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The PhD program in History focuses on the history of the Borderlands. The program is rooted in the premise that the Border unites as much as it divides and that the people of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico share many common historical experiences. Students at UTEP experience first-hand the complex political and social realities of a border community and take advantage of the rich opportunities for research in both El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. The degree is intended to prepare students for professional careers as college and university faculty, or as public historians working in such fields as museum administration, historic preservation, archival management, and public policy.

All students in the program complete a field of concentration in U.S.- Mexico Borderlands history, Transnational/World history, and either United states history or Mexican and Latin American history. Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of Spanish, except for unusual circumstances in which another language might be more appropriate.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School and the graduate program in History listed above, students should meet the following qualifications:

  1. Completion of a BA or MA degree in History. Students whose degree was in a field other than History should submit evidence of preparation equal to an undergraduate minor in History (survey courses in U.S. History and World History or Western Civilization; and 12 upper-division hours). Applicants with less than the required preparation might be required to do pre-doctoral work.
  2. Submission of official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
  3. Evidence of potential for scholarly work in History (from references and a written personal statement as well as the academic record).
  4. TOEFL score of 213/550 or higher for international applicants whose first language is not English or who have not completed a university degree in the U.S. or another English-speaking country.

Prerequisite

Completion of the fourth semester of Spanish language instruction with a grade of B or better, or successful completion of a department-approved Spanish language competency examination.

Application Procedures

Application forms can be obtained from and should be submitted to the UTEP Graduate School. Applications can be submitted at any time, but will be acted upon only once a year. The deadline for the submission of applications for the following academic year is January 15.

The documents to be submitted to the Graduate School are as follows:

  1. Official Graduate School application form.
  2. Transcripts according to the requirements of the Graduate School.
  3. Official test results on the GRE (and TOEFL, if applicable).
  4. A two- to three-page personal statement outlining the applicant’s personal experience, educational background, research interests, career goals, and how the program will benefit the applicant’s professional development.
  5. Three letters of reference from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate
  6. A sample of the student’s academic work in the form of a term paper or chapter about 25 pages in length.

Course Requirements

All PhD students will be required to take courses at the graduate level (5300 and above) totaling at least 63 semester credit hours. This requirement is composed of core courses (15 hours), seminar courses (9 hours), elective courses (30 hours), and required doctoral dissertation courses (9 hours). Dissertation preparation courses (HIST 6398 and HIST 6399) can be repeated, but counted for credit only once in the above total academic work and future professional contributions.

Two Cs

PhD students who receive two or more grades of C will be formally reviewed, and the Graduate Program Committee will make a recommendation as to whether the student should be allowed to continue in the program.

Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate reading proficiency in the Spanish language by the time they complete 36 semester credit hours. Students are required to have a reading knowledge of Spanish sufficient to conduct research in primary and secondary sources in that language. Alternate languages can be accepted by the Graduate Program Committee when appropriate to the student's research. Coursework taken to meet the language requirement will not be counted in the 63 hours required for the PhD degree.

Transfer With Graduate Credit

Students accepted into the PhD program with graduate credit (from UTEP or another institution) will be required to meet the specific degree requirements stated above. The student can petition the Graduate Program Committee to accept up to 30 hours of credit toward the degree. If titles of the transferred courses differ substantially from the History courses listed in this catalog, the student will be requested to provide documentation to the committee that the courses transferred are equivalent in content. The required core courses (HIST 5351-HIST 5354 and HIST 6320) cannot be met by transferred credit.

Maximum Time for Completion of the PhD Degree

Students in the PhD program in History must complete all requirements for the PhD within eight (8) years of their admission to the program. The eight-year period begins with the semester in which the first courses are taken after receiving formal acceptance into the program. Extensions of the period can be granted by the Graduate Program Committee in response to written petitions from the candidate if, in its judgment, final completion of the degree requirements by the candidate is considered likely.

Portfolio and Qualifying Examination

An oral qualifying examination, in which students will be examined in their three fields of concentration, must be taken upon completion of all coursework except the nine hours of dissertation courses. To prepare for the qualifying exam, students will assemble a portfolio that demonstrates their mastery of their fields and critical historical skills. As part of that portfolio, they will also prepare a formal Dissertation Proposal, which must be approved by the dissertation committee and the Graduate Advisor. Students will enroll in HIST 6300 Adv. Topics in Historiography and HIST 6301 Dissertation Preparation while they prepare their portfolio.

Failing Qualifying Examination Twice

PhD students who fail the same qualifying exam more than once will be formally reviewed, and the Graduate Program Committee will make a recommendation as to whether the student should be allowed to continue in the program.

Dissertation

Students must complete a doctoral dissertation containing substantial original research using primary documents, under the supervision of a dissertation advisor. A committee of three department faculty and one outside faculty member will be selected.

PhD Oral Examination

On completion of the dissertation, the candidate will be required to make an oral defense of the dissertation before the dissertation committee, the faculty, and the general public.

Microfilming of Dissertations

The doctoral candidate who has successfully completed the above requirements will be required to pay the cost of a microfilm copy of the dissertation. The signed original copy (unbound) of the dissertation will be sent by the Graduate School to University Microfilms in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for reproduction.

Along with the original copy of the dissertation, the student must submit to the Graduate School two copies of an abstract, not to exceed 350 words in length (double-spaced), which has been approved in final form by the dissertation committee. This will be published in Dissertation Abstracts International.

MA for students enrolled in the PhD Program

Students who enter the PhD program directly upon completion of the bachelor’s degree will be reviewed formally at an early stage of their graduate careers (normally at the completing of 18 semester credit hours of graduate work) to determine whether they should be encouraged to continue their work for the degree. Those who are cleared for continuation toward the doctorate will be awarded an MA after completing 36 hours of approved coursework, including nine (9) hours of research seminars; these students will not be required to complete an MA thesis or to submit a revised seminar paper in lieu of a thesis.

Those PhD students who are cleared for continuation toward the doctorate can receive an MA with a Border History concentration by completing 36 hours of approved coursework. These 36 hours must include nine (9) hours of graduate research seminars (six of which must relate to the U.S.-Mexico border), and at least twelve more hours of courses related to the U.S.-Mexico border. Students will not be required to complete an MA thesis or to submit a revised seminar paper in lieu of a thesis.

Students who voluntarily withdraw from the PhD program or who are denied permission to continue in the PhD Program

Students who have been reviewed and who are denied permission to continued work toward the doctorate, or those who voluntarily withdraw from the doctoral program, will be permitted to complete the M.A. degree (Plans I, II, III, or IV) according to existing departmental requirements.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 63

PhD in History (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Research Seminars:
Select three courses of the following:9
Seminar-United States History
Seminar in Borderlands History
Seminar in World History
Seminar-Latin American History
Seminar: European History
Required Courses:
Adv. Topics in Historiography
Lit./Method Bordlands History
History Teaching and Learning
Core Course Electives:
Select two courses of the following:6
Lit/Meth Mex/L. Amer. History
Lit/Method of U.S. History
Free Electives:
Lit/Method of Transn/Wrld Hist
Select thirty hours of the following:30
Literature and Methodology:
Lit/Meth Mex/L. Amer. History
Lit/Method of U.S. History
Research Seminar:
Lit/Method of Transn/Wrld Hist
Seminar-United States History
Seminar in Borderlands History
Seminar in World History
Seminar-Latin American History
Seminar: European History
Studies Courses:
Studies in Public History
Studies in United States Hist
Studies in World History
Studies in Latin American Hist
Studies in Borderlands History
Studies in European History
Public History:
Intro to Public History
Public History Internship
Thesis:
Dissertation Preparation
Dissertation
Dissertation
Total Hours45