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Old U.S Field Requirements

FOR STUDENTS WHO MATRICULATED BEFORE FALL QUARTER, 2007Students who matriculated before Fall Quarter, 2007, are still covered by the old degree requirements. The old requirements are reproduced, below. However, the material difference of the new requirements from the old is modest, and the new requirements are more clearly written and offer a better account of how students progress through the program. We therefore recommend that you read the new requirements for informational purposes and consider voluntarily meeting the terms of the new requirements for their intellectual and pedagogical value – although you are not required to do so.


The United States history field at UCLA is particularly strong with a faculty of twenty (not including Emeriti recalled to teaching and those with Adjunct appointments) and strengths in social, cultural and economic history. The University Research Library is one of the five largest in the nation, and there are additional superb rare book collections in all periods of American history at the nearby Huntington and Clark libraries. The Center for American Politics and Public Policy, the Program in Social Statistics, the Center for the Study of Women, the Cesar Chavez Center for Chicana/o Studies, as well as the Afro-American, American Indian, and Asian-American Studies Centers, offer excellent opportunities for conducting inter-disciplinary research. All faculty listed below teach in the graduate program and supervise master's theses and doctoral dissertations. Because of its unusual depth and breadth, the department prepares students in all fields in American history and in time periods ranging from the colonial era to the late twentieth century. The field is very active in scholarly organizations and includes two former presidents of the organization of American Historians, the incoming president of the American Historical Association, and the former president of the Social Science History Association. Its outstanding research and publishing record make it visible in all major scholarly journals and university presses.

Full-time faculty include professors Joyce Appleby, Stephen Aron, Ruth Bloch, Stanley Coben, Ellen Carol DuBois, Juan Gomez-Quinones, Robert A. Hill, Thomas S. Hines, Sanford M. Jacoby, Naomi Lamoreaux, John H. M. Laslett, Valerie Matsumoto, Melissa Meyer, Janice L. Reiff, Michael Salman, Brenda Stevenson, Joan Waugh, Richard Weiss, Mary A. Yeager, and Henry Yu.

Foreign Language Requirements:

One modern foreign language to be fulfilled through a departmentally-administered reading examination.

Course Requirements:

As a candidate for the Ph.D., you must meet (a) the special requirements for admission to the doctoral program listed above; and (b) the general requirements set forth under the Graduate Division. An excellent command of English, spoken and written, the ability to read at least two foreign languages (except for the field of U.S. History where only one foreign language is required), and an acquaintance with general history are expected of all candidates. You are required to complete at least two continuing two-or three-quarter seminar, or alternatively, a continuing sequence of at least two graduate courses approved by the GGCC. If you enter with an M.A., only ONE two-quarter research seminar is required. This seminar, or its alternative, must include completion of a substantial research paper based at least in part on primary sources.

All students must write a dissertation prospectus (which could be written for credit as a history 596 or 597) expected to contain: (a) a full statement of the dissertation topic; (b) an historiographical discussion of the literature bearing on the topic; (c) a statement of the methodology to be employed; and (d) a survey of the sources sufficient to demonstrate the viability of the topic. The prospectus must be approved by the dissertation adviser prior to the oral part of the qualifying examinations. After approval, copies will be given to each member of the examining committee.

For students of U.S. History, the historiography series 246A/B/C, while not required, is highly recommended for all first year students and limited to them. Faculty serving on doctoral committees may require such courses as they deem necessary for preparation for qualifying examinations. Courses taken to fulfill M.A. degree requirements may also be used to satisfy Ph.D. requirements.

Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations:

Before admission to candidacy, you must pass written and oral examinations. Students with outstanding incompletes may not be permitted to sit for these exams.

In the written qualifying examinations, you are expected to show not only a mastery of your special subject, but also an adequate grasp of the wider field of historical knowledge and an ability to correlate historical data and to explain their significance. These examinations are designed to test not merely factual knowledge, but also your power of historical analysis and synthesis, critical ability, and capacity for reflective thinking. A knowledge of the history of any area includes a reasonable knowledge of its historiography and bibliography; of its geography; and of its political, cultural, economic, and other historical aspects.

In the oral examination, you are to be examined in four fields, one of which may be an approved field in anthropology, economics, geography, language and literature, philosophy, political science, or other allied subjects. This allied field must be comparable in size and scope to the history fields listed above. You should select the fields in consultation with your faculty adviser and must receive the Department's approval of all four fields not less than three months before the written qualifying examination is taken. You will need to obtain the "Field Committee Orals" form (orals committee) from the Graduate Office. A copy of "Steps for the Orals" can be obtained from the Graduate Office. A full-time graduate student must begin the written qualifying examinations not later than the end of the ninth quarter of graduate work (See Time-to-Degree).

The written qualifying examination normally includes the major field only. The oral examination will cover all four fields and will normally be held after the written examination. In most fields, the oral examination will be held shortly after the written examination or, at the discretion of the doctoral committee, as late as six months after the written examination. Both the written and oral examinations are to be considered by the committee as a whole in arriving at a judgment of your performance. The written qualifying examination is normally prepared and administered by the chair of the committee and read by the entire committee before the oral qualifying examination.

The written qualifying examination must be passed before the oral qualifying examination can be taken. The members of the doctoral committee determine whether or not an examination may be repeated (normally only once), based on their prognosis of your potential for successfully completing both the written and oral examinations within a specified period of time to be designated by the doctoral committee, but not to exceed one calendar year. The written qualifying examination is not to exceed eight (8) hours and must be turned in to the Graduate Adviser's Office no later than 5:00 pm of the day of the examination.