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Ph.D. Program in History

At NDSU, Ph.D. graduate students have the opportunity to participate in the academic life of the Department as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, which provides training in college teaching and professional development for graduate students who are pursing both academic and nonacademic positions. 

The History PhD Program at NDSU is operated jointly with the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, 70 miles north of Fargo.  While the bulk of a PhD student’s coursework is undertaken at the institution in which they first enroll, the relationship between the two schools provides significant benefits to students, in particular by increasing the areas of scholarly expertise accessible to them. 

For further information, including the requirements for the PhD program, please consult the NDSU History Graduate Student Manual

 

For more information on this program, please contact

NDSU at Fargo, ND:

 

Dr. Tracy Barret

Dr. John Cox

(701) 231-7666

(701) 231-7709

Tracy.Barrett@ndsu.edu

John.Cox.1@ndsu.edu

OR

UND at Grand Forks, ND:

 

Kimberly K. Porter, Ph.D.

701.777.6230

 

kimberly_porter@und.edu

NDSU Graduate School 

UND Graduate School

Admission Guidelines

  • Preference for admission into the Ph.D. program with full graduate standing will be given to applicants who have a GPA of at least 3.5 in history courses in an earned bachelor's or master's degree.
  • Applicants shall complete an application for admission to the Graduate School of the university of their choice.
  • Applicants shall submit a statement of intent clearly outlining the applicant's research interests, career goals, and purpose for seeking a Ph.D. in History.
  • Applicants shall submit a substantial paper submitted for a class in History to provide evidence of ability to research thoroughly, interpret and analyze primary and secondary sources, synthesize information, organize thoughts logically, and communicate clearly and effectively.
  • Applicants shall submit three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to report on the applicant's suitability to successfully complete the Ph.D. program..
  • Applicants shall submit their scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Preference for admission into the Ph.D. program with full graduate standing will be given to applicants who score a combined total of 1000 points on the verbal and analytical sections of the GRE aptitude test.
  • The program requires students for whom English is not a native language to have a minimum TOEFL score of 600.

 

Degree Requirements

  • Students must satisfactorily complete 90 credits beyond the bachelor's degree.  Students entering with an M.A. degree must complete at least 60 additional semester graduate credits.  Core course requirements must be met including Methods of Historical Research, Historiography, Seminar in the Teaching of History, at least 2 research seminars, and at least 2 readings courses.  Students must complete 36 course credits with at least 27 credits in History courses.    Students will earn 12 credits in one major field.  Students will earn at least 9 credits in each of two minor fields.
  • Students must have a proficiency in two languages other than their native language, or one foreign language and one special research skill such as statistics or computer science.
  • The program will require at least one academic year in residence at either campus.  Students will register at one of the universities that will be the student's academic "home."  The student's adviser must be employed in the home university.  At least one member of the student's committee must be employed at the other (not home) university. Students will have to take courses at both universities.
  • The student will write three comprehensive examinations in their major and minor fields.  The exams will be read and graded by the supervisory committee.  Students will complete an oral examination based on the written exams.  The oral examination is to be conducted by the supervisory committee.
  • Students will write a dissertation (up to 24 credits) on an approved topic in consultation with the faculty adviser and the supervisory committee of five faculty.  The dissertation must be based on extensive research in primary and secondary sources, must argue an original thesis, and must be defended before the supervisory committee.
  • The committee will be composed of the faculty adviser who represents the student's field of study and will direct the research and writing of the dissertation.  A second member of the committee (second reader) represents the student's major field of study.  A third member of the committee will represent the student's minor field of study.  The fourth member of the committee represents either the student's major field or minor field.  At least one of the four History faculty must be from the cooperating (non-home) university.  The Graduate School will appoint the fifth member of the committee.

Residency Requirements

  • Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program are required to complete at least one academic year (18 credits minimum) in residence at one campus.
  • Resident students may qualify for teaching assistantships.  Students who have completed a M.A. degree may be assigned full responsibility for undergraduate courses or may be assigned to assist a faculty member in teaching courses.
  • Students will be required to take some courses from faculty at both campuses, but will register at only one university.  Some courses will be offered by interactive video network, some will be offered through internet on-line systems, some courses will require students to travel to the other campus.
  • Students not residing on one of the cooperating campuses, will have to have access to a satisfactory research library for various courses and for dissertation research.

 

Faculty

North Dakota State University
(for more information on NDSU faculty click here)

John K. Cox, Ph.D., (Department Head) Indiana University, 1995

    Modern Russia, Late Ottoman Empire, Holocaust, Modern Political Ideology   

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

Tracy Barrett, Ph.D., Cornell, 2007

   Southeast Asia, China

        Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

Mark Harvey, Ph.D., University of Wyoming, 1986
    American West, Environmental History, Public History

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

John Helgeland, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1973
    The Early Christian Church in Roman Empire, History of Christianity, History of Culture, Philosophy of History

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

Tom Isern, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, 1977
    History and Folklore of the North American Plains, History of Agriculture

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

Ineke Justitz, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1996
    Early Modern Germany, Social and Cultural History of the Reformation

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

Angela J. Smith, Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University, 2011 
    Public History, Digital History, and 20th Century American History

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

Adjunct Faculty 

Michael J. Robinson, MSLS, Long Island University, 1994
    Archivist, Institute for Regional Studies & University Archives

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of UND

University of North Dakota

Albert I. Berger, Ph.D., University of Northern Illinois, 1978
    U.S. Since 1945; Military; U.S. Economic and Business History

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

Eric Burin, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1998
    African-American; U.S. South; Early National Period; Civil War and                Reconstruction

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

Barbara Handy-Marchello, Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1996
    American Women's History; American West; Great Plains

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

Gordon L. Iseminger, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 1965
    Modern Europe; Victorian England

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

Anne Kelsch, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1993
    European Women's History; Social; Modern Britain

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

James D. Mochoruk, (Chair) Ph.D., University of Manitoba, 1992
    Modern Canada;Canadian Social and Labor History; British Empire and Commonwealth; Historiography

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

Kimberly K. Porter, Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1995
    U.S. since 1877; North Dakota; Agriculture; Public History; Oral History

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

Ty M. Reese, Ph.D., University of Toledo, 1999
    Atlantic World; Colonial America; Slave Trade; Comparative History

     Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU

Adjunct Faculty
Sandra Slater, Archivist, Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, UND
        Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of NDSU    
   

Major Fields

Students will be required to write three comprehensive exams in their major and minor (or outside) fields.  The exams will be read and graded by the student's supervisory committee.  Students will complete an oral examination based on the written exams.  The oral examination is to be conducted by the supervisory committee.

Major Fields:
    Great Plains History
    Rural History
    North American History
    Western European History

    Southeast Asia & China

Minor Fields:
    Public History
    World History
 
 

Assistantships

Students may apply for assistantships (based on availability) at the campus of their residency during their period of residency.  Students will be limited to three years (6 semesters of assistantships).

 

Policy and Procedures Manual

 

North Dakota State University-University of North Dakota History Ph.D.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Joint Graduate Program of the History Departments of the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University shall be

  • to promote the study of history at the most advanced level
  • to graduate students with a Ph.D. who are qualified to teach and conduct research in history
  • to encourage interpretation of history in various public venues
  • to educate students in the fields of North American, European, and World histories
  • to serve the Northern Great Plains as a center for the study of regional and local history

To achieve these goals we will jointly administer a program of study leading to the Ph.D. degree which includes as its foundations the study of historical research and writing, the study of historiography and theory, the study of historical pedagogy, and the study of public history.

Ph.D. Joint Executive Committee

Each department shall choose, according to the department by-laws, two members to serve on the Ph.D. Joint Executive Committee for two-year terms.   The members of the committee shall elect the co-chairs of the committee, one from each institution, for a one-year term.   The committee shall include the chairs of the two departments as ex-officio members unless the chairs are chosen to serve on the committee. The committee shall meet as necessary. The committee has the authority to determine policy and procedures for the Ph.D. program in consultation with the faculties of the two departments and consistent with policies of the two universities. The committee has the responsibility to communicate to the departments all decisions, to oversee the practices of the program, and to resolve concerns and conflicts within the framework of the purpose and mission of this program.

Joint Admissions Committee

Each department shall choose two representatives, according to the department by-laws, to serve on the Joint Admissions Committee (JAC).   No more than one person from each department may also be a member of the Ph.D. Joint Executive Committee.   The JAC will meet at least twice each year; once each semester to evaluate candidates' application materials and to select those candidates to be admitted to the Ph.D. program.   The JAC must meet within three weeks after the application deadline for each semester. Three of the four members of the JAC must vote to approve each candidate for admission.   A majority of the JAC will also recommend an appropriate admission status for each student (NDSU--full, conditional, unclassified, provisional) (UND--approved, qualified, provisional, non-degree, deferred admission).   In their deliberations the JAC should consult with the faculty member whose fields include a student's research interest.

Admissions Procedures

Students will apply for admission to the Graduate School at the university of their choice. The Graduate Schools will establish procedures to facilitate transfer between the two campuses.

Students seeking admission for the fall semester must submit a complete application by February 10.   Students will be notified of their admission status by March15 and must respond by April 1.   Students seeking admission for the spring semester must submit their complete application by September 15.   They will be notified by October 20 of their admission status and must respond by November 10.   The department to which a student applies is responsible for sending copies of the application material to all members of the JAC at least five days prior to their meeting.

Admission Guidelines

  1. Preference for admission into the Ph.D. program with full graduate standing will be given to applicants who have a GPA of at least 3.5 in history courses in an earned bachelor's or master's degree.
  2. Applicants shall complete an application for admission to the Graduate School of the university of their choice.
  3. Applicants shall submit a statement of intent clearly outlining the applicant's research interests, career goals, and purpose for seeking a Ph.D. in History.
  4. Applicants shall submit a substantial paper submitted for a class in History to provide evidence of ability to research thoroughly, interpret and analyze primary and secondary sources, synthesize information, organize thoughts logically, and communicate clearly and effectively.
  5. Applicants shall submit three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to report on the applicant's suitability to successfully complete the Ph.D. program.   
  6. Applicants shall submit their scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Preference for admission into the Ph.D. program with full graduate standing will be given to applicants who score a combined total of 1000 points on the verbal and analytical sections of the GRE aptitude test.  
  7. The program requires students for whom English is not a native language to have a minimum TOEFL score of 600.

Residence Requirements

The purpose of residence is to provide an opportunity for sustained and concentrated intellectual effort, to provide for immersion in a research environment, and to permit extensive interaction with fellow students and faculty.   Therefore, graduates in the History Ph.D. program are required to be in residence (physically attending graduate classes) at their home campus for at least one year.   This requirement may be fulfilled either by being in residence two consecutive regular semesters or three summer semesters during which time the student must complete a total of at least nine credit hours each term of the regular semesters or six credit hours during each summer semester.

Language Requirements

Students in the Ph.D. program are to exhibit proficiency in either two foreign languages or one foreign language and a research tool (Statistics, Computer Science, Accounting Methods for Non-profit Corporations, etc.).   The choice of languages and/or a research tool will be determined by his/her major advisor and the Student's Graduate Committee (SGC).   The major advisor and the SGC may require a student to exhibit proficiency in more than two languages and/or more than one research tool.

Language proficiency is determined by the completion of either two years of foreign language college course instruction (the equivalent of second-year proficiency at NDSU, Level IV proficiency at UND) with a minimum 3.0 grade point average in those courses or successful completion of a written translation test administered by faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages at either institution.

Assistantships

Graduate students enrolled in the Ph.D. program will be eligible to apply for assistantships during their year/s of residence.   (Most assistantships are not available during summer sessions.)   Assistantships may be one-quarter time or one-half time according to the department's needs, the student's preparation and background, and the availability of assistantship funding.

The duties required of students on assistantships are limited to

  • assisting professors with classroom duties including teaching, proctoring tests, taking notes, leading discussion, and other in-class activities; leading review sessions, meeting with students during office hours, grading tests/papers, recording grades, and other out-of-class activities
  • teaching a lower division course under the supervision of a faculty member
  • teaching an upper division course with or without faculty supervision
  • conducting research at the direction of a faculty member
  • other professional activities

Note: Faculty may not ask students on assistantships to run personal errands, provide child care, or other personal favors without offering appropriate cash compensation for the teaching assistant's time and effort.

Graduate student assistantships will be limited to a maximum of six semesters beyond the thirty-credit hours level.

Each department will make its own decisions on teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and teaching fellowships.

Fields of Study

Students in the Ph.D. program will undertake study in three fields: one major field and two minor fields.   Students will successfully complete at least twelve credit hours in their major field and at least nine credit hours in each minor field.   Total course credits successfully completed will be at least thirty beyond the Master of Arts (sixty course credits beyond a baccalaureate).

Major field options are Rural History, Great Plains (U.S.) History, North American History (Canada, Mexico, U.S.), and Western European History. Within these major fields, students may concentrate more specifically as to topic ( examples: social, cultural, political, economic, etc.) and/or period (eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, post-WWII, etc.).   The intention is to provide a student, with agreement from his/her major advisor, as much flexibility as possible.

One minor field will also be in history and may be selected from the major field categories (see above paragraph) or from either World History or Public History.

The second minor field may be selected from the major and minor history field categories stipulated above, or from either a related non-history field (examples: anthropology, economics, political science, etc.) or may be a constructed field approved by petition to the student's graduate committee.

Masters of Art Degree for Ph.D. Students

Students without a Masters of Art (M.A.) degree in History who are enrolled in the Ph.D. program will have the opportunity to earn the M.A. degree.   The criteria for a M.A. degree will conform to the criteria established by their home institution.   (See current North Dakota State University Graduate Bulletin and University of North Dakota Graduate and Undergraduate Academic Catalog ).

The Student's Graduate Committee

The Student's Graduate Committee (SGC) is responsible for guiding and evaluating a student's progress in the Ph.D. program through the completion of the comprehensive examinations.   The SGC will be composed of five faculty members (at NDSU a minimum of four faculty members) , at least one of whom will be from the student's non-home campus.   The SGC will consist of the student's major advisor, who will serve as the chairperson of that SGC, another faculty from his/her major field, two faculty members from the first history minor field, and one faculty member from the second minor field.  In special circumstances and with approval from the Ph.D. Joint Executive Committee, a faculty member may serve on two fields.

In addition to guiding and evaluating the Ph.D. student, the SGC will administer and grade the student's comprehensive written and oral examinations.

Some members of the SGC will later serve on the student's Dissertation Committee.

Comprehensive Examinations (Written and Oral)

Comprehensive examinations will be conducted only in November and April of the academic year.   They should be administered during the semester after a student has completed his/her course work. The student's major advisor and SGC may agree to offer comprehensive examinations during the summer if so requested by the graduate student.

The student will take written exams in the major field and each minor field.   All of these written exams must be completed within a fourteen day period.   The protocol for the written exams (site of exams, number of questions, daily time limits, etc.) will be established by the SGC.   The duration, location, and mode of writing the comprehensive examinations will conform to reasonably accepted professional standards.   The SGC member who writes a question/s, however, will be solely responsible for grading that question.

An oral examination in the major field and two minor fields must be administered within seven days after all the written exams are completed, providing the student has passed the written exams.

Note: Because of the time constraints of these exams, major advisors should ensure that students schedule these exams with their SGC members well in advance.

Students who fail the written comprehensive exams in all or some of their fields may retake the portions failed during the next examination period.   Students may retake failed examinations only once.   Oral examinations may only be taken once the written examinations have been successfully completed.

Advancement to Candidacy

Graduate students are eligible to be advanced to candidacy of the Ph.D. when they have successfully completed the following steps:

  • Successfully completed all course work requirements
  • Fulfilled the residency requirement
  • Fulfilled the language requirement
  • Passed all of their written and oral examinations
  • Received approval of their Ph.D. dissertation proposal by the dissertation committee

Ph. D. Dissertation Proposal

The Ph. D. dissertation proposal is a graduate student's overview of what they intend to accomplish in their dissertation.   While the format of the dissertation proposal is decided in consultation with the student's major advisor, the document usually includes a review of the literature pertaining to the study, the proposed thesis, and a survey of the primary sources known to be available to the student.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee will include five members of the graduate faculty.   Some members of the dissertation committee will likely have previously served on the SGC. Three members will be determined through consultations between the major advisor and the graduate student.   In addition, at least one member of the committee must be from the other university, i.e., an NDSU student must have at least one faculty member from UND's graduate history faculty and vice versa.   The fifth member of the dissertation committee is appointed by the Graduate School of the student's home institution.   The major advisor will serve as chairperson of the dissertation committee.

The Dissertation

An acceptable Ph.D. dissertation must:

  • Be a work of original research and scholarship that makes a contribution to existing historical knowledge.
  • Demonstrate the Ph.D. candidate's mastery of the appropriate research methods.
  • Demonstrate the Ph.D. candidate's ability to identify a significant intellectual problem/s and arrive at acceptable solution/s or conclusion/s.

Ph.D. candidates will submit to an oral examination in defense of their dissertation before the entire dissertation committee when the student and the major advisor agree the dissertation is ready.

The dissertation committee may decide one of three outcomes from the dissertation defense:

  • Accept the dissertation as successfully completed.
  • Accept the dissertation conditionally with revisions. The major advisor will oversee the successful implementation of these revisions.
  • Reject the dissertation.

If the dissertation committee rejects the dissertation, the Ph.D. candidate will have one additional opportunity to submit an acceptable dissertation.

In addition, the dissertation must comply with all of the requirements established by the Ph.D. candidate's home university. (See North Dakota State University Graduate Bulletin and University of North Dakota Graduate and Undergraduate Academic Catalog ).

Time Limits on Ph.D. Students in the Program

The length of time a student may have to successfully complete this program must conform to the Graduate School policy of the student's home university. (See North Dakota State University Graduate Bulletin and University of North Dakota Graduate and Undergraduate Academic Catalog ).

Faculty-Student Relationships

Because of the special nature, rigor, and pressure often associated with the pursuit of a Ph. D. degree, it is incumbent that faculty-student relationships always be beyond criticism, concern, and reproach.   With this in mind, the following rules will govern faculty-student relationships in the NDSU-UND Ph.D. program:

  1. Graduate faculty and graduate students will adhere to their respective institution's policies concerning sexual harassment and conflict of interest. (See North Dakota State University   Policy Manual and University of North Dakota Policy and Regulations ).
  2. In the case of family relations, by blood or marriage (defined as parent, child, brother, sister, spouse, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, in-law, step-parent, step-child), graduate faculty members will not serve as major advisors, student graduate committee members, dissertation committee members, assistantship supervisors, or course instructors to an individual that is a family relation.
  3. In the case of consenting intimate relationships, graduate faculty members will not serve as major advisors, student graduate committee members, dissertation committee members, assistantship supervisors, or course instructors to an individual with whom they are engaged in a consenting intimate relationship.

Graduate Student Academic Grievance Policy

Graduate student academic grievances are complaints, resentments, and/or accusations lodged about an academic circumstance which is thought by the graduate student to be unfair, punitive, and/or harmful to the student.   Resolution of these grievances should be achieved if possible in discussions between the graduate student and the party against whom the accusation is aimed.   If resolution is not possible or is unachievable through discussion at that level, the graduate student may pursue resolution of the matter by filing a grievance with the Ph.D. Joint Executive Committee. The Ph.D. Joint Executive Committee will attempt to find resolution in the matter within fourteen days of receiving the grievance.   If the student is not satisfied with the Ph.D. Joint Executive Committee's resolution of the grievance, the graduate student may seek further resolution consistent with the policies and procedures in place at his/her home institution. (See North Dakota State University Graduate Bulletin and University of North Dakota Graduate and Undergraduate Academic Catalog ).

Policy and Procedure Manual Review

Policy and procedures of the Ph. D. program will be reviewed every two years beginning in 2005.

 



Libraries

The combined NDSU/UND libraries contain over 2 million volumes.  In addition, each university library houses an archives of historic materials which have supported the research of many members of these faculties as well as visiting scholars.

The catalog of the Libraries at North Dakota State University are available on line along with the catalog of the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies.

The North Dakota State University Library also houses the Germans From Russia Heritage Collection.

The catalogs of the Chester Fritz Library and the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections at the University of North Dakota are available on-line.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Saturday, September 28, 2013 3:16:03 PM