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Geographic Minor Fields

As with the requirements for the various doctoral programs, the summaries of Departmental Inside Minors vary substantially from section to section. Students should consult the individual sections for further detail.

African History

Students are required to take 9 credit hours in African history, preferably at the 6000-level, so that they can master the themes and issues with which the history of the continent has been studied.

European History

The minor field in European history serves several different though related purposes, and graduate students and their advisors may approach the minor field with different ends in view. Some students may want to prepare for teaching in a small liberal arts or community college where a breadth of teaching across geographical regions may be advantageous. For such students a minor field in European history, including a carefully crafted minor field exam with an emphasis on pedagogy and practical experience as a TA in a EUH survey, can help prepare non-European specialists to teach introductory courses in this field. For most Ph.D. students the European minor field will serve as an important complement to their scholarly training. In either case, graduate course work in European history along with a tailored minor field examination will help students prepare for both introductory teaching and more specialized comparative research in their own major fields.

Once a student has declared a minor in European history, he or she should seek the approval of an appropriate faculty member in European history to serve as a member of the examination committee. Students minoring in European history must complete at least 9 credits of course work in this area with at least two different EUH faculty members. The bibliography for the minor field exam will build upon the student’s course work in European history and will be constructed in consultation between the student and the individual faculty member who will examine him or her in the specified area.

The focus of the minor field exam may be either geographical/chronological or topical. Geographical/chronological fields familiarize students with the basic literature of, and the principal historiographic problems peculiar to, national histories or geographic areas delimited by conventional periodization. Topical fields focus on a particular subject of historical investigation, such as intellectual history, diplomatic history, or women’s history. They should be broadly defined spanning more than one chronological division and/or have a significant comparative or methodological dimension. For example, a field defined as “European Women’s History” should cover both the early modern and modern periods; “History of Christianity” should span either the medieval and early modern or the early modern and modern periods. The minor field exam will be designed to prepare students for initial teaching experiences after receiving the Ph.D. and/or to familiarize students with a literature germane to their broad research interests (e.g., problems of state formation). Often the exam will serve both purposes.

Latin American History

Doctoral students may minor in one of the four Latin American minor fields: Colonial Latin America, Postcolonial Latin America, Brazil and the Caribbean, Spanish America. The faculty recommends that students take the two or three readings seminars appropriate to the selected minor field.

Latin American history minors will demonstrate by a written and an oral qualifying examination a sufficient grasp of the major topics or themes in their chosen field and current historiographical approaches to those topics and themes as to show themselves capable of teaching an introductory course in that field. Students should consult the Latin American history web page for lists of selected themes for each subfield. These lists are intended to assist the faculty in organizing their graduate seminars and to guide the students in preparing for their minor field examination.

United States History
The AMH section has no specific rules governing the Departmental Minor Field in U.S. History.  The section recommends that students interested in pursuing a Minor Field should take at least one of the three AMH chronological foundation courses. Working with an appropriate faculty member in U.S. history a student seeking to minor in U.S. history should put together a reading list that best complements his/her larger academic goals.  This list might emphasize a topical or regional approach, or it might be a broad field to help prepare a teaching field.