2012-2013 Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees
Applicable only to students admitted during the 2012-2013 academic year.
College of Letters and Science
The Department of History offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in History.
6265 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1473
Leading to the degree of
The History department admits only applicants whose objective is the Ph.D.
Admission Limited to
Deadline to apply
GRE (General and/or Subject)
Letters of Recommendation
Applicants normally are expected to hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in history from an accredited college or university, with at least a B+ average in upper division coursework. For applicants to the Ancient field, demonstrated proficiency in ancient Greek and Latin is expected. For applicants to the European field, demonstrated proficiency in at least one foreign language (usually French or German) is expected; prospective students are strongly urged to have proficiency in two foreign languages.
Applicants who have had a year or more of graduate study at other institutions should have attained a grade-point average of 3.5 or better (on a 4.0 scale) if they wish to work toward the Ph.D. degree.
Admissions are limited to the number of openings each year in the field in which the applicant expects to specialize. Applicants are urged to correspond with a member of the History faculty in the field in which they intend to work.
Students are expected to work in the field for which they are admitted. A change of fields after admission requires approval of the relevant admissions committee.
See under Doctoral Degree.
Areas of Study
The comprehensive examination covers one of the following fields: (1) ancient (includes ancient Near East) and late antiquity); (2) medieval; (3) European history, ca 1450 to present (also includes British history, Jewish, Russian, East Central and Southeast European history); (4) Africa; (5) Near East (includes Armenia); (6) South and Southeast Asia; (7) China; (8) Japan; (9) Latin America; (10) U.S.; (11) history of science; (12) Jewish history; (13) special fields (students in the history of religions or history of Christianity are normally examined in one of the above fields).
Foreign Language Requirement
A reading knowledge of one foreign language approved by the department is required for the M.A degree. It is recommended that this requirement be met in the first year of graduate work, except for students in the European field, who should meet this requirement during the first quarter of graduate work. Students of U.S., Near East and African history may take a departmental translation examination in French, Spanish, or German. Students of European history must take a departmental translation examination in French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, German, or Russian, preferably during the first quarter of graduate work, as noted above, but no later than the beginning of the sixth quarter of full-time study. Students of Chinese history must have a minimum of three years of Chinese. Students of Japanese history must have a minimum of three years of Japanese. For other languages, students arrange to take a language examination administered by a faculty member in the History department or a foreign language department at UCLA; certification of competence is made in accord with the standards of the language department faculty. Departmental foreign language examinations are administered during the Fall and Spring quarters.
The department requires a minimum (and prefers a maximum) of nine upper division and graduate courses in history, at least six of which must be graduate courses. The six graduate courses must include at least one continuing two- or three-quarter research seminar which must include the preparation of a substantial research paper.
For students in U.S. history, the minimum of nine courses must all be at the 200 level, including History 246A-246B-246C, at least two continuing two-quarter seminars, one seminar in another field in this department, and one graduate level course in another department.
Students in African history must take History 275A and at least one continuing two- or three-quarter seminar.
Students in the history of science must take two two-quarter research seminars, and must complete History 200O twice.
Students in Chinese history must complete one two-quarter research seminar, History 282A-282B, in the major field.
Students in Jewish history must complete the following: three seminars in cognate fields within the department; at least one continuing two- or three-quarter research seminar in the Jewish history field, including preparation of a substantial research paper; and one graduate seminar with at least one faculty member in the Jewish field other than the student's primary adviser.
Students in Medieval history must take History 200C or its equivalent, and must complete at least one continuing two- or three-quarter research seminar which must include preparation of a substantial research paper.
Students of Latin American history must complete a two-quarter research seminar (History 266, 267, 268). The completion of two graduate seminars in the same subfield (colonial or modern) may be applied to satisfy the two-quarter research requirement if a relevant two-quarter seminar has not been offered during a student's term of pre-candidacy (i.e., within two to three years).
Students of Near East history must complete one continuing two- or three-quarter seminar, and two of the following seminars: Historiography of the Pre-Modern Middle East, Historiography of the Early-Modern Middle East, and Historiography of the Modern Middle East.
Students in South and Southeast Asian history must complete one two-quarter research seminar.
For students in fields other than U.S. history, only one 500-series course may be applied toward both the total course requirement and the minimum six graduate (200-series) course requirement. This may be either four units of 596 or four units of 597. History 495 and courses in the 300 series are not applicable toward course requirements.
Comprehensive Examination Plan
The department follows the comprehensive examination plan. Individual fields specify the fulfillment of the examination requirement by (1) a three-hour written examination designed to assess the candidate's ability to synthesize a broad field of knowledge; or (2) the submission of three essays written for at least two different professors as part of the candidate's program of study. At least two of these papers must have been submitted for graduate courses in the 200 series. In addition, some fields have examination formats that differ from the above, and specify dates when the examinations are given, as follows:
The U.S. field requires students to achieve a satisfactory pass of the doctoral written qualifying examination following 12 months in academic residence. Students who fail the examination may retake it once by petition when it is offered again at the beginning of the next Fall Quarter.
The European field requires a three part four-hour comprehensive examination to be completed at the end of the student's fifth quarter.
The African field requires a four-hour comprehensive examination to be completed in May of the second year of study. Students entering the program with an M.A. degree must complete the examination by May of the first year of study.
The History of Science field requires students to achieve a satisfactory pass in the doctoral written qualifying examination administered at the end of the sixth quarter of study.
The Medieval field requires two three-hour written examinations in the student's primary field and an oral examination in the minor fields and on the prospectus.
The Near East field requires students to achieve a satisfactory pass of the doctoral written qualifying examination.
The comprehensive examination, regardless of format, is graded (1) pass to continue for the Ph.D.; (2) pass, subject to reevaluation for continuance for the Ph.D.; (3) terminal M.A. pass; or (4) fail. In cases where the M.A. degree is awarded with pass subject to reevaluation, the field M.A. committee conducts a special reevaluation of the candidate's progress after no more than three additional quarters of study.
All students must file a petition for advancement to candidacy with the Graduate Office within the first two weeks of the quarter in which they expect to receive their master's degree.
Completion of the requirements for the master's degree is designed to meet requirements for admission to the department's doctoral program. Students are advised to complete the requirements within six quarters of full-time study. The department will recommend to the Graduate Division that students who do not complete the requirements for the master's degree within six quarters be terminated from graduate study, unless, by petition, the Graduate Affairs Committee grants an extension of time.