Dept. of History
450 McGraw Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4601
Africa/Middle East, Atlantic World, East Asia, Europe, Indian Ocean, Latin American, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia
The program is designed to accommodate the specific needs, backgrounds, and objectives of individual students. Thus, upon entering the program the PhD student chooses three faculty members to serve on the Special Committee. Two committee members must be from the field of history and represent a major and a minor area of concentration, but the third member (and fourth, if desired) may represent any graduate field of the student's choice, from across the Cornell campus. Together, the Special Committee and the student fashion the program of courses and advanced research each student will pursue.
There are many programs at Cornell that encourage interdisciplinary work in a number of areas. Among those of interest to historians are: Africana Studies and Research Center, American Indian Program, American Studies, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, East Asia Program, Ethics and Public Life, European Studies, International Political Economy, Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, Medieval Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Peace Studies, Religious Studies, Science and Technology Studies, South Asia Program, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Special Programs or Resources
Cornell University Library is one of the dozen largest and most diverse academic research libraries in the United States. It contains more than 5 million titles, subscribes to more than 60,000 periodicals, adds more than 120,000 volumes to its collections each year, and comprises sixteen libraries through the university. John M. Olin Library is the main research library, especially for historians. Among special collections which rank among the finest in size and quality in the world are the Wason/Echols Collection on China, Japan, and Southeast Asia; History of Science; Department of Rare Books (including internationally acclaimed collections on among other subjects, Dante, Petrarch, witchcraft, slavery, the French Revolution, and Wordsworth); Icelandic; and the Department of Manuscripts (specializing in 19th and 20th-century New York State). Cornell participates in a number of resource-sharing agreements with other research libraries, such as the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), which enable it to supplement its holding via inter-library loan and to collaborate in combined databases and computer systems, including Internet, in a worldwide network.
Candidates for the PhD normally are supported for at least five years with a combination of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research grants. Most students will have assistantships in about half their years of graduate study and fellowships in the other years (including the first year).
To encourage flexibility, general requirements are kept to a minimum. For the doctorate, these include: taking History 7090, Introduction to the Graduate Study of History, and, for Americanists only, History 6040, the Colloquium on American History (all graduate students are required to take a minimum of seven graduate-level, 6000-level or above, seminars before taking their 'A' exam); demonstrating proficiency in two languages other than English, (students in U.S. history need only to demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language); completing the graduate school's residence requirement of six semesters of full-time study at a satisfactory level of accomplishment; teaching for at least one year (normally as a teaching assistant); passing the "Q" examination early in the second semester of study; the written and oral "Admissions to Candidacy" examination after completion of formal study; and completing the doctoral dissertation and defending it in a final examination. The graduate program in History is oriented primarily toward the doctorate. Applications to enter the program for a terminal MA are not encouraged.
Information from Department of Education
(Includes information on the size, location, and general characteristics of faculty and student body)
Information from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
(Includes rating of the institution's rating of the graduate instructional program and size and setting)
Full-time Faculty: 41
Relative Size based on Number of Full-time Faculty: Large [Explain]
Student Demographics (Fall 2011):
Number of Doctoral Students in Program: 65
New Doctoral Students Entering Program: 9
Proportion of Doctoral Students Receiving Financial Aid: 83%
Number of Graduate Students Enrolled: 72
Relative Size Based on Graduate Student Enrollment: Medium [Explain]
First PhD conferred: 1890
History PhDs conferred to Date: 606
Number of PhDs Conferred (2011–12): 7
Relative Size Based on PhDs Conferred: Medium [Explain]
Last Updated: October 19, 2012