Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Field of Study: History
Applicants for graduate degrees in history must submit transcripts from all previous undergraduate, graduate, and professional study; scores on the GRE or a comparable standardized test; three letters of recommendation; application essays; and a writing sample.
For PhD policies and procedures, please review the School of Graduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.
Students are admitted into the history department’s graduate programs with or without a master’s or professional degree. Students who do not have a master’s degree in history will generally be required to complete that degree in the department before moving on to the PhD; those who have earned graduate or professional degrees closely related to their PhD programs may petition for direct admission to the PhD program. Students who first complete their MA in history at Case Western Reserve must complete an additional 24 hours of course work, pass the qualifying exams required by their program of study, and prepare a PhD dissertation while enrolling in at least 18 hours of supervised dissertation-writing work. Students who have completed their master’s-level work before coming to Case Western Reserve must complete at least 24 hours of course work before taking their qualifying exams and proceeding to their dissertation. All PhD students are required to take:
|HSTY 470||Historiography, Method, and Theory||3|
|HSTY 476||Seminar in Comparative History||3|
|HSTY 479||Historical Research and Writing||3|
General PhD Program
In addition to the specialized SHP and STEM programs, the Department of History also offers a general PhD in history, allowing students to specialize in any geographical, temporal, or topical area of history adequately covered by department faculty. In the past, this general program has been largely restricted to students pursuing topics in U.S. history (including American women's history, African-American history, U.S. cultural history, and the history of social movements), but the gradual expansion of the department now allows us to support PhD work in certain comparative or non-U.S. fields. All prospective graduate applicants are strongly encouraged to examine the research specialties of department faculty before applying to the program.
Social Justice History (SJH)
The PhD Track in Social Justice History (SJH) examines the origins of oppression, as well as the history of peoples who have struggled to create a more just world. Topics may include slavery, patriarchy, settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and the carceral state. Students may also explore radical social justice movements (from abolitionism to LGBTQIA activism) and theories that explain the current world system founded on global inequality, systemic health inequities, environmental degradation, unlimited private wealth accumulation, and economic expansion. The program will teach students the power of historical methods to understand the world and to change it.
The Social Justice History Track represents a reconfiguration of the History Department’s longstanding Social History and Policy (SHP) Track, whose participating faculty have become increasingly oriented toward social justice topics and issues. From its launch in 1983, aided by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the program in Social History and Policy awarded more than 40 PhDs, placing graduates in both academic institutions and a variety of policy-oriented nonprofit organizations. Over the years, graduates have received tenure at the University of Michigan, Kent State University, Oberlin College, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Western Ontario, the College of Wooster, and Cleveland State University. One graduate is executive director of National History Day.
History of Science, Technology, Environment and Medicine Program (STEM)
The History of Science, Technology, Environment and Medicine Program was established in 1961 as the first in the nation to emphasize the history of technology as well as the history of science. The program’s areas of particular strength include the social and cultural history of technology, both American and European; technology and science policy; the history of the physical sciences since the Renaissance; gender issues in technology and science; the history of medicine; and the history of the environment. The course of study for the PhD includes the MA requirements, written and oral qualifying examinations, and a dissertation. While most graduates of the program teach at colleges or universities, others work in museums or archives or deal with science policy questions.