The Doctoral Program

The History Department admits only a limited number of clearly excellent students to its doctoral program. The Department's PhD students have an excellent record in the competition for SSHRCC doctoral fellowships. Doctoral theses completed in the Department have won regional and national awards, and a number of the Department's graduates have gone on to distinguished research careers in other universities or in a number of other professions. In addition to having research interests compatible with those of members of the Department, applicants to the PhD program must demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, maturity of judgement and the quality of their research. The doctoral program is designed for able scholars who have demonstrated a high degree of self-direction and motivation and who will be capable of fashioning their own program of studies in consultation with a supervisory committee.

The Department regards PhD applicants as applying not only to work in the Department, but also to work with a particular member of the Department. Therefore, before an application to the PhD program will be seriously considered, a member of the Department must have agreed to act as Supervisor. Students should get in touch with an appropriate member of the Department before applying formally for admission. As well, applicants should submit a copy of their completed MA thesis, or, if it is still in preparation at the time of application, copies of any completed chapters.

The PhD program is constructed to meet the candidate's individual needs and interests. In accordance with this philosophy, the PhD program has few fixed regulations. Once a student is accepted, a Supervisory Committee will be set up which consists of the Supervisor and two other members of the Graduate Academic Unit (GAU). This committee, in consultation with the student, will determine the nature of the student's program, including the number and nature of the field reading and written and oral assignments which the student must complete. Preparation may or may not include formal courses; it will involve working with several members of the GAU.  For guidelines in preparing these, click here (PDF File).  The program will be designed to reflect the student's particular interests, qualifications and needs. PhD students on assistantship are eligible for up to four years of support.

All applicants to the PhD program and all current PhD candidates are encouraged to apply for SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships. Among other things, these will require the composition of a clear and persuasive PhD proposal. The History department has a very good record of success in SSHRC competitions. For recent SSHRC competition results, click here.

In addition to field preparation and research requirements, the Department offers PhD students an opportunity to participate in a teaching apprenticeship, which involves working with a member of the faculty in designing and giving an undergraduate course.

Language Requirements

The language requirement for PhD candidates is determined on an individual basis by the Supervisory Committee.