Contact & Location


Department of History

Physical Address:
Administration Bldg. 315
PHONE: (208) 885-6253
FAX: (208) 885-5221

Mailing Address:
Department of History
c/o University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3175
Moscow, ID 83844-3175

The Acropolis in Greece

Historical Archaeology Doctoral Degree

The history department offers the Ph.D. only in the field of Historical Archaeology. Although the Historical Archaeology degree is granted through the Department of History, the historical archaeology faculty is part of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology and the program is a joint effort of Anthropology and History.  Thus, students in this program will be working closely, and probably predominantly, with Anthropology faculty.

The Historical Archaeology program includes:  15 credits in history, 15 credits in anthropology (including archaeology), 18 credits in History 600 (Doctoral Research and Dissertation). 
  • Entry into this program presumes that the student has completed an M.A. in history or anthropology or another discipline deemed appropriate, and has earned a minimum of 10 credits in anthropology, or an MA in anthropology with a minimum of 12 graduate credits  and 12 undergraduate credits in history.
  • The chair of an Historical Archaeology doctoral committee may be either History or Anthropology faculty, or may be co-chaired by both.  Ideally, there should be two History and two Anthropology faculty on the committee, but there must be at least one from each department. 
  • Exam fields will be determined by the student and committee.

Admission to the Program
Students apply through the College of Graduate Studies Admissions in advance of review by the Department of History.  Basic requirements for admission are the same as those for the MA program.  GRE exams are required of all applicants, but these do not have to be retaken if the exam scores are on record for entrance into a master's program at UI or another institution.

All applicants must have completed a Master of Arts degree in history or an acceptable related discipline in the Humanities or Social Sciences.

Persons completing the department's MA program who wish to enter the PhD program should consult with the chair and other faculty of the department before applying.  Entrance into the PhD program from the MA program is never automatic.  The student must submit a new "statement of purpose,” supply all necessary transcript documentation, and, if requested, new letters of recommendation.  Finally, upon the department's acceptance of the above, the student must complete and file a "Change of Curriculum" form.  Upon a favorable recommendation from the College of Graduate Studies and the department, the student becomes a formal applicant for the PhD program.

Students seeking admission to the PhD program from outside the University Idaho, in addition to meeting the requirements above, must include the following materials to the College of Graduate Studies Admission's Office:

  • Three letters of recommendation from current or former professors or other persons who can speak tot he applicant's qualifications
  • One or more samples of written work completed for the MA degree
  • A statement of our0ose which clearly outlines the proposed field(s) of study and the applicant's reasons for seeking admission to the program
  • Recent GRE scores (within the last three years)

Upon acceptance by the College of Graduate Studies and the department, the student is admitted to the doctoral program. It is always the personal and ultimate responsibility of the student to meet necessary requirements, obtain, complete and file all necessary forms, and meet all deadlines.

Appointment of Major Professor
During the first semester of study, the student will be assigned a faculty adviser.  By the end of the first academic year of study, the student will select a major professor and additional faculty members to constitute a committee, and will complete and file an "Appointment of Major Professor and/or Committee Form" with the College of Graduate Studies.  The major professor will guide the student in the course of study, will oversee the preparation for the comprehensive examinations, and will give professional direction in the research and writing of the dissertation.  The professor should be qualified for the student's area of interest and must be willing to serve as major professor.

Appointment of the Doctoral Committee

The student in consultation with his/her major professor, selects a doctoral committee.  The doctoral committee's composition may change as fields of study or emphasis are redefined.  The doctoral committee consists of the student's major professor, two additional members of the department, and one non-history faculty from a discipline relevant to the student's course of study (the "outside" member).

The department chair and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies must approve the committee as nominated on the "Appointment of Major Professor and/or Committee Form" form.  It is the responsibility of the student to file this form with the College of Graduate Studies.

The student is free to remove and replace members of his/her committee prior to scheduling the doctoral preliminary examinations (see below).  The student may not initiate changes in the composition of the committee from the time he/she schedules the preliminary exams until the time all exams have been taken and passed.  Any such changes should always be made in consultation with the student's major professor.   In addition, any changes in the committee membership must be formalized by filing the "Graduate Program/Committee Change" form with the College of Graduate Studies.

As in the case of the MA program, faculty have the right to decline service on a doctoral committee and, with prior notice to the student,major professor and the department chair, to resign from one at any time.

Time to Completion

Students are normally expected to complete all requirements for the PhD, including dissertation and exams, within five years (ten regular semesters) of their acceptance into the program.  Students may petition the department for either a one semester or maximum one year extension.  Exceptions may be made for medical or other extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the department.  Failure to complete degree requirements in the time allotted will mean immediate and permanent termination from the program.

Study Plan

The Study Plan details the 48 post-masters credits to be taken in pursuit of the PhD.  The aim of the Study Plan is to guide the student's preparation for the preliminary examinations and the writing of the dissertation.  Basically, the study plan is an outline of the coursework that the student proposes to take.  It is expected that a student will take at least one course from each member of his/her committee.

The student, working with his/her major professor, puts together a preliminary study plan which is presented to the rest of the committee no later than the end of the student's first semester in the program.  Subsequent revisions may be made to the study plan.  The student must file the completed "College of Graduate Studies Study Plan" at the College of Graduate Studies.  Revisions are made on the "Graduate Program/Committee Change" form with the approval of the major professor, the rest of the committee, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The 48 doctoral credits must be apportioned as follows: 

  • The student must take at least one graduate level (500) course in each subject/field of history in which he/she will be examined.
  • Of the above 48 credits, no more than 9 may be satisfied by dissertation (History 600) credits.  A student may take more than 9 History 600 credits, but only 9 may count towards the 48 required credits.
  • Of the remaining 39 credits (basically corresponding to thirteen 3-credit courses), the following restrictions apply:
  • The student may take at least 3, and optionally 4, graduate courses offered by Washington State University.  These must include at least one seminar and one field course relevant to his/her areas of study.  The student’s major professor may mandate other courses, such as Historiography.  The Student should in all cases consult carefully with his/her adviser in the selection of these courses.
  • At least 30 of the 39 credits must be in graduate-level (500) courses.  Up to 9 credits may be in non-History, 500-level courses related to the student’s outside field.

Foreign Language Requirement

The student must demonstrate a reading ability in one foreign language.  Students, especially those with a European emphasis, are urged strongly to develop and demonstrate proficiency in a second language.  The student's major professor will determine the appropriate language(s).  Normally languages are selected from (but not limited to) French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Italian.  The examination will be administered in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.  The foreign language exam must be passed before the written preliminary and oral doctoral examinations in history can be taken.

A student, with the approval of the department, may challenge the examination in a language not offered at the UI by finding an appropriate examiner at another college or university where that language is offered.  Examples here include Norwegian, Japanese and Lakota (Sioux).  It remains the prerogative of the department to determine if the language proposed is suitable.

In place of the above, the department may accept the results of a recent, standardized language proficiency exam that demonstrates acceptable ability.