University of California, Riverside

Department of History

Phd Program

The History Ph.D Program

The Ph.D. is the terminal degree in history, and requires a lengthy and intensive period of study typically lasting five to seven years. An M.A. degree may be obtained en route to completing the Ph.D.

Requirements for the Ph.D.

  • Every student in the doctoral program must demonstrate a proficiency in at least one foreign language equivalent to that required for the M.A. degree. Requirements successfully passed in a particular language while in the M.A. program may be counted towards meeting some requirements in the doctoral program. Specific additional language requirements for the doctoral program will depend on the students' research fields; students may need to show research proficiency in a language for the Ph.D., even if they showed basic proficiency in that language for the M.A. Consult the Department of History for the language requirements in each research field.
  • Students in the Ph.D. program must prepare in three fields: a research field, a complementary field, and a teaching field. The research field must be chosen from the list of research fields below. The complementary field and teaching fields shall be chosen from either the research fields or the additional fields below. Students will be examined in the research and complementary fields by both written and oral examinations. Students will prepare for the teaching field by completing at least 12 hours of relevant courses, with at least 8 hours at the graduate level, including at least one relevant Materials course from the sequence HIST 201-209. HIST 290 may not be used towards this requirement. Students must also complete HIST 301.

Research Fields include


  • Native American History
  • Early America
  • Nineteenth-Century United States
  • Twentieth-Century United States
  • American West


  • Early Modern Europe
  • Modern Europe
  • Early Modern England
  • Modern England
  • Modern Russia
  • Ancient Mediterranean

Latin America:

  • Colonial Latin America
  • Modern Latin America

Other Fields:

  • Early Modern World History
  • Modern World History
  • Gender History
  • Public History

In special cases, the student may petition to replace a complementary field with a custom field designed by the student in consultation with two faculty members.

Lastly, every student must write a dissertation that demonstrates original and independent scholarship. This is what doctoral study is all about. Having completed a minimum of two research seminars and passed all preliminary exams, the student should be ready to undertake a major research project to demonstrate that he or she is prepared to join the ranks of professional historians.

For detailed requirements please consult the UCR General Catalog.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Tel: (951) 827-3683
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Tel: (951) 827-1546
Fax: (951) 827-4537


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