Dept. of History
2301 Vanderbilt Pl.
Nashville, TN 37235-1802
early America and U.S.; Atlantic world; medieval, early modern, and modern Europe; Latin America and Caribbean; East and South Asia; Judeo-Islamic; medicine
The program has been designed to provide each graduate student with sound professional training, both intensive and comprehensive. Candidates have considerable flexibility in designing their examination fields. The doctoral program is small and interactive, with 49 students in residence. Students work closely with professors, who take a direct, personal interest in their research, writing, and subsequent career.
Special Programs or Resources
Vanderbilt has about 10,000 students in its ten undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged, with graduate students in history frequently taking courses in the Law and Divinity Schools as well as in other departments and programs within the College of Arts and Science, particularly Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, and English, and in interdisciplinary programs such as Medicine, Health, and Society. Vanderbilt's Heard Library is one of the major research libraries in the South, with a system of eight divisions and over two million volumes, with access to the Center for Research Libraries, Interlibrary Loan, and various computer networks. The library has strong holdings in the areas in which the department offers doctoral study; it has noteworthy manuscript collections on the Nashville Fugitive/Agrarian movement and the history of the African-American church. The Nashville area is rich in historic artifacts and resources for U.S. historians. The city is a center for local history, with the national offices of the American Association for State and Local History, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, and the Tennessee Historical Society. Nearby Fisk University has rich manuscript and art collections in African-American history. Meharry Medical College has important holdings for African-American medical history. Nashville is one of three major centers for research in American church history; especially important are collections of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives. Last, but certainly not least, are the fabulous cultural-historical collections of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
All incoming graduate students enjoy financial aid for five full years of their graduate careers. Fellowships cover tuition and health insurance and provide a stipend of $24,000 for the 2012-13 academic year. Applicants are eligible for topping-up awards, which can add as much as $10,000 a year to the stipend. Research funds and scholarly conference funds are available from the College of Arts and Science and the History Department. Vanderbilt also has several internal competitions for dissertation finishing fellowships.
A total of 72 hours of course work is required for the PhD, including at least 45 "quality hours," regularly graded courses as opposed to transfer credit or dissertation research, which is graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Every candidate must write two major research papers in lieu of a master's thesis, meet a foreign language requirement, and pass a qualifying examination in one major and two minor fields.
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: 40
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: 9
Proportion of Doctoral Students Receiving Financial Aid: 82%
Number of Graduate Students Enrolled: 43
Relative Size Based on Graduate Student Enrollment: Small [Explain]
First PhD conferred: 1899
History PhDs conferred to Date: 299
Number of PhDs Conferred (2011–12): 4
Relative Size Based on PhDs Conferred: Medium [Explain]
Last Updated: October 19, 2012