Doctor of Philosophy Program


 
I.  ADMISSION
 
A. In addition to fulfillment of the general requirements of the Graduate College, admission to doctoral study in history shall be based upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee to the Head of the department.
 
B. The preferred background for admission is an M.A. degree in history with a thesis.  The Graduate Studies Committee will consider other applications on an individual basis.  Students with insufficient hours in history may be required by the Graduate Studies Committee to take additional hours at the 5000/6000 level.  Students should already have made progress toward proficiency in a foreign language before seeking admission.
 
C. The Graduate Studies Committee will give preference to applicants with an overall grade point average of 3.5 or above in their M.A. program.
 
D.      Application to the History Department’s Graduate Program is done on-line through the Graduate College website at https://gradcollege.okstate.edu/apply.  The following documents are required for the application process:
 
1. Official transcripts from previous schools attended.
 
2. Scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Examination.
 
3. Three letters of recommendation.  Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with their academic work and can assess the applicant’s likeliness to succeed in the History Graduate Program.  References should comment on the applicant’s aptitude for teaching if application is being made for a teaching associateship.
 
4. Statement of Intent.  This is a statement outlining the goals students expect to reach within the graduate program, their specific fields of interest, and career goals.
 
   5.   Writing Sample.  Students who have written an M.A. thesis should submit one chapter from the thesis as a writing sample.  Otherwise, students should submit a research paper from a previous class.
 
II. FIELD OF STUDY
 
The Ph.D. program requires at least sixty hours beyond the M.A. degree.  Students must, in consultation with their Advisory Committee, select three fields of study – a general field (at least fifteen hours), a major field (at least twelve hours), and a minor field (at least nine hours), from the options shown below.  Geographical diversity among the fields is strongly encouraged.  To be admitted to candidacy, students must pass comprehensive examinations, demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language, have an approved dissertation proposal, and submit a Plan of Study to the Graduate College before writing a dissertation.  All Ph.D. students must take Historiography (HIST 6023), Teaching History at the College Level (HIST 5021), and at least eighteen hours of seminar, including at least three hours of research seminar.  Students without an M.A. thesis must take Historical Methods (HIST 5023).  With the consent of their Advisory Committee, students may apply graduate course work taken outside the History Department to their major field.
 
General Fields:
 
United States
Europe to 1789
Europe since 1789
 
Major Fields (including but not limited to):
 
United States West
Native North America
Medicine, Environment, and Food
Religion
Gender
War and Society
Race and Ethnicity
 
Minor Fields:
 
North America
Europe
Ancient World
Middle East
Asia
Latin America
Public History
 
III. ADVISORY COMMITTEE:  APPOINTMENT AND ROLE
 
A.  Students must request appointment of an Advisory Committee before the end of their second semester beyond the M.A. degree.
 
B.   Upon the recommendation of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies, a Ph.D. Advisory Committee of no fewer than four voting members will be appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College.  This committee consists of members of the OSU Graduate Faculty (at least one from each of the examination fields and one from outside the History Department), including the student’s advisor, who acts as chairperson and must have Graduate Faculty status.  The chair must hold an OSU faculty appointment, normally a tenured or tenure-track appointment in the History Department.  The chair’s duties include convening meetings of the Advisory Committee as appropriate; ensuring compliance with policies, procedures, and requirements; coordinating preparation and evaluation of comprehensive examinations; overseeing the Plan of Study and dissertation submission processes; and ensuring that the research topic undertaken is appropriate to satisfy degree requirements.  Normally, the chair of the student’s Advisory Committee will serve as the dissertation advisor.  The duties of other members of the student’s Advisory Committee include giving direction to the student’s preparation for comprehensive examinations; participating in preparing and evaluating comprehensive examinations in accord with Graduate College and departmental program requirements; attending meetings of the Advisory Committee; reviewing draft documents of the dissertation; and consulting regularly with other committee members and the student to monitor progress toward the degree.  The outside member, who must be a member of the OSU Graduate Faculty, serves as the representative of the Graduate College and ensures that appropriate academic standards and a high level of integrity are maintained in the processes used to review and evaluate the student.
 
C.  The Plan of Study must be approved by the student’s Advisory Committee and filed with the Graduate College before the end of their second semester beyond the M.A. degree.
 
IV. COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND PREPARATION FOR COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONS
 
A.   A minimum of sixty semester graduate credit hours beyond the M.A. degree is required, with a “B” average for all courses.  Students must take at least eighteen hours of seminar including at least three hours of research seminar.  Course work to be completed will be indicated on a Plan of Study.  Students may include no more than six hours in History 6100 courses and six hours in History 6130 courses.  The Graduate Studies Committee may approve exceptions under extraordinary circumstances; appeals should be made to the Director of Graduate Studies.  Those students with a minor field in Public History are expected to complete an internship.
 
B.   Students who plan to take comprehensive examinations must have an updated Plan of Study on file and must have completed all courses required by the Plan, except for dissertation hours.  They must also have met the foreign language requirement.  In preparing for comprehensive examinations, students must not only complete and review all course work but also read extensively in their examination fields.  It is recommended that students consult with members of their advisory committee in identifying major works in their fields of study.
 
 V.       TRANSFER HOURS
 
       At the discretion of the student’s Advisory Committee, up to nine hours of coursework with a grade of B or better can be transferred from another graduate program or taken as a non-degree graduate student at OSU.
 
VI.       MAINTAINING STANDING IN THE PROGRAM
 
A.   INCOMPLETES
 
      Incompletes must be cleared within one year.  The Graduate Studies Committee will review the status of graduate students with more than nine hours of incomplete.
 
B.   COMPLETION OF PRIOR DEGREE
 
Any person admitted to the graduate program who has not received his or her M.A. will be allowed one semester to complete the prior degree.  Those who fail to complete the prior degree within one semester after beginning the Ph.D. program will not be permitted to continue.  Those removed from the program may reapply for admission with evidence of the prior degree.  They may be considered for available financial aid and teaching associateships at the time of readmission along with other regular applicants.
 
C.  TEACHING ASSOCIATES
 
      .Academic requirements for retaining an appointment as a Teaching Associate are stricter than those for maintaining standing in the Ph.D. program; for these requirements, see the document entitled “Teaching Assistants and Associates” in this Handbook on pages 36-37.  For example, Teaching Associates are required to take the foreign language examination in the second semester of enrollment and in each semester thereafter until the exam is passed.
 
D.  ANNUAL REVIEW OF GRADUATE STUDENTS
 
     All graduate students are subject to an annual review of their progress conducted by the Graduate Studies Committee.  If deficiencies are found, the student’s Advisory Committee will be notified.   Failure to rectify deficiencies may lead to dismissal from the program.
 
VII. COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONS
 
A.  Students must take comprehensive examinations in three fields.  The foreign language 
            requirement must be met before students take comprehensive examinations.
 
B.  Passing the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations depends upon the student’s successful performance on both the written and oral portions of the examination weighted equally.  Students must pass the written portion of a field examination to advance to the orals in that field.  Students must pass all three field examinations to satisfy the Ph.D. requirements.
 
C.   Students who fail one of the written field exams and pass the other two, may proceed to the oral stage of the exam in those two fields.  Students deficient in a single field must retake that field examination the following semester.   Students who fail two of the three written field examinations will not take oral exams in any of the fields and must retake all three exams the following semester.  Students may not take comprehensive examinations more than twice.
 
D.  Students must pass comprehensive examinations and be admitted to candidacy at least six months prior to graduation.
 
Written Comprehensive Examinations for the Ph.D. Degree
      A.  Written comprehensive examinations are offered once during each semester of the regular school year.
 
1.  Students eligible and desiring to take these examinations must notify their advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies of their intention by the date announced at the beginning of the semester.
 
   2.  The student’s Advisory Committee serves as the examining committee, with one representative from each of the three fields.  The advisor is responsible for soliciting questions from representatives of the two other fields and coordinating the preparation and evaluation of the written examination.  The examining committee will collectively approve the content of the examination.
 
      3. The Graduate Studies Committee will prescribe procedural rules for administering the examinations.  The Director of Graduate Studies will determine the date, time, and place for each examination, but no student may take two examinations on the same day.  Each written examination will be six hours in length.
 
B.   Normally, no more than fourteen days after completion of each written field examination, the Advisory Committee will provide the student a written report evaluating the student’s performance on each field exam.
 
Oral Comprehensive Examinations for the Ph.D. Degree
 
A.   Normally, oral exams will be held no more than thirty days after completion of the last written examination.
 
B.  Each committee member is expected to be present (or available via a suitable Internet platform or a conference call) for the entire oral examination.  Members should not schedule the oral examination at a time when other commitments prevent their being present for the entire examination.
 
C.  During the oral examination, every member of the Advisory Committee will question the student.  The Advisory Committee chair will be responsible for determining the sequence of questioning by other members of the committee, allotting each member sufficient time to evaluate the student’s overall performance, and providing an opportunity for questions by other faculty members in attendance.
 
Evaluation
 
A.  To pass a field exam, a student must pass both the written and oral components.  That determination will be made by a majority vote of the members of the Advisory Committee after completion of the oral examination.
 
B.   No member of the Advisory Committee should sign the approval form until after the entire examination is completed and all members of the committee have discussed the student’s overall performance.
 
C.  The advisor is responsible for reporting the results of the examination to the Director of Graduate Studies.
 
VIII.   ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY
 
Students are admitted to the status of candidacy when they have met the following requirements:
 
A.  Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign language.  The foreign language requirement may be met by:
 
1. passing the foreign language exam administered by the Director of Graduate Studies.  For information about the cost, scheduling, and procedures, see “Policies and Procedures for the Foreign Language Examination” in this Handbook on page 32.
 
2. completing fifteen college-level credits or more in a single foreign language with an overall B average or higher.
 
3. completing and earning a grade of B or higher in a language-immersion course approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.
 
Advisory committees may require additional proficiency in other languages, quantitative methods, or other research skills.  Students are urged to complete their language requirement(s) by the end of their second semester of enrollment.  Teaching Associates must demonstrate progress toward fulfilling the foreign language requirement no later than their second semester of enrollment (see “Requirements and Duties of Teaching Assistants and Associates” on pages 36-37 of this Handbook).
 
B.   Passed comprehensive examinations.
 
C.   Received the approval of the student’s advisory committee for a dissertation proposal, in the form designated by the department, and filed it with the Director of Graduate Studies by the end of the semester after the student passes comprehensive examinations.
 
IX. DISSERTATION
 
A. Candidates must demonstrate a capacity for independent research by the production of an original dissertation on a topic within their major field of study.  The advisor and the candidate’s Advisory Committee have the responsibility for supervising the research and writing of the dissertation and for approving the final copy.  Normally, dissertations will be in excess of two hundred pages, including historiography, notes, and bibliography.
 
B. The Graduate College requires completion of the final examination (oral defense of the dissertation) about four weeks before the end of the semester.  Candidates must complete the dissertation sufficiently in advance of that deadline to permit careful review of the manuscript by all members of the student’s Advisory Committee.
 
 X. ORAL DEFENSE
 
Upon completion of the dissertation, candidates must pass a final oral examination of approximately two hours in length in defense of their dissertation.  Chaired by the advisor, the orals committee will be composed of the student’s Advisory Committee.  Following the examination, the members of the committee will vote to pass or fail the candidate. Passing the final examination requires a simple majority of the committee members.  The student may take the examination again at least one month later. The examination may not be taken more than twice.  University regulations specify that the oral defense shall be open to all members of the Graduate Faculty.  With the consent of the Advisory Committee, others may also attend.