The key objective of the doctoral degree program in History at Rutgers—New Brunswick is to impart rigorous training for innovative research, publication in professional forums, and teaching at the college level. The program is designed for full-time students who ideally will complete the cycle of course work, qualifying examinations, and doctoral dissertation in five years of uninterrupted study. To facilitate this timetable, the department admits annually a select number of full-time students with typical packages of five years of financial support. The department will also consider applications from students wishing to study on a part-time basis. A limited number of students may be admitted without fellowship support; depending on their performance, they may become eligible for financial aid in subsequent years.
Admitted students funding packages' usually include two years of fellowship, two of TA-ship, and a fifth year either of fellowship or TA-ship, depending on students' needs. It goes without saying, finally, that the benefits and services of our program are available to students without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or handicap, marital status, or veteran status. See the program's Learning Goals and Assessment.
- New Brunswick Graduate School Ph.D. Requirements and Stage Definition
- The History Department's Doctoral Program Basic Requirements
- General Expectations For Timely Progress to the Ph.D.
- Timetable For Students Entering With the B.A.
- Timetable For Students Entering With Prior Graduate Work
- Graduate Courses in History
- Departmentally Defined Areas and General Major Field Requirements
- Major Fields With Further Specified Requirements:
- American History
- Early American History African-American History
- European History (Early Modern & Modern)
- History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health
- Latin American History
- Asian and Middle Eastern History
- Women's and Gender History
- History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora
- Departmentally Defined Minors and General Minor Field Requirements
- Minor Fields With Further Specified Requirements:
- American History
- African-American History
- Comparative and Global History
- History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health
- Women's and Gender History
- Latin American History
- Asian and Middle Eastern History
- History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora
- Minor Field Options for Early Americanists and Europeanists
- For Students Majoring In American History
- For Students Majoring In Early Modern / Modern European History
- For Students Majoring In Medieval History
- For Students Majoring In Women's and Gender History
- For Students Majoring In Other Fields
- Assistance for Students in Completing Language Requirements
- Faculty Advisors and Dissertation Committees
- Peer Advisors
- Examinations Administered in the History Graduate Program
- General Procedure and Calendar for Exams
- Minor Field Exams
- Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage I (Field Exam)
- Fields with Specific Requirements for Major Field: Stage I and Minor Field Exams
- Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage II (Proposal Defense)
- The Doctoral Dissertation
- Course Requirements
- Thesis or Examination Requirements
- Fellowships and Teaching- and Graduate-Assistantships
- Criteria for Renewal of Funding
- Extra-Departmental Dissertation Research Fellowships
- Departmentally Awarded Travel and Research Grants
- Graduate School Travel and Research Grants
- Registration Options
- Full Time Status and Registration Requirements
- Transfer of Previous Graduate Work and Adjustments
- Changes in Program Requirements
- Rutgers-Princeton Exchange Program
- Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
- Pass/Fail, Audit, and other No-Credit Courses
I. A. New Brunswick Graduate School Ph.D. Requirements and Stage Definitions
To obtain the Doctor of Philosophy degree, the Graduate School-New Brunswick has generally mandated a minimum of three years of full-time study, entailing two years of course work (48 credits), and one year of research (24 credits), culminating with a dissertation. Most students, however, require more than three years to fulfill course and dissertation requirements.
The Graduate School defines the stages leading to the Ph.D. in these terms:
- The Preliminary General Phase—the two- (or more) year period when the student pursues required course work, and then takes qualifying examinations. In the history department, this is a three-part series of examinations. After passing exams, the student is admitted to candidacy for the doctorate, and has the status of doctoral candidate (or, more colloquially, "ABD": All But Dissertation).
- The Later Special Phase—the year (or more) during which the student researches and writes a dissertation, which is defended in a final examination.
I. B. The History Department's Doctoral Program Basic Requirements
Regardless of field or area specializations, all history doctoral students are required to fulfill the following requirements, within the framework of the Graduate School's basic requirements.
Pre-Examination Course Work. During the Preliminary General Phase, all history doctoral students must minimally attain the forty-eight credits in course work [sixteen courses] mandated by the Graduate School. In the history doctoral program, this general requirement is refined as follows:
- Thirty-nine of the forty-eight credits [twelve courses] must consist of carefully directed work—i.e. courses in the category of readings, colloquia, seminars, supervised independent study (510:678-79 ‘Advanced Topics In History’), and, in exceptional circumstances, approved upper-division undergraduate courses. Of these twelve core courses, four to five are in a Major Field, and two to three are in a Minor Field. At least two of these courses (six credits) must be research seminars.
- The remaining nine credits [three courses] may be attained through exam prep study and research (for which there are no formal classroom requirements) by enrollment in 510:680 Minor Field Prep., 510:681 Major Field Prep. and 510:682 Dissertation Prep.
- No more than two courses with grades of "C" or "C+" may be used to meet the pre-examination course work requirement.
- Students entering with an M.A. may, with appropriate approvals, transfer up to twenty-four credits of prior graduate work to their Rutgers-New Brunswick doctoral program. The Graduate Vice-Chair will determine which program course requirements will be satisfied by transferred credits.
The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. After completing the course work and passing the necessary language exams (as stipulated by fields), the student proceeds to the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. In the history program, this represents a three-step process:
- the Minor Field Exam
- the Major Field Exam: Stage I (Field Exam)
- the Major Field Exam: Stage II (Dissertation Proposal Defense)
The character of these exams is outlined below. After passing all three examinations, the student is then admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
The Dissertation. During the next period of graduate work—the period the Graduate Catalog terms the "Later Special Phase"—students research, write, and defend their doctoral dissertations. Throughout these semesters, they enroll in the course 510:701-702 ‘Research in History’, for a total accumulation of twenty-four credits.
II. A. General Expectations For Timely Progress to the Ph.D.
The program expects that all students will complete the pre-examination course work during their first and second years of study, though supplementary course work may extend into the third year.
Students entering with a B.A. are expected to take their written exams (Minor Field Exam and Major Field Exam: Stage I) in the Spring semester of their second year and the Fall semester of their third year. Students are given some flexibility in deciding the sequence of examinations. Students are expected to have completed their Major Field Exam: Stage II ("Dissertation Proposal Defense") by early in their fourth year at the latest. Students entering with relevant prior graduate work will adjust their timetables, in consultation with the Graduate Vice-Chair, according to the number of credits transferable from their previous program(s). The regulations concerning transfer of credits are outlined below.
II. B. Timetable For Students Entering With the B.A.
For students entering the program with no prior graduate study, a model five-year course of study would be as follows:
Year 1: Course Work (21 credits)
- 6 Courses (18 credits)
- 2 semester sequence (1.5 credits) Introductory course (510:500, 502) (3 credits)
Year 2: Course Work (24-27 credits)
- 6 Courses (18 credits)
- 2-3 Preparation courses (510:680, 681, 682) (6-9 credits)
- Minor Field Exam, or Major Field Exam: Stage I at the end of Spring Semester
- Major Field Exam: Stage I, or Minor Field Exam in October
- Begin dissertation proposal
- Major Field Exam: Stage II (dissertation proposal defense) in first semester (at the latest)
- Dissertation research and writing.
- Dissertation writing and defense.
II. C. Timetable For Students Entering With Prior Graduate Work
Students entering with prior relevant graduate work will adjust their timetables according to the number of credits transferable from their previous program(s). In the event the maximum allowable number of credits transfer—i.e., twenty-four—a model four-year course of study would be as follows:
Year 1: Course Work (21 credits)
- 6 Courses (18 credits)
- 2 semester sequence (1.5 credits) Introductory course (510:500, 502) (3 credits)
- At end of Year 1, transfer 24 credits.
- 1-3 Preparation courses (510:680, 681, 682) (3-9 credits)
- Fall Semester: complete any outstanding course work required for Rutgers Major and Minor Fields, and prepare for the Qualifying Examination.
- Spring Semester: Minor Exam and Major Field Exam-Stage I.
- Fall Semester: Major Field Exam: Stage II (dissertation proposal defense);
- Spring Semester: dissertation research and writing.
- Dissertation writing and defense.
II. D. Graduate Courses in History
The following kinds of courses are the chief vehicles of graduate training in the History Department:
- Introductory Surveys or Readings. These courses are generally arranged in chronological sequence and are intended to provide the substantive core of a student's preparation in the Major Field. They acquaint the student with the classic literature of the area, survey the most significant new work, and in some fields (notably American history) provide a foundation for independent study for the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. There are three introductory surveys in American History, and three in European History (Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern European History).
- Colloquia. These typically are collective discussions around readings on a defined theme (e.g., topical or methodological). They provide an opportunity for wide-ranging reading, combined with critical oral discourse.
- Seminars, often termed "Research Seminars". The purpose of seminars is to instruct students in the processes of formulating research projects, conducting innovative research in primary sources, writing and revising papers of publishable quality, and (in some areas) formulating a dissertation proposal. Students customarily take two research seminars (of one or two semesters each) related to their major and minor fields. Students who enter the program with an M.A. often take only one seminar (either one- or two-semester) at Rutgers.
- Advanced Topics. These are individualized readings and discussion courses, approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, and by the responsible faculty advisor.
- Undergraduate Courses. With the approval of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, graduate students may register for upper-division undergraduate courses (300- or 400-level). No more than six of such approved credits (i.e. two courses) may be used to fulfill requirements for the Ph.D., or, in exceptional circumstances, the terminal M.A.
III. A. Departmentally Defined Areas and General Major Field Requirements
After consultation with his or her advisor and the Graduate Vice-Chair, the student selects one of the following departmentally defined areas as a Major Field of study:
- American History
- Early American History, with these optional secondary emphases:
- Modern America
- African-American History
- Early Modern Europe
- Ancient History (to the death of Constantine I)
- Medieval History, with these optional major emphases:
- Western Europe
- Southeastern Europe (the "Balkans") and Byzantium
- Early Turkic and Ottoman History (to 1481, the death of Mehemmed II)
- Early Modern European History
- Modern European History
- History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health
- Women's and Gender History
- History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora
- Latin American History
- Asian and Middle Eastern History
- African History
For doctoral students in all fields, the general course of study consists of four or five reading courses in the Major Field, combined with two semesters of seminar work. The fields of American History, Early American History, Early Modern and Modern European History, History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health, History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora, and Women's and Gender History have adopted more specific requirements outlined below. For requirements in other Major Fields, which are frequently tailored to individual interests, the student should consult with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education and with relevant field faculty.
III. B. Major Fields With Further Specified Requirements
III. B. (1) American History
Six total course requirements:
- Two readings courses (chosen among four: Readings in US history, I, II, III, and Readings in African American History)
- Two colloquia
- Two research seminars
Students with previous graduate work may petition the Graduate Vice-Chair for a waiver of individual requirements. Such determinations will be made after careful examination of the student’s graduate transcripts, and in close consultation with his or her Major Field advisor.
III. B. (2) Early American History
All students selecting a Major Field in Early American History must take Readings I (510:555 ‘North America from the Era of European Expansion to the United States’), and at least one colloquium in colonial, Atlantic or Native American history. Beyond this, students must select one of the following additional supplementary emphases:
- Early Modern Europe, requiring two additional courses (6 credits) in Early Modern European History. OR,
- Modern America, requiring two additional courses in Modern America, one of which must be Readings II (510:557) or Readings III (510:559).
Regardless of the preferred option, one of the student's research seminars must include a paper on an Early American topic.
III. B. (3) African-American History
Six courses from the following list are required for the African-American Major. In addition, students are encouraged to take one course in the African-American field in a discipline outside history, such as English or American Studies, and/or at a university outside Rutgers; Columbia, NYU, and Princeton courses are freely available to Rutgers students. Please check yearly course listings for relevant offerings.
- Readings in African-American History (510:553)
- Seminar in American and African-American History (510:574)
- Colloquium in African-American History (510:562)
- Two of the three American History Readings; Readings I: North America from the Era of Expansion to the United States (510:555); Readings II: Ninetieth Century America (510:557); or Readings III: Modern America (510:559)
- One other seminar in American, African-American, or Atlantic Cultures and African Diaspora History. (Please note that the last option is not open to students minoring in the Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora field, as this course would be required for their minor field, and may not be used for both.)
III. B. (4) European History (Early Modern & Modern)
The minimum core course requirements for both the Early Modern and the Modern European major field are stipulated as follows:
- A two-semester (six-credit) Readings sequence—the first focusing on Early Modern Europe (510:597), and the second on Modern Europe (510:599). The Readings sequence is generally taken in the first year. Students who wish to substitute a colloquium for the second Readings may occasionally do so with the approval of their advisor and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
- Four three-credit colloquia in European history. Colloquia are offered in a variety of fields; they have included both courses on specific periods of national history (e.g. Early Modern Britain, Modern Germany, etc.) and more thematic courses.
- One two-semester (six-credit) research seminar in European history (taken by both Early Modernists and Modernists), typically beginning in the spring of the first year and continuing in the fall semester of the second year.
Students should also be aware that course work in Comparative and Global History is becoming increasingly advantageous in preparing for teaching, and in obtaining positions in European history.
III. B. (5) History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health
Students will take six classes during their first two years, as follows:
- A two-semester sequence: STEH Seminar I: History and Social Theory (510:546); and STEH Seminar II: Research Seminar (510:547). The first semester of this sequence will introduce students to broad theoretical perspectives on historical studies, classic and contemporary, as well as to pragmatic issues of research design, literature and source searching, et al., leading to supervised research projects during the second term.
- Two colloquia among three to be offered: Colloquium in the History of Technology (510:535); Colloquium in Environmental History (510:534); and Colloquium in the History of Health and Medicine (510:536).
- Two Special Topics courses in STEH, among two to be offered in each two-year cycle (510:678 & 679).
III. B. (6) Women's and Gender History
All students selecting a Major Field in Women's and Gender History must take five courses, including a year-long research seminar. The other four courses consist of Readings courses, which provides a broad overview of significant issues in the field; a Colloquium which is thematically organized and cross-cultural; a course in Feminist Theory; and a related course from inside or outside the department. We encourage students to draw on the strengths of Rutgers’ other departments and programs—Women's Studies, English, Women and Politics, etc.—by taking at least one course, such as Feminist Theory, outside the History Department. Students selecting all their course work from inside the department should strongly consider courses from another thematic major, such as Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora or History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Health. Most Women's and Gender History majors will take their minor field in a national/regional area, such as Early Modern European or Modern American History.
The required courses are:
- 510:560 Readings in Women's and Gender History
- 510:539 Colloquium in Women's and Gender History
- 510:549/550 Seminar in Woman's and Gender History (a two-semester sequence)
- 988:582 Feminist Theory (Women Studies) or approved alternative
Plus: A related course from inside or outside the department; or a second Colloquium in Women's and Gender History in Comparative Perspective; or an independent study.
III. B. (7) History of the Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora
The department's program in the history of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora is designed to allow students to pursue the study of black histories and cultures from transnational perspectives. The requirements for this program blend African-American history, African history, and Atlantic history. In addition to taking core courses in these three fields, students who major in this program will be expected to minor in the history of a specific region--Latin America, North America, or Europe.
Requirements for the Major:
- Colloquium in Global History (510:541)
- Colloquium in Atlantic History and the African Diaspora (510:532)
- Colloquium in African history (510:625)
- One course in a geographic area outside the minor field
- Seminar in African-American history (510:573)
- Minor in American, European or Latin American History
- Demonstrated mastery of at least one relevant non-English language
III. B. (8) Latin American History
Requirements for the Major:
- One readings course/colloquium in early modern Latin America
- One readings course/colloquium in late modern Latin America
- One research seminar (this may be with a faculty member working outside Latin America, as long as the research topic centrally concerns Latin America)
- Other coursework in (and out of) the dept. and independent studies, as per individual consultation with one's advisor
III. B. (9) Asian and Middle Eastern History
All students selecting a Major Field in Asian and Middle Eastern History must take five courses:
- one colloquium taught by a faculty member in the Asian and Middle Eastern History track
- one research seminar (this may be with a faculty member working outside the Asian and Middle Eastern History track, as long as the research topic centrally concerns Asia and/or the Middle East)
- three elective courses in Asian and/or Middle Eastern History, at least one of which must be on premodern Asia/or the Middle East
Students are welcome to take, as one of their elective courses, Asian and Middle Eastern history courses in other departments. Upon consultation with the track coordinator, independent studies with individual professors can also be taken to fulfill the elective course requirement as can courses at neighboring schools, including Princeton, NYU, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania.
IV. A. Departmentally Defined Minor Fields and General Minor Field Requirements
Minor fields are intended to broaden a student’s knowledge and expertise and are often useful in preparing students for teaching beyond their area of primary study. All doctoral students must select a Minor Field different from the chosen Major Field. Any departmental Major Fields listed above can be chosen as Minor Fields. In addition, students can elect to take Minor Fields in the following officially defined areas: Comparative and Global History, and African-American History. Students wishing to minor in a topical or interdisciplinary field (e.g. theory, cultural history, immigration history, labor history, jewish history, anthropology, political science, medieval French etc.) may do so only with the approval of both the student’s advisor and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. Students whose major fields are essentially comparative and inherently theoretical are encouraged strongly to select a traditional teaching field as a minor.
Except where specifically stated to the contrary (see below), the minimum requirements for the Minor Field are the completion of at least two courses (6 credits) in the Minor Field and the passing of the Minor Field Exam. Only one course of Independent Study can be counted towards the Minor Field minimum requirements. The Minor Field examination may not always be based exclusively on the courses the student has taken, but may assume a more general knowledge of the field. Students will develop reading lists for their minor exam in conjunction with their advisors and their Minor Field examiners.
lV. B. Minor Fields With Further Specified Requirements
IV. B. (1) AMERICAN HISTORY
Students taking a Minor Field in American History are required to take two of the three Readings in American History.
IV. B. (2) EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY
Early America can be construed as a minor. In such a case, as in the case of a Major, a student must decide if they will follow the Early America/ Early Modern Europe option, or the Early America/ Modern America option. In the first case, the student must take the directed readings courses called US I (colonial) and Early Modern Europe, and in the second case, the student must take the directed readings courses US I (colonial) and either US II (19th century) or US III (20th century.) In either case, the student will take a five-hour written exam, and will answer two questions, one from each of the two fields. That year’s U.S. examiner for early America will provide the first set of three questions for the student to choose from, and the faculty member who taught the other readings course will provide the second set of questions. We expect that the student will have read approximately 100 books for each segment of the exam (a total of 200); it is advisable that the student meet two times with each examiner to discuss the reading list.
[This is in effect a specialized version of the Minor Field exam in American History, for which a student prepares two of the three segments in the US directed readings series.]
IV. B. (3) AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY
Students taking a Minor Field in African American History are required to take the “Colloquium in African-American History” and the two-semester “Seminar in African-American History.”
IV. B. (4) LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY
A student may also take a Minor Field in Latin America. Such a student will take the same directed readings courses in Colonial and in Modern Latin America as a student taking a Major Field. A seminar may be taken with a faculty member who does not specialize in Latin America if the research project stems from Latin American sources. In lieu of an examination, the student will produce an annotated syllabus of a survey in colonial or modern Latin America (min. 50 pages).
IV. B. (5) ASIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN HISTORY
A Minor Field in Asian and Middle Eastern history requires one colloquium and one elective course.
IV. B. (6) COMPARATIVE AND GLOBAL HISTORY
Students taking a Minor Field in Comparative and Global history must take a minimum of three courses:
- 510:511 Colloquium in Comparative History
- 510:541 Colloquium in World History
- 510:551 Seminar in Global and Comparative History (one semester).
With the approval of an advisor in World History, the student may substitute a directed study course (510:678, 679) or an additional course that is global or comparative.
IV. B. (7) HISTORY OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND HEALTH
A Minor Field in STEH may be created by those undertaking major fields in American or European history, and requires two Colloquia and one special topics course.
IV. B. (8) WOMEN'S AND GENDER HISTORY
A Minor Field in Women's and Gender History will consist of two courses over three semesters:
- 510:549-50 Seminar: Women's and Gender History (a two-semester sequence). and, either one of the following:
- 510:539 Colloquium in Women's and Gender History
- 510:560 Readings in Women’s and Gender History
IV. B. (9) HISTORY OF THE ATLANTIC CULTURES AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
A Minor Field in the History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora requires two courses:
- 510:625 Colloquium in African History
- 510:532 Colloquium in Atlantic History and the African Diaspora
IV.B. (10) MINOR FIELD OPTIONS FOR EARLY AMERICANISTS AND EUROPEANISTS
In choosing a minor field, students majoring in Early America or European history should bear in mind the following options:
- any student whose Major Field is Early America, and who opts for an additional emphasis in Early Modern Europe, may minor in Modern America;
- any student whose Major Field is Early America, and who opts for an additional emphasis in Modern America, may minor in Early Modern Europe;
- a Europeanist whose Major Field is Early Modern Europe may select Modern Europe as a Minor Field, and vice versa.
V. A. For Students Majoring in American History
There is no non-English language requirement in American History. However, Early Americanists should have a reading knowledge of one non-English language -- preferably French, Portuguese, Spanish, or Dutch.
V. B. For Students Majoring and Minoring in Latin American History
All Latin Americanists, whether Major or Minor, must be fully proficient in Spanish. For a Major Field, we expect that the student will also study an additional language—preferably French, Latin, Nahuatl or Portuguese, but others may be acceptable.
V. C. For Students Majoring and Minoring in Asian and Middle Eastern History
Students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one non-English language relevant to their future research. In most cases, a student’s language competency will be assessed through a RU-administered exam. For languages in which the university does not offer an exam, language proficiency may be established by requiring the student to submit a paper using sources in the language being assessed, or a faculty member (teaching at RU) may sign a letter certifying that the student can conduct primary research in the given language.
V. D. For Students Majoring in Early Modern or Modern European History
The general expectation is that Europeanists are obliged to have a reading knowledge of two non-English languages -- one upon entrance to the program, and the other before attempting the Major Field Exam: Stage I. Variations from this norm may be approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education in conjunction with the student's advisor. Students emphasizing British history, for example, may dispense with the second language requirement with appropriate approval.
V. E. For Students Majoring in Medieval History
Students majoring in medieval history must demonstrate reading fluency in the medieval and modern languages pertinent to their special areas of concentration.
- For those concentrating on western European medieval history, the pertinent languages are Latin, French, and German.
- For those concentrating on southeastern European medieval history (including Byzantium), the pertinent languages are Latin, Byzantine Greek, French, and German.
- For those concentrating on early Turkic through early Ottoman history, the pertinent languages are Ottoman Turkish, modern Turkish, French, and German.
Whatever the student's particular emphasis, it is expected that he or she will have attained a solid foundation in the pertinent medieval languages prior to admission. Competence will thereafter be verified by departmentally administered exams at the end of the student's first year. Reading fluency in one of the relevant modern languages must be demonstrated upon entrance. All additional modern language requirements must be resolved by the end of a student's second year. Finally, students are required, wherever possible, to utilize the Graduate Student Foreign Languages Reading Test, the minimum passing score being 600.
As the foregoing implies, medievalists may not attempt the Qualifying Examination until all language requirements have been satisfied.
V. F. For Students Majoring in Women's and Gender History
There is no specific foreign language requirement for Women's and Gender History, but we expect students to learn those languages pertinent to her or his area of research. Students should discuss specific language needs with their advisors and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education during their course of study.
V. G. For Students Majoring in Other Fields
In other Major Fields, language requirements are determined by the student's major advisor in consultation with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
V. H. Assistance for Students in Completing Language Requirements
Funds may be available from both the Vice Dean of the Graduate School and the History Department, to assist students in defraying the costs of specialized language studies at other institutions. Those interested should contact the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education for further information.
Students should likewise note that courses offered through the Rutgers language departments can be taken on a non-credit basis ("E" or "N" credit), at no additional cost.
Students receive grades and written evaluations for their course work, all of which are kept in the students' permanent departmental files. Evaluations of the key examinations (Minor, Major Field: Stage I, Major Field: Stage II, or Terminal M.A.) are also maintained in students' files. Students may review these evaluations at any time.
The Graduate Education Committee annually evaluates the record of all doctoral students. In this review, the GEC (which includes the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education) examines students' course evaluations, recommendations, GPAs, numbers of incompletes, and general progress towards the Ph.D. After the review, the GEC will notify students with serious academic problems. When such notifications occur, the student’s record will be reviewed again during the following semester. If, at that time, the outstanding problems or difficulties have not been corrected, the GEC may recommend dismissal, probation, or suspension of financial aid.
Students' dossiers are additionally evaluated if they apply for departmental financial aid.
Students have the right to appeal any evaluative decision or disciplinary action they deem unacceptable. The hierarchy of appeal is the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, the Chair of the Department, the Graduate Education Committee, and finally the Vice Dean of the Graduate School. In the history department, the ultimate authority is the Graduate Education Committee.
VII. A. Faculty Advisors and Dissertation Committees
New students will meet with the Vice Chair for Graduate Education concerning course selection and any other important, immediate issues; they are strongly encouraged to also meet with one or two faculty members in their chosen field for additional advising.
Generally in the second year, or shortly after completing the Major Field Exam: Stage I at the latest, a student selects a Dissertation Chair. This is done in consultation with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, and with the approval of the proposed Dissertation Chair. The Dissertation Chair may well have been the student's major advisor, and must be a member of the Rutgers History Graduate Faculty. He or she will now be responsible for directing the student's dissertation research, and assisting in job placement. It is also possible for students to have two faculty members acting as co-advisors to a dissertation.
After selecting a Dissertation Chair, the student establishes her or his Dissertation Committee, which consists of the Dissertation Chair, two other members of the History Department, and one member external to the Rutgers History Graduate Program. This "outside member" can come from another Rutgers department or program, or from another university. Students select their Dissertation Committee members in consultation with their Dissertation Chairs, and with the approval of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. All Dissertation Committee members act as resource persons and helpful critics, but the Dissertation Chair is primarily responsible for supervising the student's research and writing.
Any changes in the composition of the Dissertation Committee must be approved by the Dissertation Chair (unless the proposed change is to the Chair position), and by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. It is the student's responsibility to deal directly with the Dissertation Chair, and/or the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, regarding any proposed changes. Once a student has apprised the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education of proposed changes, the Vice- Chair will discuss the matter with the Dissertation Chair, or—if the proposed change involves the Dissertation Chair —the Department Chair, and make the appropriate decision. If the committee is indeed reconstituted, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education will promptly notify any members being removed from the committee of this action, and provide them with the rationale.
VII. B. Peer Advisors
During their first semesters, incoming graduate students may also avail themselves of the counsel of individually matched peer advisors. Having experienced the rigors and realities of graduate life at Rutgers, peer advisors play an invaluable role in helping new students successfully embark on their doctoral programs.
Vlll. A. Examinations Administered in the History Graduate Program
In the history program, the examination process for the Ph.D. is in three parts, consisting of the Minor Field Examination, the Major Field Examination: Stage I, and the Major Field Examination: Stage II. In certain non-Anglophone Major Fields, it may be necessary to pass specified language exams before attempting the Qualifying Exam. Students are considered ABD (“All But Dissertation”) only after successful completion of all examinations.
Vlll. B. General Procedure and Calendar for Exams
Each Spring, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education appoints common examiners (faculty members who write questions and grade examinations for everyone in a particular field) for the coming academic year. Students should consult the common examiners about the nature of the examination, and they are encouraged to do so as early as possible.
Examinations are given in October, February, and May. Students are graded pass/fail on the examinations. In most fields—the exceptions are stated below—the grade of pass or fail reflects the consensus of the examination committee, which consists of the two common examiners and the student’s advisor. A written evaluation of the examination becomes part of the student’s permanent dossier. This evaluation is prepared by the Chief Examiner or, if the circumstances dictate, by the other common examiners. As part of the student’s record, it is consulted when evaluations of student progress, or decisions concerning financial aid awards, are made.
Vlll. C. Minor Field Exams
The Minor Field Examination is often taken before the Major Field Exam: Stage I. If not, it should be taken no later than one semester after a student completes the Major Field: Stage I Examination. The format of the minor field exam can vary: it may be written or oral, require a timed or take-home exam, or include the preparation of sample lectures and course syllabi. The chosen format must be approved in advance by the student’s advisor and examiners, and by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. Unless otherwise specified by a particular field, the timed written examination will be four hours in length, with the student required to answer two of five questions. An oral examination will usually be one hour in length.
This exam is usually not based exclusively on the courses the student has taken in the Minor Field, but assumes a more general knowledge of the area or discipline. For Minor Fields that do not coincide with departmentally defined Major or Minor Fields, questions for the student’s examination will be drawn from a reading list prepared by the student and an advisor, and approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
In general, the examination will be prepared and assessed by a committee of two professors. These can include either the professor or professors who taught the courses taken by the student in the Minor Field, or the student’s advisor and/or members of his or her dissertation committee if they possess expertise in the Minor Field. If necessary, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education may appoint an examiner. For the Women’s and Gender History Minor Field exam, two common examiners are assigned by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The Minor Field examination in American History will be prepared by the common examiners for the American Major Field Exam.
To declare a minor field and sign up for the exam, students should complete the ‘Minor Field Form’ available from the office of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The form, which requires the signed approval of the student’s advisor and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, asks the students to list the courses taken for the minor field, the date and format of the exam, and the examiners. Upon successful completion of the exam, the examiners will sign the form and return it to the office of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education within two weeks of the exam’s completion. The form will then, along with more detailed written comments by the examiners, constitute the official record of the completion of the Minor Field exam and will be placed in the student’s file.
If a student fails the minor exam, he or she can retake it with the approval of the original examiners, who will write new questions.
Vlll. D. Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage I (Field Exam)
The Major Field Examination: Stage I must be taken after or near the end of two years of course work, and before the third anniversary of the student’s entrance into the graduate program. Students are encouraged to take this exam soon after their course work is completed, so they may initiate their dissertation research. The exam may be written or oral.
The examination committee will be composed of the student’s advisor and two common examiners in the Major Field for that academic year. The examination provides a thorough test of the student’s knowledge of the history and historiography of the Major Field. The written examination is eight hours in length. Normally, there will be nine questions, arranged in three sections, with the student answering one question in each section. The oral examination is two hours in length.
In American History, the sections of the exam cover Early American History, the Nineteenth Century, and the Twentieth Century. The student’s advisor prepares questions in the most appropriate time period, and the common examiners prepare questions in the other two periods.
The Major Field Exam: Stage I in Early American History, with the Early Modern European option, requires that the student answer one question (of three) on Early Modern Europe, and two questions (arranged in two groups of three) on Early America (1607-1815). Those who take option two (Early America, plus the Modern America emphasis) answer two questions on Early America and one question on Modern America.
After receiving the results of their exam, students may consult with their advisor or with the common examiners about their answers, as well as the grading of the examination.
If a student twice fails the Major Field Exam: Stage I, in whatever form, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Education Committee for either a third examination, or permission to proceed without passing the examination. This appeal may be made by the student, or by his or her advisor. The GEC will consider this appeal along with the student’s overall record.
If the request for a third examination is granted, and the student then passes, the GEC will then make a summary judgment on whether the student should proceed in the doctoral program.
Vlll. E. Fields with Specific Requirements for Major Field: Stage I and Minor Field Exams
Vlll. E. (1) American History
The American history major and minor exams are designed to prepare students to teach survey courses in this field and give them a broad understanding of the kinds of historiographical and historical questions that should inform their dissertation research. The exams cover the three chronological fields addressed in readings courses I, II, III. Suggested reading lists for each exam field, as well as instructions on how to use them to prepare your own list are available at this link.
Students whose Major Field is American History, and who enter without an M.A. in American History, must complete both their Major and Minor Field exams by the Winter (February) of their third year. Students entering with an M.A. in American History must complete both exams by the Fall (October) of their third year.
The initial Major Field exam in American History is written, and will draw questions from the extended bibliography of all three American Readings courses. All three examiners grade each question. Students pass or fail each question (with a 2-1 vote required to pass a question). If a student fails a question, then he or she retakes the exam on that failed section with a new set of three questions. The re-examination can be written or oral (at the student's request), and must be done within a month of the initial failure if the student has failed one question, or at or before the next common examination if the student has failed two or more questions.
The Minor Field examination in American History is based on readings on the periods covered by two of the three American Readings courses. For each Readings period examined, students will answer one of two questions for a total of two answers. The common examiners for the American History Major Field Examination will compose the questions for the Minor Field examination. Each student's Minor Field examination will be based on the two Readings courses he or she has chosen.
Preparing for the Examination:
Students must meet with examiners at least three times prior to taking an exam. Meetings will allow students and examiners to determine reading lists and consider practice questions. Students who do not see examiners at least three times and have their lists approved will not be allowed to take an exam.. It is up to the student to schedule these meetings with the appropriate examiners.
To facilitate this process, each spring, the Americanist caucus will hold a meeting of the examiners from the past and coming year, and of the students planning to take exams the coming year. Requirements and guidelines will be discussed and clarified. Students planning to take exams the following year must attend.
For the sake of ease and efficiency, as well as fairness, all students taking the exam at the same time will be given common questions (except for the one developed with the advisor). For example, if two students are taking the minor field exam in US history at the same time (say, 19th and 20th century U.S.), the examiner for 20th century will write three total questions, all of which will be given to both students, and the 19th century will do the same.
Students for the major exam will be examined in three chronological periods, with the student's advisor stepping in, in place of the one common examiner, to provide questions for the student for the chronological period in which she focuses. Students for the minor exam will be examined in two chronological periods by the appropriate common examiners.
There will be three common examiners each year, one for colonial, one for 19th -C, and one for 20th-C. One will be designated chief examiner. The chief examiner will lead the exam process, gathering questions from all the examiners, putting the total exam together, giving the exam to Dawn, and then collecting responses from examiners at the end of the process, which will then be compiled and returned to Dawn and the students. Students can expect to receive a written account of their exam results no later than two weeks after they take the exam.
Vlll. E. (2) European History (Medieval, Early Modern , Modern)
What is the purpose of these exams?
These exams serve a variety of goals. First, they are intended to help prepare you to teach survey courses in the field, for which you need a board knowledge of the history and historiography of the field as a whole. Second, the exam should help you to place your dissertation research in a larger, broadly European framework and enable you to speak about your own work in a relevant way to scholars who are interested in the same general topics or themes, but in a very different content, to each student.
Major Exam Format:
The major exam has both a written and an oral component. The written portion of the exam consists of three take-home essays and lasts seven days. On the first day of the exam, you will receive three sets of questions; two sets will be prepared by the common examiners and one set will be devised by your adviser. You will choose one question from each set to answer. Each answer should be approximately 15 double-spaced pages in length, excluding notes. Quality is more important than quantity; the 15-page number is a suggestion, not a mandate. If you tend toward prolixity, try to keep to 15 pages as an upper limit. You may consult any sources that would be appropriate for a scholarly article (books, notes, etc.) in composing these essays. All material used must, however, be appropriately and completely cited. Plagiarism automatically results in a failed exam.
Within two weeks after turning in your essays, you will meet with the examiners for an oral defense of your written answers. During this oral portion of the exam, the examiners will ask questions about the choices you made in your essays, the historiography you used (or did not use) to answer the questions, and your general approach to the essay topics. This format also leaves room for you to amend your written work by correcting errors of fact and interpretation and more fully developing some of your arguments. Ideally, the oral exam will evolve into a conversation about your ideas. In the event that the exam is not judged to be a pass, you may at this point be invited to retake all or part of it.
If the examiners feel that a written exam has not met basic standards, they may decide to not proceed with the oral defense. Instead, you will meet with the examiners to discuss strategies for improving your written answers and may be invited to retake all or part of the exam.
Minor Exam Format:
The minor exam has only a written component, consisting of two take-home essays. You will receive two sets of questions and will answer one question form each set. In most cases, one question will be historiographical and one will have a pedagogical focus (i.e. asking for an annotated syllabus for survey course or the like). Both sets of questions will be prepared by the common examiners. As with the major exam, you will have seven days to complete your answers. Finished essays should be approximately 15 double-spaced pages in length, excluding notes. Again, quality is more important than quantity; the 15-page number is a suggestion, not a mandate. You may consult any sources that would be appropriate for a scholarly article (books, notes, etc.) in composing these essays. All material used must, however, be appropriately and completely cited. Plagiarism automatically results in a failed exam.
Each year, there will be a preparatory meeting with the common examiners in the spring for all those who intend to take either the major or minor exam.
The first step in preparing for the exam is composing your reading list. The reading list for the major exam should contain 100-125 items; the minor exam should have 60-75 items (here taken to be primarily books; if half your list is articles, the number of items might be larger). The list should be broken down into broad themes that strike a balance between general coverage and relevance to your own work.
The starting place for developing your list should be the reading you have already done for classes and papers. You should fill out the list with most significant books for each theme you have chosen. Figuring out which books to include is part of the exam process. Simply copying what others have put on their lists is not a good approach. You should instead consider which books seem to be most discussed or cited. Make use of review essays and also make use of your adviser, and common examiners, and other faculty. You should go over your list in detail with both your adviser and the common examiners.
In the two months or so before the exam, you should meet with the common examiners several times to discuss the themes of your list and how your thinking has been developing as you continue your reading. As part of this process, you will generate you r own questions or themes that the examiners will then rework into your exam questions.
Vlll. E. (3) Asian and Middle Eastern History
The major exam has both a written and an oral component. The written portion of the exam consists of a take-home essay and lasts seven days. On the first day of the exam, the student will receive a set of questions prepared by the examiners (three Asian & Middle Eastern History faculty members). You will choose one question to answer in an essay format. The essay should be approximately 30 double-spaced pages in length, excluding notes. Quality is more important than quantity; the 30 page number is a suggestion, not a mandate. The student may consult any sources that would be appropriate for a scholarly article (books, notes, etc.) in composing the essay. All material used must, however, be appropriately and completely cited. Plagiarism automatically results in a failed exam.
Within two weeks after turning in the essay, the student will meet with the examiners for an oral defense. During this oral portion of the exam, the examiners will ask questions about the choices the student made in his/her essay, the historiography s/he used (or did not use) to answer the questions, and his/her general approach to the essay topic. This format also leaves room for the student to amend his/her written work by correcting errors of fact and interpretation and more fully developing some of your arguments. Ideally, the oral exam will evolve into a conversation about the student’s ideas. In the event that the exam is not judged to be a pass, the student may at this point be invited to retake all or part of it.
If the examiners feel that a written exam has not met basic standards, the student will meet with the examiners to discuss strategies for improving his/her essay and may be invited to retake all or part of the exam.
The minor exam has only a written component, consisting of one take-home essay and lasts seven days. On the first day of the exam, the student will receive a set of questions prepared by the examiners (two Asian & Middle Eastern History faculty members). You will choose one question to answer in an essay format. The essay should be approximately 20 double-spaced pages in length, excluding notes. Quality is more important than quantity; the 20 page number is a suggestion, not a mandate. The student may consult any sources that would be appropriate for a scholarly article (books, notes, etc.) in composing the essay. All material used must, however, be appropriately and completely cited. Plagiarism automatically results in a failed exam.
Within two weeks after turning in the essays, the student will receive the result of his/her exam. At this point, s/he may consult with the examiners about his/her essay, as well as the grading of the examination.
If the examiners feel that a written exam has not met basic standards, the student will meet with the examiners to discuss strategies for improving his/her written answers and may be invited to retake all or part of the exam.
The first step in preparing for the exam is meeting with the exam advisor for Asian & Middle Eastern History, who will help identify three Asian & Middle Eastern History faculty members to serve as the examiners. In consultation with the examiners, the student will compose a reading list on which questions for the exam will be based. The reading list for the major exam should contain approximately 100 items; the minor exam should have 60 items (including books and articles). The list should be broken down into broad themes that strike a balance between general coverage and relevance to your own work.
The starting place for developing the list should be the reading the student has already done for classes and papers. The student should fill out the list with most significant books for each theme s/he has chosen. Figuring out which books to include with the advice of the examiners is part of the exam process. In the two months or so before the exam, the student should meet with the examiners several times to discuss the themes of his/her list and how his/her thinking has developed. As part of this process, the student will generate his/her own questions or themes that the examiners will then rework into the exam questions.
Vlll. F. Major Field Ph.D. Qualifying Exam: Stage II (Proposal Defense)
Prior to this examination, the student will submit an approximately twenty-page dissertation proposal to her or his dissertation committee, as well as the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The proposal defines the themes and purpose of the dissertation, discusses the available source material, and relates the topic of the dissertation to the existing literature in the field.
The Major Field Examination: Stage II is given by the Dissertation Committee, consisting of the Dissertation Chair, two professors on the Rutgers history graduate faculty, and one professor from outside the department. The exam is oral, and it covers both the proposal and the student’s field of specialization.
A student who fails the Major Field: Stage II examination may retake the exam after resubmitting the dissertation proposal in a timely manner. Likewise a student may appeal a Committee’s negative decision to the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
Vlll. G. The Doctoral Dissertation
After passing the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, each candidate must prepare a dissertation based on original investigation, under the direction of the Dissertation Chair and a committee of faculty members (one of whom is external to the history department). Including the time in which the dissertation proposal is prepared, students typically take a year-and-a-half to three years to complete a dissertation.
During this period, the student must accumulate twenty-four research credits beyond the forty-eight course credits already completed. Normally, one member of the dissertation committee besides the Chair will read the thesis as it is being prepared, and consult with the student along the way. However, all members of the committee must have an opportunity to read and criticize the thesis before the final draft is prepared. It is the student’s responsibility to remain in contact with her or his committee and to make arrangements for the final thesis defense.
With the approval of the Graduate School and the Graduate Education Committee, alternative forms of dissertations can be submitted. For example, the department is prepared to consider a series of scholarly essays as the equivalent to a standard dissertation—providing these represent a body of research and writing equivalent to that of a conventional thesis. Students considering an alternative form of a dissertation are warned that the more conventional thesis is generally required when seeking employment in a tenure-track position at a college or university.
The final examination, or defense of the completed dissertation, is conducted by the candidate’s committee. The candidate must defend the thesis and exhibit knowledge of his or her field of specialization. The candidate is responsible for arranging the exam and obtaining her or his candidacy form from the Graduate School.
The student passes or fails the defense based on the decision of the committee as a whole. In this, as in other matters, the student may appeal to the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, the department Chair, and the Graduate Education Committee.
lX. Master’s Degrees
lX. A. Course Requirements
In addition to the master’s degree in Global and Comparative History, the History Department offers a terminal M.A. for students who entered the department as doctoral students but who could not, for various reasons, complete the Ph.D. program.
The course requirements for the terminal M.A. are as follows: students must have completed twenty-four credits of course work (eight courses) and six credits of research and independent study. The Major Fields are the same as for the Ph.D., and four of the student’s eight courses must be in the Major Field. One course must be a research seminar (either one- or two-semester). A maximum of two undergraduate courses, at the 300 or 400 level, may be included, if approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. Two courses may be taken outside the History Department. No more than six credits (two courses) of “C” work can count towards the requirements for the terminal M.A.
lX. B. Thesis or Examination Requirements
After completing the required course work, the student must either pass a Master’s examination in his or her Major Field, or write a Master’s thesis.
The Master’s thesis is a lengthy essay (usually about one hundred pages) reflecting original research on a significant topic. A student considering this option should discuss it carefully with his or her advisor.
The Master’s examination will normally be taken after a year-and-a-half (eight courses) of study. This is a written exam, and is given by three members of the faculty—the student’s advisor, and two other members of the faculty chosen by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The examination is four hours in length. It will include six questions, divided into two parts, with the student responsible for answering one question in each part. The terminal Master’s Examination is based on the introductory surveys Readings) and colloquia given during the student’s residence in the department. This examination tests general knowledge of major themes in the history of the field, and/or knowledge of significant works the student should know from course work. Ph.D. candidates do not take the terminal M.A. examination.
An important goal of the program is to prepare graduate students to teach. The department offers the course 510:509 ‘Teaching of History’ as one step in the process, but it does not expect a single course to provide all the training a student needs before she or he obtains a university position. Ideally, a doctoral student will successively take 510:509 ‘Teaching of History,’ assist a professor as a teaching assistant (delivering one or more lectures in his or her class), and possibly teach her or his own class in summer school (something usually restricted to ABD students). In addition, all new teaching assistants are required to attend a one-day introduction/orientation meeting organized by the Graduate School. History students also often have an opportunity to serve as teaching assistants in the English Department’s introductory composition courses, and have found the experience useful for their own teaching and for strengthening credentials while looking for an academic job.
The course 510:509 ‘Teaching of History’ is highly recommended for all graduate students. The student receives credit for the course, and a grade on the transcript, but it does not count as one of the core twelve courses taken in the pre-examination stage. Successful completion of the course is among the factors considered when appointing students as summer school teachers and Visiting Part-Time Lecturers (VPLs). Students often enroll in it when they first serve as teaching assistants. Clearly, however, the course will be of maximum benefit if taken prior to the TA-ship; in any case, it should definitely be taken well before a student applies to teach his or her own course. Class meetings of 510:509 ‘Teaching of History’ focus on developing a syllabus, selecting readings, preparing a lecture, utilizing audio-visual materials, running a discussion, employing alternative teaching methods (debate, role-playing), devising writing assignments, testing and grading, designing web pages for teaching, and dealing with problem situations (plagiarism, discipline, sexual harassment, tardiness).
Students who have passed their Major Field Exam: Stage I may request to teach a summer school course. This is done in the Fall, when the Department asks all faculty and graduate students who wish to teach in summer school to submit a request. The Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Education makes the assignments to teach in summer school. In designing a summer school course, students are free to consult with a faculty member in an appropriate field and should discuss with the Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Education the programmatic needs and preferences of the summer school program. Students are also strongly encouraged to invite a faculty member to their class who can discuss their teaching with them and, at a later date, write a job recommendation for them that comments substantively on their teaching.
When students first teach their own courses for the department (usually as VPLs), a faculty member will observe their teaching and prepare a written evaluation of their performance. The Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Education will keep this evaluation and a copy of the student's syllabus, and may use the evaluation in making teaching assignments to specific courses. This evaluation does not go, however, into the student's permanent file, and is not used to determine whether a student should receive financial aid. Having been observed, the student may ask the faculty member for a recommendation for employment.
In summary, while the department recognizes that securing an academic position will depend primarily on the quality of a student's dissertation and publications, it likewise affirms that teaching is integral to the life of a historian, and that learning to do it well is fundamental to the student's professional development.
Virtually all students admitted in the program are recipients of four- or five-year equalized aid packages, which are combinations of fellowship and teaching- or graduate-assistantship awards. These packages derive from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on the recommendation of the department Chairperson and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education. The department intends to continue this pattern of funding for future incoming classes, in the conviction that students ideally should complete the Ph.D. within a four- to five-year period (depending on prior graduate work), and that students cannot accomplish this goal if they are pursuing their programs on a part-time basis, with insignificant financial support. Consequently, the department has resolved to extend financial aid targeted for new students to limited numbers of full-time doctoral students, and only under exceptional circumstances to admit students without guaranteed aid packages.
Students holding such packages normally receive fellowship support their first year, and thereafter act as TAs or GAs for approximately half the duration of their package. The department attempts to allocate another fellowship year to students engaged in dissertation research. (This is subject, however, to an assessment of departmental needs and Graduate Education Committee review). All students with funding packages will have at least one year with a TAship; most will have a year with a GAship, assisting on a research project or at a historical institute.
Students who have exhausted their initial funding packages, and exceptional new admits without funding packages, are eligible to apply for whatever fellowship, Teaching- and Graduate-Assistantship support the department may have at its disposal.
XI. A. Fellowships, Teaching- and Graduate-Assistantships
History graduate students on fellowship receive a stipend of $25,000 per annum, plus tuition remission. They are expected to pursue course work or dissertation research and writing, and have no teaching obligations.
Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants are obliged to work fifteen hours a week, during both Fall and Spring semesters, either on a research project (GAs), or in some teaching capacity (TAs). The salaries of GAs and TAs are set according to contract, and include medical benefits; fractional, that is half-year TAs, do not receive health benefits. Likewise the terms of reappointment, non-reappointment, and notification of current GAs and TAs are regulated by the University contract with the AAUP (copies of which are available on request).
Teaching Assistants are generally assigned to teach (and grade) several discussion sections of a large lecture course; to teach their own lecture course (for which they will get grading help to the same extent as other members of the faculty); or to grade in several courses. ABD students can be assigned to teach courses in their major or minor fields; students who had not yet passed their Major Field: Stage I exam will only be asked to teach their own course if they have had previous teaching experience. Teaching Assistants in lecture courses are expected to attend lectures and hold office hours.
Workload and job requirements for Teaching and Graduate Assistants are partially regulated by the University-AAUP contract, and are subject to review by a six-member committee of the history graduate program. This committee consists of the Chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee, two other faculty members of the TEC appointed by the Chair of the TEC, and three elected Teaching Assistants. Any Teaching Assistant can bring a complaint or a concern to the committee's attention or to the Department Chair, and may appeal decisions to the Graduate School. Contractual matters can also be reported to the AAUP.
The department does not allow students to hold, concurrently, a departmental resource along with another major non-departmental resource of support (e.g., fellowship, grant).
XI. B. Criteria for Renewal of Funding
The department's overriding aim is to ensure four to five years of support for all deserving students. The total varies according to whether a student entered the program with:
(a) an M.A. (in history), or a graduate degree on the basis of which significant transfer of course credits has been obtained, and/or the minor field requirement has been waived (e.g., J.D.) -- in which case the stipulated maximum is four years; -or-
(b) a B.A., in which case the stipulated maximum is five years.
The department normally expects students entering with relevant prior graduate work to complete their doctoral programs within four years. It likewise normally expects students entering with the B.A. to complete their doctoral programs within five years.
In making annual allocations of fellowships and GA-/TA-ships, the Department's first objective is to ensure that all deserving students within the "funding pool" (i.e., those who received departmental funding the previous academic year), who are not yet at maximum levels of aid, and who are making timely progress to the Ph.D., will be provided support for the next academic year. In assessing whether students are making timely progress toward the Ph.D., the Graduate Education Committee considers course records, grades (including number of incompletes), professors' letters of evaluation, progress through exams, and (for advanced students) length in the program and progress in researching and writing the dissertation.
The annual funding review begins normally in late December or early January. All students who seek funding the following academic year (including those who arrived with provisional guarantees in aid packages) are required to submit, to the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, a funding application. When these are collected, the Vice-Chair and Department Chair assemble the data for presentation to the faculty members of the G.E.C. Those professors then examine applicants' records, identifying all deserving students within the pool eligible for further funding, and drawing up a list of tentative allocations (fellowships, GA-/TA-ships) for departmental approval. At the same time, the G.E.C. reviews the records of students seeking aid who either (a) are currently not within the funding pool (i.e., did not receive departmental funding the previous academic year), and/or (b) have reached the stipulated maximum level of support. If additional funding resources are available (i.e., after ensuring support for deserving students within the funding pool, who are not at maximum levels of aid), or if such resources are expected to become available, the G.E.C. identifies applicants from among those not currently in the pool, or at maximum support levels, who may deserve further funding. First priority is given to students currently not within the funding pool, particularly those who have never received aid. The next priority is students who have already reached maximum levels of support, but who--for legitimate reasons--need another semester or two of aid. The latter process involves a ranking of candidates according to merit.
After the G.E.C. has established a preliminary funding list, the list is discussed by the full Department (normally at a March meeting). The purpose of the meeting is to explain the funding decisions, solicit advice about students on the waiting list, and discuss general policy issues raised by a review of funding decisions. Final decisions about funding rest with the G.E.C.
All students who have applied will be notified in writing of what aid they have been awarded. Students may discuss the decision with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education and may, on this as on any matter, further appeal in writing to the Graduate Education Committee.
In point of fact, final decisions on funding may extend late into the Spring semester, since additional fellowships and Teaching Assistantships often become available after the initial aid decisions have been made. The Vice-Chair for Graduate Education will make these decisions following the priorities established by the Graduate Education Committee.
XI. C. Extra-Departmental Dissertation Research Fellowships
Within Rutgers, students may apply through the Graduate School for Louis Bevier Awards of $21,000. These awards do not provide tuition remission or benefits, and are intended only for the support of dissertation research and writing. The History Department usually receives one or two Bevier awards annually. The Graduate School distributes announcements about the application process in late Fall.
Beyond Rutgers, students should apply for whatever externally funded fellowships they may be eligible for (e.g., Fulbright, AAUW, DAAD, NEH Dissertation Fellowships). Students should search for promising sources of external funding by visiting the Chaser Funder Database at http://chaser.rutgers.edu/, a service offered by the Graduate School-New Brunswick to assist graduate students in identifying and applying for external funding.
A year of external funding will be in addition to the funding commitment initially made to the student by the University.
XI. D. Departmentally Awarded Travel and Research Grants
Through a variety of funds, the History Department is generally able to provide limited support for graduate student travel and research.
Early in the Fall semester, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education invites all interested students to submit a proposal and budget. Students may apply at any stage of their program--i.e. both before and after the Major Field: Stage I Qualifying Exam. Typically, requests have related to travel, microfilming, photocopying, or specialized language training expenses. Funds for participation in conferences are generally allocated only to the most advanced students, whose need for visibility in professional contexts, especially for job searches, is most critical. The Graduate Education Committee has also designated funding of promising pre-dissertation research projects, usually in conjunction with major seminar research, a top priority.
After receiving the applications, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, in consultation with appropriate faculty and a sub-committee of the Graduate Education Committee, evaluates the requests and announces the awards.
After April 1, at the discretion of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, unspent funds will be distributed to any remaining applicant(s) for funding. A list will be posted at the end of each year, outlining awards that have been made.
Students should not anticipate receiving a major departmental allocation (i.e., up to $500) in the foregoing categories more than once in their doctoral programs.
XI. E. Graduate School Travel and Research Grants
Limited amounts of funding for conference travel, pre-dissertation research, and special study (e.g., language programs) are periodically made available from the Graduate School. Such funds are normally awarded to students who have passed their Major Field: Stage I Qualifying Exam. Announcements are distributed through the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, who collects applications and makes appropriate nominations to the Vice Dean of the Graduate School.
Xll. A. Registration Options
Students should consult the current edition of the Graduate School-New Brunswick Catalog, or the Handbook for Graduate Directors (a copy of which is in the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education 's office) for a fuller explanation of registration procedures and other aspects of academic policy.
In general, students may effect registration through these categories:
- Regular Content Courses -- Readings, colloquia, seminars, approved upper division undergraduate courses;
- 510:500,502 Historian's Craft: taken in first year
- 510:701-702 ‘Research in History’: taken while researching and writing the dissertation.
- 510:800 ‘Matriculation Continued’: maintains a student within the program when not doing course work. Students who have completed the forty-eight credits of course work required in the preliminary general phase, but who have not taken the Qualifying Examination, register under this rubric. Students who have passed their Qualifying Examination cannot register for matriculation continued. It carries no credit toward the degree (i.e., it has the value of "E" credit).
- 510:680-682 ‘Minor Field Exam Prep; Major Field Exam Prep, Dissertation Prep.’: these courses are graded pass/no credit ("PA" – Pass).
- 510:678-679 ‘Advanced Topics in History.’ These rubrics are for supervised or directed independent study.
- 510:877 ‘Teaching Assistantship’: teaching assistants must register for this. Full TAs register for six credits; three-quarter TAs for 4.5 credits; and half TAs for three credits.
- 510:811 ‘Graduate Fellowship’: mandatory for fellowship students.
XII. B. Full Time Status and Registration Requirements
A full-time student registers for at least nine, but usually twelve, credits each semester until she or he has accumulated seventy-two credits. The first forty-eight credits are in course work; the remaining twenty-four credits are research credits. If the student accumulates forty-eight course credits before the semester in which he or she takes the Major Field Exam: Stage I, the student then registers under Matriculation Continued. This will occur whenever a student completes the course work within two years, but defers the Major Field Exam: Stage I to the third year. Research credits are taken only after passing the Major Field Exam: Stage I.
When the student has accumulated seventy-two credits, she or he continues to register for three credits (1 credit for students who are abroad or outside the tri-state area) each semester of research until the dissertation has been successfully defended. It is particularly important that students maintain continuous registration from the time they first enroll until they receive their degrees. If the registration is interrupted, it will be necessary for the student to apply to the Graduate School for reinstatement in the program.
Students in the pre-examination phase who wish to accumulate twelve credits per semester, but prefer to take only three directed courses [nine credits], may register under 510:681:01 and/or Minor Field Exam Prep or 510:682:01 Major Field Exam Prep. "PA" (Pass/No credit grading) grades are given for these courses.
A typical full-time course load for a student in the preliminary general phase is as follows:
- Colloquium/Readings (3)
- Colloquium/Readings (3)
- Seminar (3)
- Historian's Craft (1.5)
Total: 10.5 credits
- Colloquium/Readings (3)
- Colloquium/Readings (3) [optional]
- Seminar (3) 510:877 "Teaching Assistantship" (6)
Total: 15, or 12 credits
XII. C. Transfer of Previous Graduate Work & Adjustments
Many students enter the Rutgers history doctoral program having completed relevant graduate work at other institutions, often through the M.A. level. After satisfactorily completing 12 credits of graduate level coursework at Rutgers, students may transfer a maximum of twenty-four graduate level history credits from their previous work. Credit is not normally transferred for courses taken more than six years prior to the application. All transfer of credit must be with the approval of the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education and the Graduate School. After the credit is transferred, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education may adjust the student's field requirements in consultation with the student's advisor. In some cases, an M.A. earned at a different institution may displace the minor field requirement, and the minor field exam will be waived.
XII. D. Changes in Program Requirements
Program requirements change periodically. In general, students are responsible for meeting the course requirements that were operative when they entered the program. If a student finds new requirements or rules beneficial, he or she may opt to follow those, rather than the older regulations. If new rules or regulations are simply clarifications of existing requirements, they generally apply to all students. Students may, of course, discuss any change in requirements with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
XII. E. Rutgers-Princeton Exchange Program
Students may take one or two graduate courses per semester at Princeton University for credit in the Rutgers University Graduate History program. The course must be part of the student's degree program, and unavailable at Rutgers university. Those wishing to participate in this exchange should discuss their plans with the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
To enroll in courses at Princeton, students register on the Rutgers side for 16:001:816 ‘Princeton Exchange’ (normally 3 credits), and fill out special forms (obtained from the history graduate administrator, or the Rutgers graduate registrar), to be signed by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, the dean, and the Princeton course instructor. The form is then submitted to the dean of the Graduate School, Princeton University.
Princeton grades are assigned in such courses, and they are also recorded on the student's Rutgers transcript via the aforementioned special forms.
XII. F. Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
A graduate student may take an upper division (300 or 400 level) undergraduate course for graduate credit, but he or she must first obtain the permission of the instructor and the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
Normally a graduate student taking an undergraduate course will write a research or historiographical paper in addition or as an alternative to the undergraduate assignments. The student should also enter into her or his permanent file a brief statement summarizing the nature of the work done in that course. Professors are responsible for submitting a written evaluation of that work to the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education.
When registering for an approved undergraduate course, the student must place a "G" in the credit hour prefix box on the registration card. Normally, no more than six credits of undergraduate work should be used for a graduate degree. In special circumstances, however, the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education may authorize up to twelve credits.
XII. G. Pass/Fail, Audit, and other No-Credit Courses
Occasionally a student will want a course on his or her permanent record without a grade, or despite the fact that it does not count toward the degree. Foreign language courses, for example, might be so listed. By placing an "N" in the credit prefix box, students may audit the course. They must satisfy all course requirements excepting the final exam, and they receive a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. The credits do not count toward the total required for a graduate degree. If a course may not be taken for graduate credit, students place an "E" in the credit prefix box.
A student may, with the instructor's approval, unofficially audit any class.
XII. H. Incompletes
The New Brunswick Graduate School has established the following policy on incompletes: “IN” (Incomplete) may be assigned at the discretion of an instructor who believes that an extension of time is warranted for a student whose work is incomplete at the end of the semester. A student may complete unfinished work, and the instructor issue a change of grade, within any period agreed to by the instructor and the student up to two additional semesters beyond the original course registration, excluding summer session. Incompletes generated in a summer session must be completed by the end of the following summer session. Programs may establish shorter time limits. Students with two or more incompletes are not permitted to register for additional courses after one semester until incompletes are completed.
Students should observe, however, that the History Department's policy on incompletes is noticeably stricter than the general Graduate School guidelines. Students are counseled to avoid incompletes at all cost, since an accumulation of incompletes is regarded as evidence that a student is not progressing satisfactorily towards completion of the doctoral degree. Students applying for external fellowships, moreover, may be competitively disadvantaged if their records are riddled with incompletes. Thus, in the History Department, individual professors may opt not to grant incompletes, but may require students to submit all work in a timely manner, or suffer a reduced or even failing grade.
The Graduate Education Committee, moreover, monitors incompletes during the annual Spring review of student work. A student who has accumulated two or more incompletes will be issued a written warning. For students with two incompletes, one incomplete must be removed over the summer, and the other in the Fall semester. For students with more than two incompletes, the GEC will establish an appropriate timetable. In the Fall, the GEC will review the records of students who were issued warnings, and if one or more incompletes have not been removed, the Committee may variously recommend to the Graduate School that the student no longer receive financial aid, not be allowed to register for additional courses until the incompletes are resolved, or be dismissed from the program.
Students should recognize from the foregoing that an accumulation of incompletes will seriously disadvantage them in competitions for departmental financial aid, including the assignment of Teaching Assistantships.
If an incomplete is not resolved within a year, and the student no longer needs the course for his or her degree, the student may "abandon" the course by securing a "Permanent Incomplete" (PIN). Students must request this in writing from the Vice-Chair for Graduate Education, who then decides with the course instructor whether the action is appropriate.