Graduate Program F.A.Q.
How many courses should I take each quarter?
A normal academic load is 3 courses (12 units) per quarter.
What courses should a first-year Ph.D. student take?
How do I sign up for courses?
Generally, a first-year graduate student should take (1) History & Theory; (2) a Colloquium in their first or second field, and (3) a first year Research Seminar/Proseminar combination along with an elective. There are many variations on this basic set of courses.
A first year student would choose from the following categories:
|HISTORY & THEORY
||History and Theory (200A)
||History and Theory continued (200B)
||First Field Colloquium
|PROSEMINAR OR ELECTIVE OR SECOND FIELD COLLOQUIUM
||Elective OR 2nd Field
||Proseminar (202) OR Elective OR 2nd Field
||1st Year Rsch Seminar (203) OR Elective OR 2nd Field
Two quarters of History and Theory (200A and 200B) are required courses for all first year Ph.D. students. Terminal M.A. students are not required to take these courses. Terminal M.A. students can take another related two-quarter sequence as a second field.
Not all first fields are offered every year, so some students may need to take courses in a second field in their first year.
Students should consult with their advisor(s) about courses that will work best for the students' fields and topics of interest.
One complete 3-course Colloquia Series
One Proseminar Research Seminar combination (202/203)
Two related courses (such as History & Theory (200A & 200B); 2 courses from another Colloquia; a series of courses approved by their advisor and the Graduate Director
One course (291) related to oral examination or thesis preparation
What courses should a first year MA student take?
Full time MA students should take a total of 9 courses in one year:
Students planning a first or second field in Early Modern Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, Modern Europe or East Asia (220ABC, 240ABC, 230ABC, 265ABC, 270ABCD, 275ABC) need to be aware that these colloquia are generally offered every other year.
Most of the Colloquia Series consist of three courses, but please note that some, such as 270, may consist of four courses.
Work in Colloquia fields not offered every year can sometimes be done in Directed Reading courses (291) under special circumstances (forms required); contact the appropriate faculty member(s) for guidance in course selection.
Generally, while we recommend that you take these courses in chronologic order, you may take them out of order.
What is a Colloquia Series?
The Colloquia Series (220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 265, 270, 275) are reading courses designed to provide students with broad historiographic and teaching knowledge of an entire geographic and temporal field. A completed series of one of these (e.g.: 230ABC) is required for a First or Second Orals Examination field.
1st Year Research Seminar courses (203) follow a Proseminar (202) on the same subject, but Proseminars can also be taken as stand-alone electives, without taking the corresponding 203.
Sometimes, 202 courses are offered without a corresponding 203.
Upon individual petition to the Graduate Program Director, the 274 and 284 course series may substitute for a 1st -year Proseminar/Research Paper requirement.
Ph.D. students who arrive at UCI with an M.A. in history may petition the Graduate Program Committee for exemption from the First Year Proseminar/Research Seminar (202/203) requirement. The MA thesis or equivalent should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies with an exemption request for consideration. If the exemption is granted, you may still choose to complete a 202 course or 202/203 set of courses your first year.
Requests for other deviations due to individual circumstances must also be made by petition to the GPC.
What is a Proseminar (202)? What is a Research Seminar (203)?
The Proseminar/Research Seminars (202/203) are designed to give students historiographic and research expertise in a particular topical area. Together, they fulfill the first year research paper requirement. The Proseminar generally emphasizes the historiography of a particular topic, while the Research Seminar focuses on individual student research -- usually a 25-page paper based on primary research.
What is the Second Year Research Seminar?
The Second Year Research Seminar (204A/B) is a two-quarter course required of all second year students. Unlike the Proseminar/Research Seminar courses, the Second Year Research Seminar does not focus on a single historical topic. Instead this course allows students to begin to plan their dissertation topics and do research in their exact field of interest. It also introduces professionalization issues such as grant writing and the publication process.
Special Topics Courses (290) are electives. These courses vary in content from year to year. Recent offerings include Gender & Japanese History; Race, Sex and Colonialism; Nineteenth-Century West; and Spanish Borderlands.
Although scheduled classes are generally preferential to independent studies, some Directed Reading courses (291) may be taken as electives as part of preparation for your oral exams. Speak to individual faculty members about such course possibilities.
You may take courses in the 274 series out of sequence or individually. Courses in the 284 series may require permission from the instructor to take out of sequence or individually.
Electives can also be courses outside of the History department.
What are Electives?
Electives are courses that are not used to fulfill other requirements such as the First or Second Field series. All courses except for 200AB can be taken as electives.
Directed Readings are individual reading courses that students arrange with faculty members.
Up to three students can participate in one of these courses. If more than three students enroll, the course becomes a scheduled Special Topics Course (290).
These courses can cover an area not currently taught in a regularly scheduled course or can focus on a student's particular interests.
These courses often count as electives, but upon petition to the Graduate Program Director may be part of a first or second field.
Students may take 291s for either a letter grade (A-F) or a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade. Students taking a graded (A-F) 291 must sign a contract with the professor detailing the content and requirements of the course.
The contract should be turned in to the Graduate Administrator by the second week of the quarter.
Students normally may enroll in no more than three 291s for a letter grade (A-F) from any single professor. Exceptions may be granted in special circumstances upon petition to the Graduate Program Director.
Students may usually take no more than three 291s on an S/U basis (4 units each) during their graduate careers. Exceptions may be granted in special circumstances upon petition to the Graduate Program Director.
What are Directed Readings (291s)?
Students should consult with their advisor about courses in other departments that might best fit their interests.
Students have historically taken courses in fields such as Anthropology, Asian American Studies, Critical Theory, Visual Studies, Women's Studies, and East Asian Languages and Literature.
Upper division languages classes (course #100 and above) can count for graduate course credit. Lower division language courses are taken on top of your graduate course load.
Can I take courses in other departments?
The History department encourages its students to pursue interdisciplinary interests.
Normally, students must complete their coursework at UCI after matriculation.
Students who have completed an M.A. in History at another institution may petition the Graduate Program Committee (GPC) for exemption from the First Year Proseminar/Research Seminar (202/203) requirement. The MA thesis or equivalent should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies with an exemption request by October 1 of your first year for consideration.
Students may count up to three graduate courses taken at UCI before matriculation in the graduate program toward their requirements. Upon petition to the Graduate Program Director, these three classes can be listed on the student's graduate transcript without grades.
Those interested in taking classes at UCI prior to matriculation should contact the Graduate Administrator for further information.
Can courses taken before I matriculated in the UCI graduate program count towards my degree?
begin at once to delineate doctoral interests in order to fit their work for the MA into the total program
speak with the Graduate Administrator about changing the status of your application by December
get letters of recommendation from UCI faculty who have taught you as an MA student
I'm an M.A. student who hopes to apply to the Ph.D. program. What should I do?
Students intending to pursue the Ph.D. should:
Students must fulfill all the requirements for the Ph.D. A typical student's Ph.D. schedule would include at least 21 courses (not including History 399, University Teaching) over several years.
All Ph.D. students are expected to successfully complete a colloquia series in two fields, the two-quarter sequence in History and Theory, and the Second Year Research Seminar or the equivalent.
Most students will also take a First Year Proseminar/Research Seminar combination.
Students should consult with their advisors about their overall course schedule, as requirements vary from field to field.
How many total courses would a Ph.D. student typically take?
All graduate classes must be taken for a grade (A-F or S/U).
S/U can be used for 291s (Directed Reading) and all 299s (Dissertation Research).
Do NOT enroll in any graduate course for a P/NP (Pass/Not Pass) grade. A P/NP grade given in a graduate class automatically becomes an "NR" (no record) which then turns into an "F" after one quarter.
Acceptable grades for Ph.D. students in History department classes are A and A-. Any final course grade lower than an A- (3.7) is an indication that the student is not performing up to History department standards. You should immediately speak with your advisor(s) about such grades.
Terminal M.A. students can receive a degree with anything above a 3.0 (B) average.
What grades should I expect?
Are there forms of evaluation beyond grades?
First year students should receive written evaluations of their work in each course they take. Copies of these evaluations are placed in your department file and used at your First Year Review.
What happens after the first year?
There is more flexibility in coursework after the first year.
In the second year, students would usually complete a second colloquia series and the second year research seminar, as well as other electives/requirements.
In the third year, students are expected to be finishing up requirements to advance to candidacy. By the end of their ninth quarter, students are expected to have:
fulfilled language requirements
successfully completed the two-hour oral (Candidacy) examination covering their first field
NOTE: Meeting the Exam Deadline is required to be considered for TAships in the fourth year of the program and beyond.
After advancing to Ph.D. candidacy, the student begins intensive work on the dissertation.
Students are encouraged to complete their dissertations within three years of their advancement to candidacy.
Students can enroll in Hist 299: Dissertation Research for 12 units after advancing to candidacy.
Most fields consist of a 3-quarter colloquium (220ABC through 260ABC)
East Asian History (270ABCD) requires a 4-quarter colloquium or the equivalent.
What are Fields?
A field delineates a broad historiographic knowledge of the chronologic and geographic area in which the dissertation will be situated.
What is a First Field?
A first field is the major chronologic and/or geographic field in which you situate yourself and in which you are competent to teach. The first field usually consists of a 3 or 4-quarter colloquium series (many of which are offered only every other year) as well as additional elective courses in that area.
First fields currently include:
Students must take three courses in their second field.
An individual course cannot be counted for both first and second fields.
Most students do not have to be examined on their second field in their oral exams, however some fields (East Asia, for example) require dual-field exams. All students should consult with their advisors about their examination plans.
A written exam may be required for a field outside of the department.
Critical Theory, Asian American studies, Feminist Studies, and Creative Non-fiction are emphases that can be taken only as a second field option.
What is a Second Field?
Second fields include any of the above first fields, as well as fields that do not have regularly taught colloquium series or that consist of courses outside of the History Department, such as:
This includes students who entered with an M.A. from another institution.
The first year review committee consists of the professors who have taught the student and his/her advisor.
After reading and discussing each student's work, they, in conjunction with the Graduate Program Director, will make recommendations regarding formal admission to the Ph.D. program.
This review is held in June and students will be notified by July of their status.
What is the First Year review?
To be admitted formally into the doctoral program, students must satisfactorily pass a departmental evaluation at the end of their first year of study.
To repeat: all Ph.D. students are formally reviewed at the end of their first year to determine whether they will be allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program.
Students show proficiency in a language either by passing a departmental examination or through extensive language use in one of the research seminars.
The departmental exam will be administered by a faculty member proficient in the chosen language. The exam consists of writing a translation of approximately five pages of scholarly prose in two hours and is proctored by History staff in the Department office.
For one of their language requirements, students may substitute two quarters of graduate coursework in an allied discipline at the discretion of the student's advisor and with approval by the Graduate Program Director.
What are the language requirements?
Students must show proficiency in two languages in addition to English.
-- For instance, a student may use Women's Studies graduate courses for a "language" in Feminist Theory; courses in Economics for a "language" in Quantitative Analysis, etc.
-- Students need to demonstrate that the course(s) in an allied discipline or methodology is of value to historical inquiry.
-- The course(s) taken for the second "language" may not count toward fulfilling the requirement for the second field
The language requirement must be fulfilled prior to completion of Ph.D. candidacy exams unless a petition for exception has been approved by the GPC.
The Graduate Director acts as your advisor during your first year in the program until you formally identify an advisor.
Once you have asked a faculty member to be your advisor, you fill out a "Graduate Student Advising Agreement" form, have your advisor sign it, and return it to the Graduate Administrator. These forms will be distributed in the spring of your first year.
Students can change advisors. Consult the Graduate Director or Graduate Administrator.
How do I get an advisor?
Throughout your first year, you should make contact with the UCI faculty in your field. No later than the end of the third quarter of your program (second quarter for M.A. students), you will be asked to submit paperwork formally identifying your advisor.
You would consult with your advisor about your short and long term graduate school plans such as: what courses to take now and later; how to best fulfill your requirements such as language proficiency; when to take your comprehensive exam and who to have on your exam committee; possible dissertation topics; professionalization; funding, etc.
You should also speak with your advisor or the Graduate Director about any difficulties or challenges you may be having in the program.
What should I talk about with an advisor?
Students should aim to take the exam by the end of their third year of graduate coursework.
The oral exam usually lasts about 2 hours (approximately 20-25 minutes per committee member).
Five faculty members make up your exam committee. Usually, these are UCI faculty, but if students have worked extensively with someone at another University (e.g.: taken a course at another UC), they may submit a petition to the Graduate Program Director to include a non-UCI faculty member on the committee.
Grades on the qualifying exam are: Pass, Pass with Distinction, Pass with additional requirements, or Fail.
What is a qualifying exam?
A qualifying exam (also referred to as an oral exam, comprehensive exam or advancement to Candidacy) is a culmination of your first two to three years of graduate coursework. It tests the breadth and depth of your knowledge in your first (and sometimes second) field.
You must ask five faculty members to be on your Exam Committee. Four should be Faculty in the History department and one faculty member must be from another UCI department.
The outside member need not have worked with you, nor be in a field related to your interests. They are there to insure that the exam is conducted fairly.
The faculty on your committee need to sign a pre-Ph.D. advancement to candidacy form before you take your exam.
Your advisor can assist you in choosing a committee for your qualifying exam.
How do I get a committee for my qualifying exams?
Fulfill language requirements
Fulfill residency requirements (6 quarters residency)
Submit a portfolio of papers to your committee members no later than one month before the oral exam is scheduled to be taken.
What are the requirements to take the Ph.D. qualifying exam?
-- The Portfolio consists of at least 45 pages on at least three different subject areas within the major field
-- Portfolio papers cannot be from the colloquia courses in that field.
-- Students should be prepared to answer questions regarding their portfolio during their exams.
Complete all First and Second Field requirements. Students may take the qualifying exam during the year in which they are completing the second field colloquia series/requirements, but they will not be advanced to Ph.D. candidacy until all requirements are fulfilled.
You must also complete a variety of bureaucratic tasks:
Notify your advisor, at least one quarter in advance, of the intention to take the oral examination to advance to Ph.D. candidacy.
You should discuss the content of the exam and composition of the committee with your advisor at least one quarter in advance of your examination.
Submit a departmental form, Petition to Take the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam, which delineates examination field(s) along with a list of the responsible professors and the three Doctoral Committee members, to the Graduate Program Director two weeks before planned completion of the Ph.D. oral qualifying exam. All five members of the Candidacy Committee, the date and time of the exam and other relevant information must be included. After being approved by the Graduate Program Director, this data will be transferred to the "Report of the Ph.D. Candidacy Committee (Ph.D. Form I) on which results of the oral exam are recorded by the student.
You must specify your doctoral committee on your Qualifying Exam paperwork, but it can later be changed.
Doctoral Committee members do not need to have been Exam Committee members.
Doctoral Committee members are usually UCI faculty, but can, in consultation with your advisor and petition to the Graduate Program Director, be academic senate faculty from other institutions if appropriate.
What is a Doctoral Committee?
A Doctoral Committee is three Faculty members who will be the readers of your dissertation. It includes your advisor and two other readers.
two in History and Theory (History 200A and 200B)
three in a colloquia series
three in proseminars or History 200C or other approved electives
one in a related first-year research seminar
one of the two language requirements may also need to be fulfilled
fill out appropriate paperwork
How does a Ph.D. student pick up an M.A.?
Complete nine courses:
What is a Colloquy?
Within one academic quarter of the oral examination, new candidates meet in a colloquy with their Doctoral Committee to present their dissertation proposal. The written dissertation proposal is to be distributed to Candidacy and Doctoral committee members prior to the colloquy. The colloquy, which is to be scheduled and chaired by the Doctoral Committee Chair, begins with a presentation by the student of approximately 30 minutes' duration. If the student wishes, interested faculty and students are invited to attend. Once the Doctoral Committee approves the proposal, the student begins intensive work upon the dissertation. The research and writing involved in this effort are expected to require one to four years. At the end of this period an oral defense of the dissertation, focusing on the adequacy of the student's research and thesis, will normally be held. Your advisor will advise the graduate administrator in writing for your Department file that you have successfully completed the colloquy. [Reorganization to come!]
For a Ph.D. in the History Department, normative time is 7 years.
After seven years, your advisor has to write a letter to the Graduate Dean explaining why you haven't completed your degree.
You must also enter candidacy by the end of August of your third academic year. If you do not, you will not be able to TA until you have advanced to candidacy.
What is Normative Time to Degree?
Normative Time to Degree is the number of years in which a student is expected to complete their degree.
What do I do to complete the dissertation?
The student needs to submit the dissertation to the Archives Assistant in the UCI Library for approval of format before final printing, once it has been approved by the Doctoral Committee. "Report on Final Exam" (Ph.D. Form II) and other necessary forms are to be obtained from and submitted to the Archives Assistant/Manuscript Advisor.
DISCLAIMER: The UCI catalogue is the contractual agreement for entering students and will supercede the more informal information on these pages.
Updated April 19, 2013