Ph.D. in Atlantic History

Please note that the official FIU Graduate Catalog provides the most complete and accurate description of degree requirements. Be sure to consult the Catalog in History for the year of admission when determining admissions criteria and courses for degree.

Description and Goals

Since the mid-fifteenth century, the Atlantic has provided the corridor for fundamental exchanges of peoples and technologies. It has also served as a platform for the transfer of ideas defining and challenging communities across wide spans of time and space. The principle behind the Atlantic Civilization focus of the doctoral program in History at Florida International University is to explore the many dimensions of these exchanges. Capitalizing on the department's notably strong resources and faculty, the program is designed around a curriculum that emphasizes the comparative framework of the Atlantic experience while reflecting the vitality of a cross-disciplinary approach.

The History offerings are complemented by other graduate programs in cognate fields within the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. In particular, the strength of Latin America within the department meshes well with the university-wide emphasis on Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Degree Requirements

Number of Credits and Nature of Required Courses

The Ph.D. requires 45 credit hours beyond the M.A. in History, or 75 credit hours beyond the B.A. In both cases, 15 of the credits are dissertation credits earned after passing comprehensive examinations and advancing to candidacy. Required credit hours for individuals entering with a B.A. are distributed in the following manner:

  • 3 credits in Historical Methods
  • 6 credits in a two-semester Atlantic Civilization research seminar
  • 24 credits within a cultural concentration area, such as United States, Latin America, Europe, or Africa (including 6 taken in a two-semester research seminar)
  • 15 credits outside of the cultural concentration, which can be taken either in History (3 of which must be in a comparative course such as HIS or WOH, excluding Historical Methods and seminars in Atlantic Civilization)
  • 12 credits in elective courses, of which 9 may be outside the department
  • 15 credits in dissertation research
  • With approval of the Graduate Program Director, students entering with an M.A. may transfer up to 36 credits into the Ph.D. program. Transferred credits cannot be used to satisfy the two research seminars or the Historical Methods requirements.

Total: 75 credit hours

Courses form part of the student's development in the field, factual and interpretive, in preparation for the comprehensive written and oral examinations to qualify for doctoral candidacy. A minimum of 27 credits of residency (e.g., three semesters for full-time students) is expected prior to filing for the qualifying examinations. The student may, in consultation with the faculty, decide that more work is necessary before the exams are attempted. The standard course load of 9 credits per semester means that the qualifying examinations will usually be administered near the end of the second year of residency for students entering with an M.A., or at the end of the third year for students entering with a B.A. For more information about the exams, consult the Graduate Policies and Procedures page.

Language Requirements

Thorough knowledge of one foreign language and reading knowledge of another are required of all students. Alternatively, students may demonstrate knowledge of one language and competency in social science quantitative skills. Language requirements vary, according to the major fields. In cases where the dissertation will be in the history of the United States or English-speaking countries, one language plus the quantitative skill is sufficient. In Latin American history, Spanish and Portuguese are expected. Students should check with the department's Graduate Program Director to determine which languages are appropriate for their program of studies.

Culture Area Courses (selection):

  • Readings in History: Comparative Slavery and Emancipation in the Atlantic World
  • Readings in History: Atlantic History in the Age of Revolution, 1760-1825
  • Advanced Readings in American History: Crime in Early America, 1600-1860
  • Advanced Readings in American History: The Historiography of Slavery
  • Advanced Readings in European History: Religious Culture, Saints and Demons
  • Readings in European History: Popular Cultures / Traditional Cultures
  • Readings in European History: Religion and Politics, Conquest and Conversion
  • Readings in European History: Comparative Liberalisms
  • Readings in European History: Gender & the Public Sphere in Europe. 1688-Present
  • Readings in Latin American History: The Age of Exploration and Discovery
  • Readings in Latin American History: Family and Patriarchy
  • Advanced Readings in Latin American History: Andean Ethnohistory
  • Research in Latin American History: Authority and Citizenry
  • Advanced Readings in Latin American History: Law and Society
  • Topics in African History: African Slave Trades
  • Readings in African History: What History for Which Africa?
  • Research in African History: History of Religion in Africa

For details on degree requirements please consult the Graduate Manual.