Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York


Degree Requirements

Teaching Philosophy and Goals: Whether they are working toward the M.A. or the Ph.D., whether they are studying full-time or part-time, whether they are fresh out of college or are returning to study after a hiatus, graduate students at Fordham have the opportunity to work with its outstanding History faculty. Fordham History professors are committed to excellence in both research and teaching. One of the advantages of Fordham is that classes are relatively small, averaging nine or ten students. Beyond the classroom, students can expect personal attention from their professors and early help in their professional development. The primary function of the graduate program is to develop skills in critical analysis and historical research, but the department also attends to other aspects of professional training. For example, the course on college teaching trains Ph.D. students in pedagogical methods and gives them initial exposure to classroom teaching; a faculty member then mentors those students who are awarded teaching fellowships after this class. Because of their wide experience in teaching, research and such historical activities as documentary editing, oral history, and archival description, Fordham professors can assist students in developing their skills – whether they aspire to college teaching positions, high school posts, careers as documentary editors, jobs as journalists, or other history-related professions.

Opportunities to gain teaching experience are available both through teaching fellowships awarded through the department and in the many adjunct positions offered at New York area colleges. We also encourage students to offer papers at scholarly conferences and then guide them through the process; partial funding for travel to such conferences is offered through the Graduate Student Association. Similar encouragement and guidance is extended to students who wish to secure outside fellowships and grants to fund research and the final stages of dissertation writing. Within the department, students organize themselves in reading groups to further develop their skills in foreign languages. Excellence is also encouraged with the awarding of annual prizes, such as the Loomie Prize for the best seminar research paper. At the conclusion of the degree program, faculty members, as well as the university Career Planning Service, will guide students on how to set up a dossier and look for a job related to the degree they obtained.
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Master of Arts (MA) Program

All M.A. students are required to complete at least 30 credits of course work, normally eight classes. The degree normally requires one year of full-time study, with three courses in the fall and spring semesters and two courses in the summer. A minimum of six courses must be taken within the Department of History. All M.A. students must show reading proficiency in one foreign language (e.g. Spanish, French, German, Latin, or another language relevant to the student’s research interests). For their major degree requirement, students submit an M.A, research paper, normally developed and written in the proseminar/seminar in medieval history or a research tutorial and concurrent research colloquium in modern history.  All M.A. students must submit their M.A. papers for approval by two faculty members in an oral exam.   A “B” (3.0) average must be maintained in courses taken for the Master’s degree.  

The Department offers concentrations in Medieval and Modern History and the requirements for each vary slightly (see below).

Early Admissions Option to the MA Program:

Outstanding undergraduate history students at Fordham, with grade point averages of 3.2 or better, may apply for early admission to the M.A. program. Students submit their applications in the spring of their junior year, and enter the program in the senior year when they take two graduate courses. These courses count toward the B.A. and are accepted for the M.A. at Fordham.

With credit for the two courses, students are able to complete a History M.A. in two terms of full-time study in their fifth year.  Students from the FCRH, FCLC, and PCS campuses are eligible to opt for early admissions into the MA program, though all courses are given at Rose Hill. The History Department offers the M.A. in medieval and modern history. Contact Dr. Nancy Curtin, the Graduate Chair, at (718) 817-0730 for more information.
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Checklist for M.A. Concentrations:

Medieval European History
  •  The year-long proseminar/seminar sequence (8 credits)
  •  Three additional courses in medieval history (12 credits)
  •  One more history course in any area (4 credits)
  •  Two additional history courses in a minor field outside medieval history (8 credits). With the approval of the department, students may take one or both of these courses in another department provided the courses are of a historical nature.
  •  M.A. research seminar paper
  •  M.A. research paper oral exam
  •  Reading proficiency in one foreign language, including any relevant ancient or modern language.

Modern History

  •   Research Tutorial (3 credits) plus Research Colloquium (1 credit)
  •   At least five additional courses in modern (20-28 credits)
  •   Students may take two additional history courses in a minor field outside modern history (8 credits). With the approval of the department, students may take one or both of these  courses in another department provided the courses are of a historical nature.
  •   M.A. research tutorial paper
  •   M.A. research paper oral exam
  •   Reading proficiency in one foreign language. 

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program

Students without an M.A. in History who wish to pursue a Ph.D. at Fordham University should enter into the M.A. program (see requirements above) and then submit a second application for the Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. program requires an additional eight courses (30-32 credits) beyond the M.A. degree. Students applying for the doctoral program who have received an M.A. in History from another university can be admitted straight into the Ph.D. program but may be required to take some additional courses to make up for any deficiencies in academic preparation. Students are generally required to have concentrated onthe same field on the M.A. level as they intend to study in the Ph.D. program. Upon completion of course work and language requirements, Ph.D. students will take a comprehensive examination. Reading lists for the examination are developed by the student in conjunction with the student’s mentor and examination committee. Within a year after the comprehensive has been passed, the candidate must then present a dissertation prospectus for the approval of the mentor and dissertation committee. After the completion of the dissertation, its oral defense and submission to the dean, the Ph.D. is awarded.
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Checklist for Ph.D. Degree Programs:  The concentrations vary slightly in their requirements. All require the maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Medieval history
  •   Eight courses (minimum 30 credits) beyond the M.A. degree.
  •   Two of these eight courses must consist of the year-long proseminar/seminar sequence.
  •   Reading proficiency in two modern languages as well as Latin or another language of research.
  •   Comprehensive oral examination in four fields, at least three of which must be in the area of concentration; the fourth field may be in any other historical field or in another discipline, such as art history, literature, medieval studies, philosophy, political science, or theology.
  •   Dissertation proposal development (1 credit) and acceptance (3 credits) to be completed within one year of comprehensive examination.
  •   Dissertation and defense

Modern history

  •   Eight courses (minimum 30 credits) beyond the M.A. degree.
  •   These courses must include a research tutorial and concurrent research colloquium.
  •   Reading proficiency in two foreign languages (including statistics/databases).
  •   Comprehensive oral examination in the student’s field of proposed research and three fields determined by the student, the mentor, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Each part of the exam will be based on a reading list of 40-50 items (books and articles) developed by the student in collaboration with faculty mentors in each field.
  •   Dissertation proposal development (1 credit) and acceptance (3 credits) to be completed within one year of comprehensive examination.
  •   Dissertation and defense.
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For descriptions of recent courses please visit Fordham's Online Course Catalog or review on program website.

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