The School of Humanities
The undergraduate program offers courses in U.S. history; ancient and medieval history; intellectual history; and the history of science; and the early modern and modern history of Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, East and South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Faculty interests range from the Byzantine Empire to colonial Brazil and modern Mexico, from Qing and 20th-century China to colonial Indonesia, and from Kant to human rights. Within U.S. history, the department’s particular strengths are Atlantic migrations, slavery, the Old and New South, religion, race, and the Presidency. Within European history, Germany, Britain, and France are strengths. The department has a strong overall emphasis on colonialism across regions and time periods. The department encourages its majors to acquaint themselves with other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, especially literature, philosophy, fine arts, anthropology, sociology, and political science. Foreign language study is also important for students of history. The graduate program, which trains a limited number of carefully selected students, offers these fields: United States (including colonial America, the U.S. South, and United States and the World), Latin America and the Caribbean, the Atlantic World, transnational Asia and the Middle East. PhD students may concurrently pursue a graduate certificate through the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, or the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory.
Through graduate reciprocal agreements with the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) and the Instituto Mora, the department offers qualified graduate students the opportunity to earn a second PhD at a top-ranked university in Brazil or Mexico. Students in the dual degree program study in Brazil and write a dissertation that is co-supervised by faculty at Rice, UNICAMP, or Mora.
Upon completing the BA degree, students majoring in History will be able to:
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in History (HIST) must complete:
AP/IB credit may not be used to satisfy any requirements for the history major (even though a student may be able to use AP/IB credit toward general university requirements). Please see the transfer credit guidelines listed below. Some foreign language proficiency is desirable and the department highly recommends that students contemplating graduate work in history study at least one foreign language in some depth.
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete at least 1 course (3 credit hours) from at least 4 of the following 5 fields to satisfy the History major's Core Requirements. See below under Electives for course lists.
SEMINARStudents must complete a total of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from any departmental (HIST) course offerings between HIST 400 and HIST 499, with the exception of HIST 403 and HIST 404.
ELECTIVESTo fulfill the remaining History major requirements, students must complete a total of 4 additional courses (12 credit hours) from HIST course offerings. Of the 10 required courses to satisfy the History major requirements, a minimum of 6 courses total (18 credit hours) must be completed at the 300-level or above.
Jump to:Premodern CoursesEurope CoursesUnited States CoursesAfrica, Asia, Latin America, Middle East Courses Transnational, Comparative, World Courses
To guide and recognize the work of history majors who choose to devote a part of their studies to international historical issues and questions, the History department has established an international studies concentration. In addition to the standard degree requirements, students following this concentration are required to:
Upon graduation, students who complete the requirements of the international concentration will have the accomplishment noted on their final transcript. For more information, see the department website .
The Department of History grants transfer credit on a case-by-case basis to enrolled undergraduates. Courses taken at another institution must be the equivalent in required reading, writing, and testing of a Rice history course. Regarding subject matter, however, there does not have to be an equivalent course in the Rice history offerings. For the current procedures and to request transfer credit, see the department website . Rice students planning to study at a foreign university must also obtain approval from the Rice Study Abroad Office.
Qualified undergraduates may enroll for 6 semester credit hours of directed honors research and writing, completing an honors thesis in their senior year (these 6 credit hours are in addition to the 30 hours required for the major). Application to the program is required. For current procedures, see the department website . Financial assistance is available to conduct related research during the summer between the junior and senior year for all students accepted into the Honors Program.
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations to identify the History undergraduate degree, major, and major concentration. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: HIST Department Description and Code - History: HIST Degree Description and Code - Bachelor of Arts degree: BA Major Description and Code - Major in History: HIST Major Concentration Description and Code - Major Concentration in International Studies: HINT
The Rice University graduate program in history is primarily a PhD program. Students who have a BA in history (or its equivalent) are eligible to apply to the PhD program. Although many successful candidates to the PhD program have an MA or other advanced degree, advanced study is not a requirement for admission. Graduate study is offered in these fields: United States (including colonial America, the U.S. South, and the United States and the World), Latin America and the Caribbean, the Atlantic World, transnational Asia and the Middle East. Further information is available at the department website. For general university requirements, see Graduate Degrees.
The department awards graduate tuition waivers and fellowship stipends, within the limits of available funds, to qualified PhD candidates with demonstrated ability. University funding is not available for master’s program study only. All graduate students in the history department are expected to participate in the professional activities of the department as part of their training. These include, but are not limited to, assisting with the Journal of Southern History or serving as research assistants or teaching assistants for department members. As far as possible, these assignments are kept consistent with the areas of interests of the students.
Students graduating from this program will:
MA Program—The department gives priority to applicants for the PhD. Completion of the MA degree usually takes two years; no more than three years may elapse between graduate admission and the completion of the MA degree unless the department graduate committee approves an extension. MA degrees are awarded in three ways: (1) completion of one year of course work (18 credit hours) and a thesis written and defended in an oral examination during the second year; (2) completion of two years of course work (36 credit hours), normally including at least two seminar research papers, and (3) for students continuing to the PhD, completion of all requirements for candidacy, including written and oral examinations.
PhD Program—Doctoral candidates must prepare themselves in three fields of history: two in their major area of concentration, whether U.S. or other history, and a third in an area not included in the first two fields. Students who wish to pursue a third field in an area outside the department should petition the graduate committee by the end of their second semester.
The requirements for completing the degree will be administered as flexibly as possible within the bounds of general university requirements. These requirements state that the PhD degree will be awarded after successful completion of at least 90 semester hours of advanced study and an original investigation reported in an approved thesis. The student may apply for formal admission to candidacy for the PhD degree after passing the qualifying exam.
For the PhD, candidates must:
Upon completing the Dual PhD program with the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, students will be able to:
Rice will award a PhD degree in History to UNICAMP students who have successfully completed the following requirements:
UNICAMP will award the Doutor em História to Rice students who have successfully completed the following requirements:
Upon completing the dual PhD program with the Instituto Mora, students will:
Rice will award the Ph.D. in History to Mora students who have successfully completed the following requirements:
The Instituto Mora will award the Doctorado en Historia Moderna y Contemporánea to Rice students who have successfully completed the following requirements:
Descriptions and Codes Legend
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the History graduate degree program. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: HISTDepartment Description and Code - History: HISTDegree Descriptions and Codes - Master of Arts degree: MA - Doctor of Philosophy degree: PhDDegree Program Description and Code - Degree Program in History: HIST
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, for History can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To view the most recent course schedule for the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding History, see the department's website: http://history.rice.edu/.