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.

Combined M.A./Ph.D.

The Department offers combined M.A./ Ph.D. programs with African and African Diaspora Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Public Health. Highly qualified graduate students can complete the M.A. in an interdisciplinary area studies or professional field in route to the Ph.D. in History. Students interested in these joint degrees must apply to both programs and meet admission requirements for each. The combined degree option is available through the online application system.

M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies/Ph.D. in History
This program will train doctoral students within the discipline of Atlantic History while giving them area studies expertise in African and African Diaspora Studies in order to help them stay competitive in seeking careers with an international focus in today’s global, cultural, and intellectual environment. In tandem, these two programs can offer students an unusually close fit and remarkably beneficial synthesis in interdisciplinary approaches to both the Atlantic world and the African diasporic experience.

M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Ph.D. in History
Capitalizing on the intellectual affinities between the graduate programs in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and in Atlantic History, the program allows students to enroll simultaneously in both programs. The M.A. program provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on the region as well as deep expertise on the region’s history, culture and political economy, while the Ph.D. Program in Atlantic History is aimed at honing students’ skills in historical methods while training them to approach individual nations and regions of Latin America and the Caribbean as sites of broader exchanges along the Atlantic corridor.

M.A. in Asian Studies/Ph.D. in History
The M.A. in Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed for students who wish to pursue advanced studies of historical and contemporary trends. The degree provides students with a strong foundation in the traditional cultures and modern socio-economic societies of Asia, with an emphasis on East Asia. Combined degree students must fulfill the requirements for both programs, and up to 36 credits may count for both degrees.

M.P.H in Health Policy and Management/Ph.D. in History
Students earn a Master of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management and a Ph.D. in History. The program is designed for students who are interested in leadership positions in government, private corporations, non-profit organizations and research entities. Students must be admitted to both programs and will be encouraged to pursue a public health practicum that allows for historical exploration and qualitative research. Graduates are catapulted into advanced careers in academia or the government for health policy analysis and health technology impact assessments.

For details on degree requirements please consult the Graduate Catalog.