Guide to the Graduate Program

Introduction | Applying (in brief) | Waiving credits | A special note to change of major applicants | A special note to new (entering) students: EmpowerU | PhD progress requirements at a glance | Program fields and options | Selecting the two history fields | Selecting the third or outside field | Length of study | MA requirements (en route to the PhD) | PhD coursework requirements | PhD foreign language requirements | Third semester examination | Third semester progress review | MA degree conferral | Yearly evaluations | PhD qualifying examination | Outcomes | Registration for Directed Dissertation Research | Advancing to PhD candidacy | Advancing to candidacy and the reduction of international student non-resident tuition | Candidate in Philosophy (CPhil) degree | Conference attendance | How and when to file the dissertation | Dissertation filing | Receiving a diploma | Filing fee status | Normative time-to-degree | Registration | In absentia status | Withdrawal status | Parental leave | Health insurance for non-registered students | Lapsing | Academic job placement | Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education | Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty

Introduction

The Berkeley Department of History represents a rich spectrum of research interests, collaborations, and approaches spanning 16 established fields of history: Africa, America Since 1607, Ancient Greece and Rome, Britain, Byzantine, Early Modern Europe, East Asia – China, East Asia – Japan, Jewish, Late Modern Europe, Latin America, Medieval, Middle East, Science, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.  The depth and breadth of our program and the strengths of our faculty members, students, and other professionals provide an especially stimulating and congenial setting for graduate training.
 

Comprising the department are over 50 full-time faculty members, a number of distinguished emeritus faculty and visiting professors, 190 graduate students, and 10 support staff.  Our department is the center of a history community at Berkeley that also includes faculty, professionals, and student colleagues from other departments and campus entities such as the area studies centers, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the campus archives, and informal study groups.

Applying (in brief)

The Berkeley History program admits only the strongest applicants who intend to devote full-time study towards attaining the doctoral degree (PhD) in history.  We do not offer a stand-alone or terminal master’s degree, but students who enter the program without an MA in history may receive an MA en route to the PhD (more information about this is provided below).  The department does not grant deferrals to those offered admission, so individuals should apply only for the academic year of intended enrollment.

Although most admitted students have an undergraduate major or a master’s in history or its equivalent, we accept applications from able students who have majored in other disciplines but who have acquired the historical background and other skills (e.g., languages) necessary to be competitive within the applicant pool.  A master’s degree is not required for admission.

On the graduate application, all applicants should indicate their degree goal is the PhD and also indicate their first field of emphasis from among the “established fields of history.”  Unlike some programs, our department does not require that entering students be “sponsored by” a single faculty member under whose guidance they will proceed in the program.  Rather, upon entry, a student is encouraged to explore connections and collaborations with a number of faculty inside and outside their field of concentration before settling on the composition of their orals and dissertation committees.  So that we may anticipate these possible collaborations, we ask applicants to list on the application those faculty members whose research is of particular interest.

To access complete information about how to apply to the Berkeley History Department, please see our Admissions website at http://history.berkeley.edu/graduate/admissions.

Waiving credits

A student who has completed graduate coursework at another institution may petition to have typically no more than two courses used in lieu of our PhD course requirements.  Syllabi, papers, examinations, and other clear evidence that there is course equivalency should accompany the petition, which must be approved by the Head Graduate Advisor.  Courses from another university, if accepted, will be accepted internally and will not be transferred to the Berkeley transcript.  Credits used towards fulfillment of the MA degree must be Berkeley courses, with the exception of language courses.

A special note to change-of-major applicants

If you are or ever were a Berkeley graduate student, you are a change-of-major applicant.  First, you should contact the department to identify yourself.  Second, rather than submit an online application through UC Berkeley’s Jazzee system, you will need to submit a paper “Graduate Petition for Change of Major or Degree Goal.”  Third, you should be aware that the Graduate Division starts the normative time clock for all graduate students upon their matriculation at the University.  So, for example, if you have spent two years in another program, your first year in the history doctoral program would be considered your third year by the University for the purposes of determining your time to advancement to candidacy for the PhD and your eligibility for the Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship (DNTF; for those who entered prior to 2010) or for the Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF; for those who entered in 2010 and after).  If you wish to have your normative time clock reassessed (rolled back one or more semesters), you should petition the Graduate Dean soon after entry into our program so that you will know how much time you have to advance to doctoral candidacy to qualify for the DNTF/DCF.  (Please refer to the section on Financial Support to see the potential impact on funding packages for change-of-majors.)

A special note to new (entering) students: EmpowerU

The University of California now requires a violence prevention education session, entitled EmpowerU, for all incoming students.  You have until the end of your first semester to complete this.  To fulfill the requirement, sign up for a session at geneq.berkeley.edu/empoweru.

PhD progress requirements at a glance

Typically two graduate courses per semester, taken for a letter grade; progress toward fulfillment of at least one foreign language requirement by the end of the first year; completion by the first year and in the first field of any combination of graduate courses number 275 and 280 and if possible one 285; minimum overall GPA 3.0 and history graduate course GPA 3.5; yearly evaluation; passing of the third semester examination; fulfillment of all course requirements (at least 34 units) and language requirements before taking the doctoral qualifying examination; passage of the PhD qualifying examination, taken no later than the end of the spring semester of the third year for students in a six-year field and by the end of the spring semester of the fourth year for students in a seven-year field; advancement to doctoral candidacy (including approval of a dissertation committee and written dissertation prospectus); enrollment in Directed Dissertation Research 296; after advancing, submission of annual progress reports by doctoral candidates; submission of the dissertation by the end of the sixth or seventh year (depending on field).

Program fields and options

The program prepares the student in three selected fields of study: two fields of history (called the first field and the second field) and one field in another discipline (called the third or outside field).  Students indicate their choice of the first field at the time of application to the program and they decide upon the second and outside fields by the end of the first year of study.  Students are bound by normative time requirements of the first field.  The Graduate Advisors Committee must formally approve the selection of these fields, normally by the end of the first year.

Fields
1. Africa
2. America Since 1607
3. Ancient Greece and Rome*
4. Britain
5. Byzantine
6. Early Modern Europe
7. East Asia – China
8. East Asia – Japan
9. History of Science
10. Jewish History
11. Late Modern Europe
12. Latin America
13. Medieval
14. Middle East
15. South Asia
16. Southeast Asia

 

* MA students in Ancient Greece and Rome define their field as either Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome; PhD students define their field as Ancient Greece and Romeor Rome and Late Antiquity.

Selecting the two history fields

Option A: Established Fields of History.  A first field and a second field may both be selected from the established fields of history.

Option B: Thematic focus.  With the approval of the Graduate Advisors Committee, students may give their second field a thematic focus, e.g., “Latin American Intellectual History,” “U.S. Labor History,” etc.  The GAC will not approve programs in which the first and second fields focus exclusively on a single country or region.

Option C: Comparative focus.  With the approval of the Graduate Advisors Committee, students may define their second field by a topic of interest studied in a comparative framework.  Comparative fields should cover three countries or regions (one of which may be included in the first field) and should afford a broad geographic and temporal coverage.  For example

First Field                    Second Field

America Since 1607   History of Religion (US, Italy, and Germany between 1789 and 1945)

Latin America              Industrial Revolution (Brazil, England, and Japan)

Britain                          Rural History (England, China, and the Middle East)

 

Option D: Two equal first fields.  Students who wish to emphasize the first and second fields equally must take a minimum of two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s in each field and at least one 285 in each field.  They must also meet the language requirement in each field.  Their normative time to advancement to candidacy and time-to-degree remain that of the field of entrance.

Selecting the third or outside field

The third or outside field for the PhD program must be in a discipline other than history.  Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the literature and methodologies of that discipline and attain detailed knowledge of one or more of its specialized areas.

Length of study

Students in fields with a six-year time-to-degree (meaning they are expected to complete all PhD program requirements in six years) can expect to spend three years completing coursework, one to two years doing dissertation research, and one to two years writing the dissertation.  Fields with a six-year time-to-degree are America Since 1607, Britain, Early Modern Europe, History of Science, Late Modern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. 

Students in fields with a seven-year time-to-degree (meaning they are expected to complete all PhD program requirements in seven years) are given an additional year to complete coursework, given the extensive language preparation required for these fields.  Fields with a seven-year time-to-degree are Africa, Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantine, East Asia – China, East Asia – Japan, Jewish History, Medieval Europe, Middle East, and South Asia.

MA requirements (en route to the PhD)

Students who do not already have a master’s degree in history have MA/PhD as their designated degree goal and should file for MA candidacy at the beginning of the term in which they will have fulfilled the MA degree requirements as stated below.  Students who have already received an MA in history (or an equivalent discipline) at Berkeley or at another institution are not eligible to receive a second MA.

1. MA coursework (minimum requirements)

All coursework counted towards the MA degree must be taken at Berkeley.

A. 12 units in the first field: two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s (both must be completed by the end of the first year) and one 285 (which should be completed by the end of the first year if possible).

Students in the fields of East Asia – China and East Asia – Japan have one additional required 4 unit seminar.  Students in East Asia – China must take a reading seminar (280) or a survey seminar (275) in Japanese history.  Students in East Asia – Japan must take a reading or survey seminar in Chinese history.  Exceptions require approval of the Graduate Advisors Committee.

Students in the field of History of Science must take, in addition to other required coursework, the historical colloquium (290) in each semester of their first two years.  The 290 is worth 1 unit and is graded on a S/U basis.

B. 12 other course units chosen from any combination of graduate history courses taken for a letter grade.  Toward this 12 unit course requirement, students may apply one upper-division undergraduate course in history or language and one graduate course in a field other than history (this course may also be used to satisfy the outside field PhD requirement).

Students should carefully calculate their units to meet the 24 unit MA requirement, as some upper-division and outside field courses are only worth 3 units.  It is recommended that students look ahead to the PhD program and select courses that will meet their future PhD course requirements.

2. Language

Students must complete one foreign language from their first field to be eligible for the MA degree.  They are advised to enroll in language courses beginning their first semester.  Those who are unable to keep to this timetable should consult with their faculty advisor(s) and devise a plan, as all language requirements must be fulfilled before the PhD qualifying exam at the end of the third or fourth year (depending on field).  Please see Appendix II for a list of language requirements by field and Appendix III for options for fulfilling the language requirements.

3. Pass the third semester exam

PhD coursework requirements

A general course list is available in Appendix I.  For more course details, see http://history.berkeley.edu/graduate/courses.

Students complete a minimum of 34 course units, not including language, and maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (3.5 or above in history graduate courses).  Courses that are being applied to the program must be taken for a letter grade.  Students typically take a minimum of two graduate courses per semester, plus any additional language preparation required by their field.  Students holding a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) appointment can opt to reduce their courseload by one graduate course in the term of the appointment as long as they are able to complete all coursework requirements by the prescribed time to advancement to doctoral candidacy for their field.  Separate fields may require additional coursework and may also define the nature of the outside field more precisely.  With the approval of the Graduate Advisors Committee, students may occasionally substitute History 299 courses for the required courses defined below.  The required coursework is distributed as follows.

A. 12 to 16 units in the first field: two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s (both must be completed by the end of the first year) and two 285s (one should be completed by the end of the first year if possible).

Students in the fields of East Asia – China and East Asia – Japan have one additional required 4 unit seminar.  Students in East Asia – China must take a reading seminar (280) or a survey seminar (275) in Japanese history.  Students in East Asia – Japan must take a reading or survey seminar in Chinese history.  Exceptions require approval of the Graduate Advisors Committee.

Students in the field of History of Science must take, in addition to other required coursework, the historical colloquium (290) in each semester of their first two years.  The 290 is worth 1 unit and is graded on a S/U basis.

B. 8 to 12 units in the second field: two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s or one 285 and either one 275 or one 280.  Students with equal first and second fields must take a minimum of two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s in each field and at least one 285 in each field.  Students choosing this option must meet the language requirement in each field.

C. 3 to 4 units in the third field: one graded course in a field and department other than history.

D. 4 units of methodology: Historical Method and Theory (283).  Students are strongly encouraged to take this course in their first or second year.

E. 2 units of pedagogy: Teaching History Pedagogy Seminar (formerly 300, now 375).  A pedagogy course is required of all first-time Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs).  Students are strongly encouraged to take the Department of History’s 375, which is offered in the fall semester only.

PhD foreign language requirements

The language requirements for the PhD vary by field between one and four.  Students whose field requires two or more languages are advised to come to the program with significant preparation in the languages most critical to the field (e.g., students in medieval history should have intermediate Latin at the time of application).  Students should attempt to complete one foreign language applicable to the selected field by the end of the first year.  Please see Appendix II for a list of language requirements by field and Appendix III for options for fulfilling the language requirements.  Students must satisfy all language requirements before taking the doctoral qualifying examination.  Faculty in the field can help students make a plan for completing the requirements.

Third semester examination

In the third semester, all students are examined for general command of the history and scholarship in their first field.  Students taking the exam will be expected to display, at minimum, textbook-level knowledge of their fields and/or a thorough mastery of the materials covered in the courses they have taken at Berkeley.  A minimum program of three seminars or its equivalent (275s, 280s, and/or 285s), two of which must be in the first field, is a prerequisite to the examination.  Examinations may be oral or written or both (depending on the field) and are graded pass/fail.  The Graduate Advisors Committee appoints third semester exam committees, consisting of three faculty members and chaired by a member of the GAC.  The exam committees draft and grade the written examinations, administer the oral examinations, and report the results to the GAC.

Fields with oral third semester examinations: Africa, America Since 1607, Britain, Early Modern Europe, Jewish History, Late Modern Europe, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. 

The oral examinations are approximately one hour long.

Fields with written third semester examinations: Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantine, East Asia – China*, East Asia – Japan*, History of Science**, and Middle East. 

Except for the two East Asian fields and History of Science, written exams are three hours long and are closed book.

* The third semester examination in East Asian history is a three-hour written exam designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of both Chinese and Japanese history.  It consists of five sections, three of them dealing with Chinese history (Early China, the Middle Period, and Modern China) and two with Japanese history (pre-1600 Japan and post-1600 Japan).  Each section offers a choice of two essay questions so that a total of ten questions is posed.  Students must answer two questions total, one about Chinese history and one about Japanese history.  The examination is open-book and administered via computer.  Questions will be emailed to the students at their campus email address at 9:00am on the scheduled day.  Students will email their answers to Mabel, the Graduate Assistant, by 5:00pm the same day.  The following regulations apply: a) answers must be submitted as standard text attachments (preferably Word documents); b) answers must be submitted as well-constructed essays no longer than 1,200 words each; and c) the completed exam must be concluded by the following statement and signed electronically: “I, [ENTER NAME], wrote this examination entirely on my own, without any consultation (including editorial or proof-reading assistance) of any other person.  All quotations or paraphrases of sources (whether print or electronic) are fully acknowledged.  This examination – in structure, content, and analysis – is my own original work.”

 ** History of Science students take two three-hour written third semester examinations on successive days or, if they desire, in a single day.  This is a take-home exam.  The Graduate Assistant will email the questions to their email address on file and students will likewise return their answers via email to her at mabel@berkeley.edu.  Students may use books and notes and may access the Internet for reference purposes.

Fields with written and oral third semester examinations: Medieval.

The examination in medieval European history has two parts: a three-hour written exam and a one-hour oral exam (scheduled approximately two weeks after the written exam).  The written exam is closed book.  The examiners will normally include two medievalists with whom the student has taken coursework during the first year.  Both parts of the exam are considered in determining the final outcome, meaning only one determination/grade will be assigned based on an evaluation of both the written and oral parts of the exam.

Third semester progress review

The third semester progress review is a comprehensive evaluation of student performance in courses and seminars, progress towards fulfilling language requirements, and third semester examination results.  Based on the review, the student will be continued in or terminated from the program.  Students who are earning the MA while progressing towards the PhD will at this point either be a) continued in the program with the award of the MA degree (if the requirements have been fulfilled and the student does not already have an MA in History from another institution), b) discontinued with award of the MA degree (if the requirements have been fulfilled and the student does not already have an MA in History from another institution), or c) discontinued without degree.

MA degree conferral

Master’s degrees are conferred at the end of the fall and spring semesters.  They are not awarded automatically.  If you are planning to earn an MA, you must file for advancement to MA candidacy by the end of the fifth week of classes in the semester in which you expect to complete the requirements for the degree.  Advancement to MA candidacy applications may be picked up from the Graduate Assistant.  Diplomas will be available at the Registrar’s Office approximately five months after the conferral of the degree.

Yearly evaluations

Students in the program (both pre- and post- qualifying exam) are evaluated yearly by the Graduate Advisors Committee.  Those in the pre-orals stage will complete the department’s Review of Progress form and those advanced to doctoral candidacy will complete the Berkeley Graduate Council’s “Report on Progress in Candidacy in the Doctoral Program.”  The latter must meet with a member of their dissertation committee to complete the form (unless they are not in residence).  The Graduate Assistant will make these forms available in the spring semester.  Failure to submit either form may also result in the loss of guaranteed funding previously offered.  There will be two categories of evaluation: satisfactory progress and unsatisfactory progress.  Students deemed to be making satisfactory progress will be eligible for fellowship and teaching awards.  Students not making satisfactory progress will be notified in writing and may be terminated from the program or may lose any guaranteed funding previously offered.  Students must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA in graduate history courses to be eligible for department funding.

PhD qualifying examination

The PhD oral qualifying examination is taken by the end of the spring semester of the third year in fields with a six-year time-to-degree and by the end of the spring semester of the fourth year in fields with a seven-year time-to-degree.  Failure to complete the qualifying exam and advance to candidacy within normative time (the prescribed time-to-degree for a field) has serious financial consequences, including loss of departmental and University aid.  All language requirements and coursework must be fulfilled and all incompletes removed before taking the examination.  In planning for their qualifying exam, students should consult with their proposed committee members to make certain they will be available to participate.  Students should notify the Graduate Assistant by completing the departmental form “Constitution of the PhD Oral Qualifying Exam Committee.”  This form should be submitted at least two months in advance of the proposed examination date; exceptions to this require the approval of the Graduate Advisors Committee.  There is an additional Graduate Division form, the “Application for the Qualifying Examination,” that must be submitted to Graduate Division at least three weeks in advance of the orals date.  There are no exceptions to the Graduate Division deadline.  This means that any petition for an exception to the committee composition must be approved before the application can be sent to Graduate Division.

The exam committee is composed of two history faculty members who will examine in the first field, two history faculty members who will examine in the second field, and a faculty member from another department who will examine in the outside field.  A first field professor who is not the student’s proposed dissertation advisor will normally chair the committee.  The chair and outside member must be members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate (tenured or tenure-track faculty).  Please be sure to check that these two professors meet this requirement.  The GAC and the Dean of the Graduate Division must formally approve the composition of the exam committee.

The exam tests the candidate’s mastery of the factual information and theoretical concepts absorbed through coursework and seminar research in the three fields approved for the doctoral program.  It also assesses the candidate’s readiness to enter the dissertation research phase of the program.

The exam is oral and lasts between two and three hours.  As a general rule, each examiner has twenty minutes to ask questions.  A shorter follow-up round is possible after each examiner has had his/her twenty minutes.  The oral exam may also, at the student’s option, have a written component.  Two weeks prior to the oral exam, students who choose the written option will be offered three topics in each of the two history fields.  The candidate will select one topic in each field as the subject of an essay of the approximate scope of an upper-division undergraduate lecture and will be given a week to write the essays, using any reference material or other resources desired.  The exam committee will then read the two essays and, as part of the oral exam, ask the candidate to discuss and defend the ideas presented therein.  This written component is an integral part of the PhD examination and not a separate test to be passed or failed alone.  Students who choose this option must consult with their faculty advisor and examiners in the two history fields and then inform the Graduate Assistant no later than five weeks prior to the date of the oral exam.  A copy of each essay will be placed in the student’s folder at the time of the PhD exam.

Outcomes

At the conclusion of the PhD oral qualifying exam, the committee may advise the Dean of the Graduate Division that the student has either a) passed the exam and should be continued in the program, b) failed the exam but should be re-examined after at least three months have passed, or c) failed the exam and should be discontinued without re-examination.

Registration for Directed Dissertation Research

After passing the PhD oral qualifying examination, unless they are on approved withdrawal status, students register for History 296: Directed Dissertation Research until the dissertation is completed and filed with the Graduate Division. 

Advancing to PhD candidacy

In order to advance to PhD candidacy, the student must a) pass the qualifying exam, b) obtain approval from the Graduate Advisors Committee for the composition of their dissertation committee (consisting of two members from the history department and one member from another department), and c) present the dissertation committee a written dissertation prospectus.  After the committee has met with the student and approved the prospectus, the student will submit the “Application for Candidacy for the Doctoral Degree” form to the Graduate Division for formal approval.

Human subjects and animal protocol: If your research project involves human subjects (including interviews), you must take the online Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) course and print out the certification of completion before you can submit the paperwork to advance.  If your project involves vertebrate animals, you must obtain prior approval from the Animal Use and Care Committee and the Graduate Division.

Students should aim to advance in strict accordance with the timetables outlined below in section A or B (as applicable) in order to qualify for the Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship (DNTF; for those who entered prior to 2010) or for the Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF; for those who entered in 2010 and after). 

A. This section applies only to students who entered before Fall 2010

Advancing to PhD candidacy and the Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship (DNTF).  For students who entered prior to 2010, the Graduate Division awards a Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship (DNTF) consisting of two semesters of stipend and fees to students who advance to PhD candidacy within the normative time established for their field.  Students in six-year time-to-degree fields are awarded the DNTF provided that the doctoral qualifying exam is passed by the end of the spring semester and advancement is completed by June 30 of their third year.  Students in seven-year time-to-degree fields are awarded the DNTF provided that the doctoral qualifying exam is passed by the end of the spring semester  and advancement is completed by June 30 of their fourth year.  Students who entered in 2007, 2008, and 2009 will normally use the DNTF during their research year, which is the year immediately following their orals; the DNTF can be deferred to a later year if the student obtains other sources of funding for the research year.  In either case, students must use their DNTF within normative time.

B. This section applies only to students who entered in Fall 2010 and after

Advancing to PhD candidacy and the Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF).  For students who entered in 2010 or after, the Graduate Division awards a Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF) consisting of two semesters of stipend and fees to students who submit a progress report and advance to PhD candidacy within the normative time established for their field. Students in six-year time-to-degree fields are awarded the DCF provided that the doctoral qualifying exam is passed by the end of the spring semester and advancement is completed by June 30 of their third year.  Students in seven-year time-to-degree fields are awarded the DCF provided that the doctoral qualifying exam is passed by the end of the spring semester and advancement is completed by June 30 of their fourth year.  Students will normally use the DCF during their research year, which is the year immediately following their orals; the DCF can be deferred to a later year if the student obtains other sources of funding for the research year.  In either case, students must use their DCF within four years of advancing to candidacy.  Students who receive the DCF are not eligible for any further university employment or funding (except loans) after one year past their normative time-to-degree (NTD + 1).  International students who wait to use the DCF in Year NTD + 1 will be expected to pay non-resident student tuition for that year.

Note: The DNTF and the DCF may be supplemented by only a single one-semester appointment as a GSI, GSI/Acting Instructor, GSR, reader, or tutor and for no greater than 25% time (10 hours per week).  For students who are eligible for two semesters of DNTF or DCF, the 25% time appointment may be taken in only one of the two semesters.

Advancing to candidacy and the reduction of international student non-resident tuition

International students are eligible for a 100% reduction in non-resident tuition for three consecutive years from the date they advance to PhD candidacy, whether registered or not.  Any such student who continues to register after receiving the reduction for three years will be charged the full non-resident tuition rate effective at that time.  Advancement does not reduce in-state fees.

Candidate in Philosophy (CPhil) degree

Doctoral candidates who wish to receive a Candidate in Philosophy (CPhil) degree, which gives formal recognition to the completion of all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation, must notify the Graduate Assistant before the end of the fifth week following the semester of advancement.

Conference attendance

It is expected that doctoral students will participate in professional conferences as part of their necessary job market preparations.  The department and the University support and facilitate this expectation in a number of ways, for example through faculty guidance, release time from expected course attendance and other obligations, and funding.  For more information about funding opportunities available on campus to support conference attendance, please see http://grad.berkeley.edu/financial/pdf/travel_grants.pdf and http://ga.berkeley.edu/funding/travel-grants.

How and when to file the dissertation

A booklet of instructions on preparing and submitting a dissertation is available online at grad.berkeley.edu/policies/guides/dissertation-filing.  All dissertations are now submitted digitally.  The booklet specifies formatting requirements, filing procedures, and copyright information.  With digital filing, your dissertation will be freely available via the library’s website two years after the filing date unless you request a longer withholding period on the “Dissertation Release Form.”  Students are strongly advised to discuss with their dissertation chairs withholding access for five years to protect research, particularly in archival sources, until published in monograph form.  Students completing requirements for a fall degree must file their dissertation with the Graduate Division by the last working day of the fall semester; students completing requirements for a spring degree must file by the last working day of the spring semester (specific deadline dates are available at the beginning of the academic year).  It is strongly recommended that a copy of the final draft of one’s dissertation be given to each dissertation committee member.

Dissertation filing

Students must be on approved filing fee status or be registered in the term the dissertation is filed.  Students registering in the summer must enroll in at least three units during any of the sessions (A, B, C, D, or E) and have until the end of that session to file; the degree itself will be conferred the following fall.

Receiving a diploma

Graduating students must update their address on BearFacts so that the Registrar’s Office can send them their diploma by postal mail.  Please be sure that the section you update is the diploma section of the directory.

Filing fee status

The filing fee permits eligible doctoral students to pay one-half the student services fee (or approximately $250) in lieu of full registration fees the semester they intend to submit their dissertations.  Students must apply to the Graduate Division for this status and it is approved only for students who have been continuously enrolled during all periods of study and research that have required the use University facilities or faculty consultation and who were registered the previous semester.  Students must apply for the filing fee before the beginning of the semester in which they intend to submit their dissertations.  Filing fee status is not equivalent to registration (students may not take coursework or use any University facilities not accorded the general public) and is approved only once for eligible students.  If they do not complete final degree requirements by the end of the term, students must register and pay regular fees during the semester in which they do complete those requirements.  Students on approved filing fee status can purchase health insurance and a library card with a memo from the Graduate Assistant.

Normative time-to-degree

The normative or expected time-to-degree of a history PhD candidate is six or seven years, depending on the first field, as declared upon admission to the program.  Students in fields in which the language requirement can be fulfilled within the first three years are expected to complete their coursework and language requirements, pass their orals, and advance to PhD candidacy in three years and to research and write the dissertation in an additional three years, for a total of six years to obtain the degree.  Students whose fields demand extensive language training have four years to advance to PhD candidacy and an additional three years to research and write the dissertation, for a total of seven years to obtain the degree.  Failure to complete the qualifying exam and advance to candidacy within normative time has serious financial consequences, including loss of departmental and University aid.  Unless on approved withdrawal status, students must register until they complete all requirements for the PhD degree.

Fields with a six-year time-to-degree: America Since 1607, Britain, Early Modern Europe, History of Science, Late Modern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. 

Fields with a seven-year time-to-degree: Africa, Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantine, East Asia – China, East Asia – Japan, Jewish History, Medieval Europe, Middle East, and South Asia.

Registration

Students are required to register throughout their graduate student careers.  The only exceptions are those semesters during which they officially withdraw from the University or are on filing fee status.  Students may not register and enroll after the award of the degree for which they are admitted unless they have been approved for a new degree goal or major.  Students are expected to register full-time in each semester (12 graduate units or the equivalent).

In absentia status

In absentia status is a form of registration available to graduate students who are advanced to doctoral candidacy and undertaking research (related to their degree program) outside of California for an entire semester.  Students registered in absentia are only assessed health insurance fees (approximately $1150 per semester) and 15% of the combined tuition and student services fees (approximately $915 per semester).  Applications are due by July 15 for the fall semester and December 9 for the spring semester.  Students may hold University fellowships and GSR appointments during the in absentia period (but may not hold GSI, reader, or tutor appointments).  Upon approval of the Graduate Dean, students may usein absentia status for a maximum of four semesters.

Withdrawal status

Unless on approved withdrawal status, students must register until they complete all requirements for the PhD degree.  Those with outstanding loans should consult with their lender regarding deferment of loan payments.  International students should consult with the Berkeley International Office (BIO) about maintaining visa status while withdrawn.  Students withdraw by cancelling their registration for the following term through TeleBears.  Students remain on withdrawn status until they apply for readmission.  Email addresses of withdrawn students remain active for 274 days before expiring; students anticipating remaining withdrawn for longer than 274 days can arrange to have their access extended for up to two years but must arrange to withdraw through the Graduate Assistant instead of TeleBears.  Withdrawn students can purchase a library card with a memo from the Graduate Assistant.

Parental leave

In recognition of the physical demands of childbearing, a woman anticipating childbirth is entitled to receive an extension of up to one extra year for passing preliminary examinations and qualifying examinations and an extension of up to one extra year toward normative time completion while in candidacy.  A woman or man experiencing other extraordinary parenting demands, such as the serious illness of a child, is entitled to receive an extension of up to six extra months for passing preliminary examinations and qualifying examinations and an extension of up to six extra months towards normative time completion while in candidacy.  However, the total additional time granted by this policy cannot exceed two years, no matter how many children are involved.  The Head Graduate Advisor’s endorsement is required when the request is sent to the Graduate Division for review.

Health insurance for non-registered students

Non-registered UC Berkeley students on approved filing fee or withdrawal status can voluntarily enroll in SHIP (the Student Health Insurance Plan) for a maximum of two semesters.  The student must have been covered by the plan immediately preceding the term for which s/he wants to purchase coverage.  Voluntary non-registered student enrollment must be completed within the enrollment period.  The enrollment period for the fall semester is July 15 to September 15 and the enrollment period for the spring semester is December 15 through February 15.

Lapsing

Students who do not complete requirements for the degree within five years after advancing to doctoral candidacy will have their candidacy lapsed by the Graduate Division.  Students have the opportunity to request an extension of candidacy for up to one year.  Lapsing is a probationary status that usually lasts two years.  Lapsed students can request reinstatement at the time a complete draft is submitted to his/her committee if previously completed requirements, such as coursework, languages, and qualifying exam, are still valid.  The Dean of the Graduate Division reviews requests for reinstatement.

Academic job placement

History graduate students should begin preparing for the academic job market the spring semester prior to the academic year in which they will begin to apply for jobs (which will start the following academic year).  Students should plan to have at least two dissertation chapters done by the time they start to apply and they should be prepared to file before they start a job.  The department provides resources to facilitate the process, including a series of workshops (in May, September, and December) on preparing for the job market and one-on-one advising by faculty and staff.  The Berkeley Career Center also offers assistance in joining the job market.  For more information on Career Center resources, please see http://career.berkeley.edu/PhDs/PhDs.stm. 

Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Beginning fall 2012, the Graduate Student Instructor Teaching and Resource Center will be offering a Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.  The department strongly encourages all students interested in teaching to apply and participate.  For more information, please see http://gsi.berkeley.edu/certificate/index.html. 

Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty

The Center also offers a Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty, geared towards students who have already advanced to candidacy.  Past history students who have gone through the program highly recommend it.  Admission is competitive and the deadline is usually in mid-March.  For more information, please see http://gsi.berkeley.edu/conf_wkshop/SummerInstituteGuidelines.html. 

Last edited 9 July 2013