a federated Rutgers-Newark/NJIT History Department. The Master's Degrees in History are awarded jointly by Rutgers-Newark and NJIT, and the full resources of both universities are available to all students.  A recent addition to our offerings is the B.A./M.A. Program, offered to both Rutgers and NJIT students as a way to accelerate their studies.

Although MA students matriculate through Rutgers, Newark and Ph.D. students matriculate through Rutgers, New Brunswick, the NJIT history faculty co-administers the M.A. program with the Rutgers, Newark history faculty and NJIT faculty also teach and advise Ph.D. students as members of the Rutgers, NB graduate faculty.

Rutgers University is the state university of New Jersey, and NJIT is the state's public technological university. Together, the two universities enroll nearly 20,000 students. NJIT and Rutgers-Newark are located in the University Heights section of Newark, along with Essex County College and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Just ten miles from Manhattan, 42 miles from Princeton, and 78 miles from Philadelphia, the adjacent campuses of NJIT and Rutgers-Newark enjoy easy access to a wide range of academic and cultural facilities.

The joint Graduate History Program at Rutgers-Newark and NJIT is the largest and most diverse master's-level history program in the state of New Jersey. The program prepares students for careers in teaching, business, law, government, administration, and other fields related to history. For students who are already working in these fields, it enhances the professional experience and increases the opportunities for advancement. Above all, the program is designed to enrich students' lives by exposing them to some of the major experiences and events, people and cultures, books and ideas that have shaped our modern world over the course of the past two millenia. The aim is to provide a varied and flexible program that combines broad training with focused research opportunities in historical studies.

While the program offers courses in all the major regions of the world and all periods of history, it has particular strengths in modern U.S. history, including the history of race, gender, international relations, and urban history; world history; public history (with internships available at local historical organizations); narrative history and the craft of writing history; world history; and the history of technology, environment, and medicine/health.

Two graduate degree programs are offered at Newark:

Both degrees require 30 credits of approved course work, and the same standards of class assessment are applied to students in both programs.

The M.A. program, intended for generalists and pre-PhD candidates, requires concentration in one of the three major fields. Students may write either a 6-credit master's thesis or the 3-credit master's essay.

The M.A.T. is intended for secondary school teachers, and permits a greater flexibility in course selection.  Students are not permitted to write a thesis, but they must write a 3-credit master's essay.

The Federated Department of History, Rutgers-Newark/NJIT does not offer a PhD in history; that program is run through Rutgers, New Brunswick. Students who wish to pursue the PhD in History at Rutgers should contact the History Department, Rutgers University - New Brunswick.

B.A./M.A. Program

A Dedicated, Scholarly Faculty

The program boasts a distinguished faculty who are nationally or internationally known in their fields. In recent years, faculty have received fellowships from the most prestigious granting organizations in academia, such as the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. They have published books with Cambridge University Press, Princeton University Press, University of North Carolina Press, and other major scholarly and trade presses, and articles in leading historical journals such as Journal of American History, William and Mary Quarterly, Journal of Modern History, Journal of Contemporary History, and Diplomatic History. They serve on the editorial boards and as officers in major professional publications and organizations. Several are Fellows of the Royal Historical Society in London.

The faculty is also committed to teaching and concerned about the needs and interests of individual students. Courses are offered in a seminar format that is friendly and personal. Both full-time and part-time students are welcome, and the courses are given in the early evening in order to accommodate employed students comfortably. Student participation is stressed.

Rutgers University-Newark’s department of history offers highly qualified undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a graduate degree in less time and with less cost than doing the two separately. In our accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program, students can take graduate courses in their senior year, while they are still enrolled as undergraduates. Exceptionally able NJIT History majors are encouraged to consider this program as a way of accelerating their time to Masters.

How this works:

  • Students apply for admission in the second semester of their junior year (or equivalent)
  • If accepted and enrolled, they begin graduate work in their senior year.
  • During the senior year, they can take up to twelve credits of graduate courses while paying undergraduate tuition
  • These courses fulfill requirements in both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs during the senior year
  • For the remainder of the Master’s Program students will be enrolled in the graduate school and will pay graduate tuition. For information about our graduate MA program visit

Requirements for application:

  • Applicants must be undergraduate students in the second semester of their junior year (or equivalent).
  • Applicants must have taken at least 12 credits in history courses.
  • Students must have a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA in all courses and a minimum 3.4 GPA in history courses.

How to apply:

  • Students apply to the program at
  • Students must submit a personal statement, writing sample, and two letters of recommendation.

0 thoughts on “Rutgers History Phd Application Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *