Texas Tech University

The Doctor of Philosophy Program in History 

The History Doctoral program requires 60 hours beyond the Bachelors degree plus 12 hours of Dissertation credit. 30 of those hours must be taken at Texas Tech University. A minimum of three years of graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree is required for the doctorate. Work completed for the master's degree may be considered as a part of this period if it forms a logical sequence in the entire graduate program.

All doctoral students must choose three fields of study for their programs organized according to the following requirements:

Geographic Major Field (30 hours)

Upon entering the program, all doctoral students must first declare their Geographic Major Field from among the three fields listed below. Each geographic field requires a sequence of courses designed to provide the student with the necessary background for teaching competence in the entire breadth of the geographic field. In time, after the geographic field is chosen, students and their Faculty Advisor will choose two Fields of Emphasis which better reflect specific concentrations within their Geographic Major Field. Students incorporate these two Fields of Emphasis into their other two doctoral fields (see below) to create a four-field doctoral course of study.

United States

Those students who choose U.S. history as their Major Geographic Field must take History 6311: Readings in American History to 1877 and History 6312: Readings in American History since 1877.


Those students selecting Europe as their major geographic field must take Hist 5305: Historiography of European History and are required to choose, in consultation with their faculty advisor, two other 5000-Level European History readings courses that satisfy their particular area and era of specialty.


Students who choose World history as their Major Geographic Field must take 9 hours of differing World History "Studies in" courses excluding History 5307: Historiography of World History, which is already a general degree requirement.

Within their primary geographic field, students must also choose two emphases represented by two different faculty members within that geography. The selection of those emphases is left to the discretion of the student, their advisor and their committee.

Secondary Geographic Field (9 hours)

Students must also select one Secondary Geographic Field. This field is chosen from one of the two geographies not selected for the Major field.

Thematic Field (9 hours)

Students must also select one thematic field from the following list (or petition the Graduate Studies Committee for approval a thematic field not appearing on the list) and complete nine hours of coursework in that thematic field. Thematic fields must include coursework that examines the particular historical theme across different geographies. Therefore, students are required to select a committee member for the Thematic Field who does not represent either of their geographic fields.

  • State & Nation Building
  • Borderlands
  • Globalization
  • Urbanization
  • Economic & Business
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Religion
  • Science, Medicine & Technology
  • Environmental
  • Memory & Memorialization
  • Comparative Imperialisms
  • Diaspora & Immigration
  • Genocide & Ethnic Cleansing
  • Propaganda, Rhetoric, & Ideologies
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Labor & Working-Class Studies
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • War & Diplomacy
  • Politics
  • Atlantic World
  • U.S. West

Other Course Requirements (12 hours)

All doctoral students regardless of which primary or secondary fields they choose are required to take HIST 6307: Historiography of the World.

All doctoral students who have not previously taken HIST 5304: The Nature of History are required to take it in the first fall semester of their Ph.D. program.

All doctoral students must also take HIST 6301: Research Methods Seminar after the student has earned a grade of B or higher in HIST 5304.

In the 60 hours required beyond the BA for the Ph.D degree in the Department of History, all students must have taken a total of 6 hours of 6000-level Research Seminar Courses.

No more than 12 of the 60 hours of coursework required beyond the BA can be taken at the 7000-level.

Foreign Language Requirement

If not satisfied at the Master of Arts level, proficiency in one language other than English is required of all candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Proficiency in other languages and/or greater linguistic fluency in a language will be required (or not required) for the Doctor of Philosophy degree as specified by the candidates exam committee in their formal degree plan. The language proficiencies specified therein will reflect the judgments of the Graduate Director, the Faculty Advisor, and the examination committee about the linguistic competencies the candidate will need in order to successfully complete dissertation research in his or her proposed area(s) of specialization.

For the purpose of the above listed requirements, "proficiency" in a language is defined according to the following parameters: that is, native speaker status, attainment of a grade of C- or better in a fourth semester undergraduate course (in Texas numeration, the 2302 course); attainment of a grade of B- or better in the second semester of an accelerated graduate language course (in Texas numeration the 5342 course); other class work equivalent to the above; or demonstration of an equivalent level of competency through an approved examination (administered by the Department of Classical and Modern Language and Literature when possible, by an approved outside agency, or by a scholar with demonstrable experience in the language in question) or by some other means acceptable to the committee, the Department, and the Graduate School.

For the purposes of the above listed requirements, "linguistic fluency" is defined in two alternative ways: 1) either the candidate should be able to demonstrate the ability to conduct an unprepared spontaneous complex conversation with a native speaker, for a duration of five minutes or longer, in such a way that he or she can be easily understood; or 2) the candidate shall have completed two upper division courses (with grades of C- or better) or graduate courses (with grades of B- or better) in the language in question (that is, two advanced courses beyond the 2302 or 5342 sequences or their equivalents).

Dissertation (12 hours minimum)

Dissertations may be written in North American, European, or World history. Projects in other areas require the specific approval of the department's Graduate Studies Committee. Once a student enrolls in Dissertation hours, they must continue to enroll in at least one dissertation hour every semester and summer until graduation.