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Minor Fields

In addition to the Major Field, each doctoral student chooses a Minor Field of study (NOTE: his rule does not apply to students pursuing a dual-major). The Minor Fields, which should complement the dissertation topic, can take various forms. The options include:

  • A field of study in a geographic area outside the focus of the Major Field: AFH, AMH, EUH, LAH [descriptions available here].
  • An already established field of study that crosses sectional lines, such as Atlantic History, Gender History, Legal History, or World History [descriptions available here].
  • A more “customized” topical field that crosses sectional and even disciplinary boundaries. The field should complement and support the student’s dissertation research, but it should not be too narrow. One useful way to assess the breadth of the field is that it should be broad enough to support an undergraduate lecture course (e.g., History of Christianity).
  • A field expressly defined to support undergraduate teaching goals. This might be within a given section (Latin American History), but it could be defined topically (Gender History, Environmental History, World History).

Note: These departmental minor fields are not the same as a formal “Minor” as recognized by the Graduate School. Students who wish to Minor in another discipline should consult the Graduate Catalogue.


Course Requirements:

  • At least 9 credits (these 9 credits can be taken outside the history department).
  • No more than 3 of these 9 credits can be in the form of a trailer.
  • No more than 3 of these 9 credits can be in the form of an independent study.


Procedures and Guidelines

  • The Departmental Minor should be defined by the student in consultation with the major advisor and the designated Minor Field advisor.
  • The major advisor may not serve as the Minor Field advisor, although s/he may serve as the second reader for the Qualifying Examinations.
  • The Minor Field must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.
  • The student should indicate the Minor Field on the Plan of Study form.
  • The student, in consultation with the Minor Field advisor and other members of the committee will produce a reading list, which will be the basis of the Departmentment Minor examination [see Graduate Examination Procedures].