Published Date

January 1, 2014

Resource Type

For Departments, Program of Study

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, Graduate Education, Teaching & Learning

This resource was developed as part of the AHA’s Tuning project.

Institution: University of Maine
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy in History
Location: Orono, ME
Year: 2014


Purpose of the Degree

To offer an authoritative knowledge of history with expertise in a significant disciplinary question; a detailed understanding of historiographical and methodological complexity; the development of professional research and analytical skills; the development of a book-length historical argument; and an advanced foundation for the professional use of history.

Characteristics of the Program

Students choose as an area of concentration either US or Canadian-American history, though other areas are possible with approval. Students also choose a minor field in a separate world region and an additional focus in a related discipline. The degree requires a grade of “B” or better in five graduate courses, including one in the minor field, and a course on historiography and methodology, as well as demonstrated competence in a foreign language. A student advances to doctoral candidacy after the successful completion of written and oral comprehensive examinations and the approval of a dissertation prospectus. Upon completion of the dissertation, an oral examination is conducted.

Career Pathways for the Graduate

Most PhD students enter the program intending to become college professors. As part of the university’s land grant mission, the department also serves nontraditional PhD students without career concerns. Numerous recent graduates hold tenure-track positions in college and junior college history departments, while several teach as adjunct faculty. Others maintain careers in museums, libraries, educational organizations, editing, and public administration.

Educational Style

All graduate courses are seminar format and include extensive writing components. A student may enroll in two upper-level undergraduate courses for graduate credit; in such a case, the syllabus is augmented by additional assignments. In addition, a student may conduct up to two individualized readings courses with a faculty member. Each student is advised by a five-member faculty committee, three from the major area of concentration, one from the minor field, and one from the outside discipline.

Program Competencies and Outcomes

PhD graduates develop professional competencies in historiography, historical methodology and research, qualitative analysis, and book-length argumentation and writing.

Michael Lang
Michael Lang

University of Maine