Dept. of History
Robinson Hall 201
Cambridge, MA 02138
Africa, Ancient History, Britain, Byzantine History, Early Modern Europe, East Asian History, International History, Latin America, Medieval History, Middle Eastern History, Modern European History, Russia, South Asia, United States
The first two years of the program are dedicated to fulfilling the language requirement, to coursework, and to preparing for and taking the general exam. After satisfying coursework and language requirements, students qualify for an interim A.M. degree. A separate program for a terminal A.M. degree is not available. The general exam, a two-hour oral exam, is taken in the spring of the second year. Students prepare for it by registering for a series of courses in their second year. The purpose of the exam is to expand and deepen students' general historical knowledge, provide them with the tools to conduct research in history, and prepare them to teach. The exam is composed of four fields, and students are examined in each field for thirty minutes, so that the entire exam takes two hours. Passing the exam qualifies students to act as teaching fellows in the third year, usually in sections of lecture courses, and occasionally in sophomore and junior tutorials. In the third year doctoral students prepare a dissertation prospectus and present it at the prospectus conference, which is held yearly in January. Students then continue to teach, conduct research and write their dissertations.
Special Programs or Resources
As a large research university, Harvard offers many resources and opportunities for its students in the form of lectures, conferences, research centers, fellowships, and grants. Students have access to the more than 80 libraries and 15 million volumes that comprise the Harvard University Library, the largest university library in the world. Additionally, students may take courses offered by other departments in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, or at other Harvard schools, such as Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Harvard Kennedy School. In coordination with Harvard Law School, students may pursue both a PhD in history and a JD at the Law School. Several of Harvard's international research centers provide travel and research funding to current graduate students. Participating centers include the Asia Center, Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Committee on African Studies, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Davis Center, Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Korea Institute, Real Colegio Complutense, and the Ukrainian Research Institute.
The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences provides a five-year funding package for incoming doctoral students, and offers tuition coverage for six years. The package consists of a combination of financial aid and fellowships. A tuition grant covers the cost of tuition for six years, and depending on where students are in their progress towards the degree, the tuition grant is supplemented with additional funding. In the first two years, students receive a stipend while they are engaged in coursework. In years three and four, they usually receive teaching fellowships, which are equal to the stipend received in the first two years. In the last year of graduate work students receive a dissertation completion fellowship. Tuition coverage is provided for a sixth year. In addition to this package, a summer stipend is provided for the first four summers students are in residence.
Incoming graduate students are required to take one introductory seminar on methodology, two research seminars, four additional history courses, two electives, and a teaching practicum in the third year. Students must pass language examinations based on their intended field of research. Coursework preparation culminates in a two-hour general exam in the spring term of the second year. Students who pass the general exam then begin to teach and to embark on the research and writing of their dissertations.
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: 128
New Doctoral Students Entering Program: 19
Proportion of Doctoral Students Receiving Financial Aid: 100%
Number of Graduate Students Enrolled: 126
Relative Size Based on Graduate Student Enrollment: Large [Explain]
First PhD conferred: 1873
History PhDs conferred to Date: 1768
Number of PhDs Conferred (2011–12): 21
Relative Size Based on PhDs Conferred: Large [Explain]
Last Updated: October 19, 2012