This department supervises the following degree programs:
The Department of History also participates in a minor in women's studies; various Honors College programs; and Arts and Sciences minors in Asian studies, community and urban studies, environmental studies, ethnic studies, European studies, family life studies, global studies, medieval and renaissance studies, and religion studies.
The broad liberal arts foundation available through a major in history can cultivate those mental skills – particularly critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills – required for meaningful employment in many areas of the modern economic system. Studying history can also deepen students' understanding of the complex world in which they live and stimulate intellectual attitudes conducive to effective participation in contemporary society. A history student may consider a career in teaching within colleges, universities, or public or private schools; in various branches of municipal, state, or federal government; in park administration; in regional and local historical societies; in archives and records management; in museums; and in many areas of business and industry generally. Many students also use their undergraduate major in history as a preparation for advanced studies in such areas as law, medicine, and theology.
The Department of History at Texas Tech University boasts an outstanding and diverse faculty with expertise in a wide range of specializations. The department is particularly strong in the areas of international politics and political culture and United States history with an emphasis on the U.S. in a global context. It is also strong in Texas history, the history of the American west and southwest, and borderlands history; modern and early modern European history; and world history. The department maintains thematic strengths in the history of race, imperialism, and national identity; foreign relations, war and society/military history; gender and sexuality; memory, commemoration, and political culture; environmental history; business history; the history of technology; and religious history.
Bachelor of Arts in History. Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts in History will complete 36 hours of HIST courses, in accordance with the following:
Minor in History. Students seeking a minor in history will complete 18 hours of HIST courses, in accordance with the following:
Minor in Military History.Students seeking a minor in military history will complete 18 hours of HIST courses, in accordance with the following:
Other courses may be substituted with prior departmental consent.
Note: All courses numbered at the 3000 and 4000 levels are upper-division (or "advanced") courses. All courses at the 4000 level are "writing intensive" and require junior standing or consent of the instructor. A student must receive at least a C in any HIST course if it is to count toward the major or minor.
Teacher Certification Track in Social Studies. The Department of History cooperates with the College of Education in offering a preparatory track for teacher certification in social studies for grades 7-12. This certification track is designed to prepare students for a teaching career in public education and to successfully pass the TExES teacher certification examination in social studies as administered by the Texas Education Agency. Students wishing to teach social studies for grades 7-12 should major in history while minoring in secondary education and should complete their certification through the Texas Tech University College of Education's TechTeach program.
In order to fully understand the teacher certification process, students are strongly encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor in the Department of History and an advisor in the College of Education to learn more about teacher certification programs in the State of Texas and the requirements related to those programs.
Students wishing to teach social studies for grades 7-12 who are pursuing their certification through TechTeach should complete the following coursework, which fully incorporates all requirements necessary for a Bachelor of Arts in History:
Information about departmental admission standards, prerequisites, and other matters dealing with graduate study in history may be acquired by writing the graduate advisor or the chairperson of the department or by consulting the departmental website.
Students can pursue a Master of Arts in History by choosing either the Academic Preparatory Track or the Terminal Master of Arts Track.
A student in this plan must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the Master of Arts degree. A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the Department of History. This includes 12 hours taken at the 5000 level in a geographic area of concentration (U.S., Europe, or World) and 12 hours of electives. Of the electives, 6 hours must be chosen from geographic areas outside of the student's geographic area of concentration. Students also must take a minimum of 6 hours of electives at the 5000 level and may take no more than 6 hours at the 7000 level. Students also must complete HIST 5304 and 6301 during the first semester the courses are offered after the student's admission to the program. HIST 5304 and 6301 also must be taken before completing 6 hours of HIST 6000. Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the graduate advisor and their thesis director.
The 36 hours are distributed as follows:
Foreign Language Requirement. Proficiency in one language other than English is required of all candidates for the Master of Arts degree. "Proficiency" in a language is defined according to the following parameters:
Thesis. Thesis work is directed by a committee consisting of at least two members of the history graduate faculty. Frequently a third member, who may be a scholar with relevant expertise from the history department, another department, or even from another university, is added if the thesis director, student, and graduate advisor conclude that the nature of the thesis topic warrants it. Students may select any member of the history graduate faculty as the director of their theses. Usually a student, with the approval of the thesis director, chooses the other committee members. A degree plan that includes a listing of committee members must be filed with the graduate advisor by the end of the student's second semester of graduate coursework. The completed thesis should demonstrate the student's competence to research an historical problem, to organize a rather sizable mass of information, and to present the findings on the topic selected in a clear and accurate form.
Thesis Defense. After the thesis has been approved by a committee, students are required to pass an
oral defense of the thesis. The committee chairperson must file a written report of
the outcome of the defense with the graduate dean and the graduate advisor.
This plan is designed to assist students for whom a two-year graduate degree would provide career advancement in a chosen or desired field other than that for which a history Ph.D. is required. The focus of the terminal M.A. is on providing a platform for developing critical analytical skills (reading, written, and oral) within an historical framework. The program provides intense study of up to three interrelated geographic, temporal, and /or thematic fields. The terminal M.A. concludes with the presentation of a portfolio. It does not end in the completion of a thesis-length work. For this reason, the terminal M.A. track is not intended for a student whose interests are oriented toward undertaking Ph.D. work in history.
Some of the careers for which obtaining a terminal M.A. in History may be an asset include the following: education (K-12 or community college), library studies, non-governmental agencies, social work, journalism, campaign management, genealogist, archivist/archival administration, public historian, corporate management, community organizer, counseling, public affairs, political activism, and entertainment industry historical consultant.
Course Requirements. A student in this plan must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the terminal Master of Arts degree. A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the Department of History and at least 3 hours must be taken at the 6000 level. No more than 6 hours may be taken at the 7000 level. Students must complete HIST 5304 and select at least two and no more than three focused areas (either geographic and/or from the thematic fields list produced by the department). For each focus area, students are required to complete a minimum of 9 hours. The remaining 6 hours toward the degree can be used either to intensify work in an already selected focus area or pursue an appropriate minor in another department. Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the graduate advisor and their committee chair. The student is to select a committee chair by the second semester of coursework and, in conjunction with the chair, select one department faculty member for each focus area chosen.
The 36 hours are distributed as follows:
At least 3 hours must be at the 6000 level)
No language is required for the Terminal Master of Arts option.
If students choose three areas of concentration, they will take 9 hours in each. If they choose two, they will divide those hours into a configuration of 12 and 15.
Professional Enrichment Portfolio. At the end of 36 hours, students will be expected to produce a portfolio detailing their scholarly achievements and corresponding professional implications. The portfolio will contain sample representative work from all courses, including a copy of the major writing assignment completed in each course; an updated copy of the CV; and copies of any articles, publications, or other projects completed in conjunction with, or developing out of, the undertaken studies. Finally, students will write an 8- to 10-page intellectual biography explaining the connections between chosen coursework, skills developed, and other aspects taken from the studies that have helped them in a professional capacity. This portfolio will be distributed to the student's portfolio review committee at least one month before the intended graduation date as outlined in the course catalog.
Portfolio Defense. After the Professional Enrichment Portfolio has been approved by the committee, students
are required to pass an oral examination emphasizing the general area of their coursework
and portfolio. The committee chairperson must file a written report of the outcome
of the examination with the graduate dean and the graduate advisor.
The Doctor of Philosophy in History requires 60 hours beyond the bachelor's degree and 12 hours of dissertation credit, 30 of which 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 program. Doctoral students must choose three fields of study for their programs organized according to the requirements mentioned below.
Geographic Major Field (30 hours). Upon entering the program, all doctoral students must first declare their geographic major field from among the following three fields:
Non-Major Geographic Field (9 hours). Students must select one non-major geographic field (one of the two geographies not selected for the major field).
One Thematic Field (9 hours). Students must select one thematic field from the following list (or petition the Graduate Studies Committee for approval of a thematic field not appearing on the list) and complete 9 hours of coursework in that thematic field. Thematic fields must include coursework that examines the particular historical theme across different geographies. Students are required to select for the thematic field a committee member who does not represent either of their geographic fields. Possible thematic fields include the following:
Other Course Requirements (12 hours):
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 (see "Foreign Language Requirement" under M.A. degree requirements). 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 candidate's exam committee in the candidates formal degree plan. The language proficiencies specified therein will reflect the judgment of the graduate director, the faculty advisor, and the examination committee about the linguistic competencies the candidate will need to successfully complete dissertation research in the proposed area(s) of specialization. "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 students enroll in dissertation hours, they must continue to enroll in at least 1 hour every semester and summer until graduation.
Sean P. Cunningham, Ph.D., Chairperson
Professors: Bell, D'Amico, Howe, Iber, McBee
Associate Professors: Adams, Barenberg, Bjerk, Calkins, Cunningham, Forsythe, Hahn, Hart, Hill, Levario, Milam, Mosher, Pelley, Stoll, Swingen, Willet, Wong
Assistant Professors: Baum, Brittsan, Franklin, Johnson, Keyes, Legacey, Scharfe, Skidmore, Walker