From the News column of the May 2010 issue of Perspectives on History
History Doctoral Programs Site Updated
Robert B. Townsend, May 2010
The AHA’s History Doctoral Programs web site (at historians.org/projects/cge/PhD/intro.cfm) has now been updated to include current information on students, faculty, and departments as a whole. In addition to department-level fixes, the site has also been updated to include links to a wealth of additional information about universities in the United States.
Since the site was first brought online five years ago, staff have only been able to regularly change some of the information—such as the general program descriptions and information on special programs and resources, financial aid, and degree requirements. Unfortunately, many of the data points—on the number of students in the program, degrees conferred, and faculty numbers—could not be updated due to limitations on available staff.
We have now updated the data to be current as of this past summer (when data was last collected for the annual Directory), and linked the address information directly to the Directory database, to ensure it will remain current in the future. While updating some of the basic data for each department, we have also updated our own classification of the relative size of each department, based on the number of faculty, average number of graduate students in the program over the past three years, and average number of PhDs conferred over the past five years
In addition to bringing the data up to date, we have also added new links to each university’s page in the Department of Education’s College Navigator site. This site supplies extensive information about the size, location, and general characteristics of the faculty and student body at each school. Each university’s page on the AHA’s History Doctoral Programs site also links to the university’s information in the assessments from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which includes their rating of the institution’s general graduate instructional program, as well as their size and setting.When the Committee on Graduate Education first proposed the site six years ago, it was intended to serve as a “’virtual’ central compendium of information on departments.” With the new information included, and the new links to the extensive institution-level data from the Department of Education and Carnegie, we hope the site can again fulfill that mandate.