Dept. of History
226 Carr Bldg., Box 90719
Durham, NC 27708
Africa, Asia, Brazil/Caribbean, Europe, Indian Ocean, Latin America, Middle East, and North America
The Duke History Department offers graduate training leading to the MA and PhD in a wide range of fields. The most common are Early and Modern North America, African American, Colonial and Modern Latin America, Caribbean, Military, Early Modern Europe, Modern Europe, and British and British Empire; but we also train students in Medieval Europe, Imperial and Soviet Russia, South Asia, Traditional and Modern China, Modern Japan, Africa, History of Medicine, and History of Science and Technology.
Our program places a premium on cultivating intellectual breadth, familiarity with global, comparative, and transnational history, and the ability to speak to a broad audience of historians and others interested in careful analysis of the past. We seek to build intellectual community across the boundaries of era, geography, and thematic approach.
The department now matriculates about 10 PhD students a year, two to three JD-MAs, and an occasional Masters student. Students admitted to the PhD program receive five-year funding packages from the graduate school, including tuition, a stipend, a teaching assistantship, gradership, or research assistantship, and health insurance. Comparatively small incoming classes allow for close relationships with faculty, as well as individually tailored courses of study. History graduate students receive numerous opportunities to teach, both as Teaching Assistants and eventually, on their own, both at Duke and other area colleges and universities.
The department revamped its graduate program in 2003 as part of its participation in the Carnegie Foundation Initiative on the Doctorate. We have adopted a new curriculum for the first two years of study, which includes a three-seminar sequence required of all students (one course on historiography/social theory, one on research methods, and one on teaching), as well as a new set of guidelines for mentoring and for student progress through the program. In our process for admission to candidacy for the PhD we have replaced the traditional preliminary examinations with a portfolio of written work and teaching materials.
Special Programs or Resources
Duke is also a part of rich, regional academic network that includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and North Carolina Central University, also in Durham, as well as a slew of Triangle-wide history reading groups, many of which hold monthly sessions at the National Humanities Center. Cross-registration and use of libraries, as well as cooperative programs, are a major asset. Duke's own library system is one of the leading institutions in the country, holding in excess of 5,000,000 volumes and a highly regarded Special Collections library, both of which have particular strength in history. The nearby University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has a comparable collection, which is further complemented by the library holdings of North Carolina State University, and North Carolina Central University. Together these institutions comprise the Triangle Research Libraries Network, one of the strongest humanities and social science research facilities in the United States.
Students in years 1-5 are fully funded, which includes all fees and a stipend. They are all required to work as teaching/grading/research assistants to receive the full stipend amount.
They are required to pass a preliminary/portfolio defense and a final dissertation defense.
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: 45
Relative Size based on Number of Full-time Faculty: Large [Explain]
Student Demographics (Fall 2011):
Number of Doctoral Students in Program: 61
New Doctoral Students Entering Program: 12
Proportion of Doctoral Students Receiving Financial Aid: 100%
Number of Graduate Students Enrolled: 66
Relative Size Based on Graduate Student Enrollment: Medium [Explain]
First PhD conferred: 1929
History PhDs conferred to Date: 689
Number of PhDs Conferred (2011–12): 8
Relative Size Based on PhDs Conferred: Large [Explain]
Last Updated: October 19, 2012