Graduate Degrees


The University of California, Riverside offers MA and Ph.D. degrees in History and an MA in History through the Public History Program.

Ph.D. Degree in History

  1. At least two two-quarter graduate research seminars. One two-quarter research seminar may be waived by petition for students completing a MA in Public History at UCR.
  2. At least six reading seminars or equivalent courses, chosen from the student’s fields
  3. At least three courses approved by the graduate advisor for the teaching field requirement, of which two must be at the graduate level

All Ph.D. students must also complete HIST 301. This course does not count toward unit requirements.

Courses should be chosen in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and the graduate advisor; suitable courses are described in the departmental protocols. HIST 290 may be used towards the specific requirements above only with the permission of the graduate advisor.

Ph.D. Fields Students prepare three fields: a research field, a complementary field, and a teaching field. The research fields that the department offers are listed below; complementary and teaching fields may be chosen from among the research fields or from the list of additional fields. In special cases, students may petition to replace the complementary field with a custom field designed by the student in consultation with two faculty members who agree to administer the written examination in the field. Students may not offer three fields that all deal with a single country or region.

Research Fields:

  • Early America
  • Nineteenth-Century United States
  • Twentieth-Century United States
  • American West
  • Native American History
  • Ancient Mediterranean
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Modern Europe
  • Early Modern England
  • Modern England
  • Modern Russia
  • Colonial Latin America
  • Modern Latin America
  • Southeast Asia
  • Public History

Additional Fields:

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

MA Degree in History

Plan I (Thesis) requires that at least 24 units be in graduate (200) level courses taken at a University of California campus (see residency requirements). Of these, only 12 may be in graduate research for the thesis, and in most cases, none may be in courses numbered 291 (exam preparation). Students are guided by a committee of three faculty who must be approved by the Graduate Dean. In addition to requiring an acceptable thesis, the department may require an examination that it feels necessary to confirm that the student has appropriate knowledge of the discipline. Once completed the thesis must adhere to University standards and be filed in the Graduate Division electronically.

Plan II (Comprehensive Examination) requires that at least 18 units be in graduate (200) level courses taken at a University of California campus (see residency requirements). None of these may be in graduate research for the thesis or, in most cases, in courses numbered 291 (exam preparation). Students must take a comprehensive examination, the content of which is determined by the department or program. No more than two attempts to pass the exam are allowed.

Master’s students in residence and in good standing may earn course credit by examination. Consult the departmental graduate advisor for further details.

Public History Program

This program provides historical training in academic research and historiography as well as preparation for careers outside of the academy, in archives, historic preservation, museums, and other realms of public engagement with history and the humanities, including the digital.

Admission Applicants must have either a B.A. in History or a baccalaureate in another field and be able to demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of history.

Students prepare in two areas:

  1. A historical field outside of Public History
  2. Specialization in Public History

Course Work Candidates must complete a minimum of 40 units of courses as follows: 

  1. One two-quarter graduate history research seminar.
  2. Two history graduate reading seminars.
  3. At least one of the following: HIST 260, HIST 262, or HIST 263, or additional courses with approval of the Public History advisor. At least one accompanying practicum must also be taken.
  4. Four upper-division undergraduate or graduate courses related to Public History. Two should be outside the History department; additional courses outside the department require the approval of the Public History advisor.
  5. Four units of HIST 290 while writing the internship field report.

All students must also complete HIST 398-I, which does not count toward the 40-unit requirement.

Internship The candidate must complete a ten-week internship, coincident with an academic quarter or summer session, at a cooperating institution, for training under professional supervision in a field of the candidate’s choice. The internship is registered with a History Department faculty advisor as HIST 398-I. The internship requires a written field report.

Oral Examination Candidates must pass a two-part oral examination: one part on the field report-in-progress and a second part on the candidate’s field of history and Public History.

Normative Time to Degree 6 quarters. M.A. students who wish to transfer to the Ph.D. program must apply for a sixth-quarter review as described in the Ph.D. program. No student may enroll in these M.A. programs for more than 9 quarters.

For detailed requirements please consult the UCR General Catalog.