The Tri-University doctoral program is designed to be completed in four years of full-time study.
All doctoral students must attend the professional development seminar in their first year of the program. The seminar is designed to prepare students for success as PhD students and for their future careers in academic and professional fields of employment.
The major field is the student’s primary area of concentration. The basis of the major field is the major field reading list, which consists of 100 books or equivalent, the preparation of one historiographical assignment, and participation and/or presentations. It ends with writing the Major Field Qualifying Exam (Comprehensive).
The minor fields represent secondary areas of concentration. Minor fields are completed by seminar work during the first two terms of the student's program.
The major field/qualifying exam is normally set for the Fall term of the second year (4th term) of a student’s full-time registration. The exam will consist of a written and an oral portion (each weighted as a 0.5 credit course) with a separate grade assigned for each part. A pass in both is required to continue.
All doctoral students will present a thesis proposal to their advisory committee during the semester following the completion of their qualifying exams. The expected length is approximately 3,000 words.
The colloquium will be scheduled in the third year of the program and will consist of a public presentation of a draft of a substantive chapter of the dissertation (i.e. involving original research rather than historiography).
Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a second language. Language proficiency is tested through an examination administered by the home department and it is expected that a student will take the test no later than the 6th term following admission into the program.
PhD students may apply to their department chair to teach a one-term course.
Each student will be required to write and successfully defend a thesis of such cogency and originality as will represent a significant contribution to knowledge. The thesis will normally be between 50,000 and 90,000 words in length.
PhD Completion Sequence in Four Years
- The Fall Semester begins the Major and Minor Field Seminars. Obtaining a B+ average is required to continue. The Professional Development Seminar milestone begins.
- The Winter Semester includes continuation of Major and Minor Field Seminars. Minor Field papers are completed and submitted. The Professional Development Seminar continues where a pass required.
- The Spring/Summer Semester involves independent reading in the Major Field and preparation for the Major Field Qualifying Exam (comprehensive).
- The Fall Semester involves preparing for and completing the Major Field Qualifying Exam (Comprehensive).
- The Winter Semester involves submitting and defending the Thesis Proposal. A pass is required to continue.
- The Spring/Summer Semester involves submitting and defending the thesis proposal if it was not completed in the Winter semester. This is the last semester to complete the language requirement where a pass is required.
- The third year involves continuing with research and the completion of a Colloquium at some point during the year. A pass is required.
- The fourth year continues with research and writing the Dissertation. If a Colloquium was not completed earlier, it will be completed during this year prior to the Dissertation Defence.
- The Dissertation is defended and a pass is required.