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Department Graduate Handbook

The Ohio State University
Department of History
Graduate Handbook
2023 - 2024

Graduate Studies Program

106 Dulles Hall
230 Annie and John Glenn Ave., Columbus, OH 43210-1367
Phone: (614) 292-2674, Fax: (614) 292-2292



The Department of History is committed to a tradition of excellence in research, teaching, and service. Our large and distinguished faculty represents a wide range of diverse chronological and thematic historical fields. The faculty and graduate students of the Department of History contribute to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge for the educational benefit of students and faculty at The Ohio State University, and for national and international audience of scholars, teachers, and students. Our faculty, students, and staff participate in various intellectual communities within the department, in programs and activities of other OSU Departments and interdisciplinary Centers, and in associations and think tanks around the world. Please visit our department directory to find faculty, graduate student, and staff information: https://history.osu.edu/people.

For further information, contact:
Professor J. Albert Harrill, Director of Graduate Studies (Harrill.5@osu.edu)
Ashley Bowerman, Graduate Studies Coordinator (Bowerman.14@osu.edu)



Admissions Office 
Foreign Applicants who are not native speakers of English 
Grade Point/Major 
Admissions Process
Steps to Take Following Admission 
The Advisor/Advisee Relationship 
Change of Advisor 
List of Fields For The M.A. And Ph.D. 
Types Of Graduate Courses 
7000-level reading courses 
8000-level seminars 
Thesis and Dissertation Courses 
Grading Policy 
Foreign Language Requirements 
M.A. Requirements 
Credit Hours 
Required courses 
M.A. Examination 
Application to Graduate with an M.A. 
Ph.D. Requirements 
Credit Hours 
The Candidacy Examination
The Examination 
Post-Candidacy Rule 
Dissertation Prospectus 
The Dissertation
Application to Graduate with the PhD
Application for Final Examination
Graduate School Fellowships
Graduate Associateships
Application Procedure
Selection Process for Fellows and GAs
Eligibility for GA Appointment
Terms of Appointment
Retaining Appointments
Duration of Funding
Summer Term Appointments
Summer Tuition and Fee Waiver
Stipends for Graduate Associates
Assignment of Graduate Teaching Associates
Responsibilities of Faculty and Graduate Teaching Associates
Responsibilities of the Instructor
Responsibilities of the GTA
Faculty Observation of DSLs and SSLs
Teaching Resources
Title IX Training
Additional Funding for Graduate Students
Internal Fellowships for Dissertation Research
Internal Funding for Research and Travel
Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Traveling Scholar Program
FLAS Fellowships
Melton Center Fellowships
External Funding
Graduate Student Awards and Prizes from the Department of History 
Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) 
Department of History Diversity Committee 
The Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence on Teaching 
The Undergraduate Mentorship Program (UMP) 
Non-Departmental Resources
Job Placement 
Continuous Enrollment
Leaves for Absence
Parental Leave for Childbirth/Adoption
Mental Health Resources for Graduate Students
Academic Misconduct 
Reporting Academic Misconduct
Research Involving Human Subjects 
Sexual Harassment 
Hate- and Bias-Related Harassment 
Grievance Procedures 


The graduate program in History works in conjunction with several other offices within the university.

The Graduate School is the central office for all OSU graduate programs. The Graduate School establishes the general policies that govern all colleges and departmental programs, such as registration, course credits, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs, and academic standards. It oversees graduate student admissions and sets the amounts of University Fellowships, Presidential Fellowships, and Graduate Teaching and Research Associateships. Further information concerning the Graduate School at the Ohio State University may be found at http://gradsch.osu.edu.

The Department of History is housed within the College of Arts & Sciences (ASC), which represents 38 academic departments and schools, more than 20 Centers and Institutes, and more than 2000 faculty and staff.

The Department of History’s Graduate Studies Committee supervises the department’s graduate programs. The Graduate Studies Committee consists of Department of History faculty members, the department’s Director of Graduate Studies, the department’s Graduate Studies Coordinator, and a graduate student representative appointed by the Department Chair. The Committee serves as a liaison among the College of Arts & Sciences, the Graduate School, and the History Department.

Graduate students should be familiar with both this handbook and the Graduate School’s handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook. For questions about topics not addressed in either handbook, please contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator or Director of Graduate Studies.



Information concerning the process of applying for admission to the graduate program in History may be found on the department’s website: https://history.osu.edu/graduate/prospective/app-info

The department requires students to submit all application materials to the university’s Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/index.html

The deadline for receipt of all application materials from prospective new students, OSU students seeking to transfer from other departments, and unfunded History graduate students who wish to apply for funding, is December 1 for US students and November 30 for international students.

No late applications will be accepted, and our department does not re-open the application past the deadline.

Students may enter the graduate program only in the upcoming Autumn Semester. However, upon admission to the program, students may petition to begin their programs during the proceeding Summer Term.


The following items should all be submitted electronically to the Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions:

  1. A completed, signed, and dated OSU Graduate School admission application, along with the application fee.
  2. Official transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate academic work. This includes transcripts from any study abroad institutions.
  3. A brief (approximately three to five pages, double-spaced) intellectual autobiography and statement of purpose. Your essay should explain why you wish to pursue a graduate program in History and include your probable major field(s) of study (see “List of fields for the MA and PhD” on page 12 of this handbook). It should also include the historical questions that most interest you, your career goals, the reasons you are applying to Ohio State’s History program, and the faculty member(s) with whom you wish to study.
  4. A one- to two-page curriculum vitae (CV), including your education, accomplishments, and qualifications for graduate study in the major field of choice. Your CV should indicate your training in foreign languages, noting your competence in speaking, reading, and writing.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with your scholarly ability.
  6. A sample of your scholarly writing, such as an MA or Honors thesis (you may include one or two chapters if the thesis is lengthy), a research paper, or a historiographical essay. Your writing sample should be no longer than 50 double-spaced pages.

All application materials should be uploaded with your application form at the time of submission. Please do not send transcripts to the Department of History. Please do not send physical or electronic copies of the supplementary materials (statement of purpose, CV, writing sample, and letters) to the Department of History.

Questions about the required supplementary materials may be directed to the Graduate Studies Coordinator. Questions about the online application form and transcripts should be directed to the Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/resources/contact-us.html.

Application status may be checked in your Applicant Center: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/resources/application-status.html.


Foreign applicants who are not native speakers of English must submit a sample of scholarly work written in English that has been evaluated by a supervising professor. They must meet the Graduate School’s Proof of English Proficiency requirements: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/intl/additional-requirements-to-apply.html.


The Department of History normally requires a 3.2 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate work, although most applicants have much higher GPAs. Applicants are not required to have majored in History, but should have completed several upper-level courses in History. The Graduate School requires 3.6 GPA for its University Fellowship nominees and a 3.2 GPA for its Graduate Enrichment Fellowship nominees.


In December, the Graduate Studies Coordinator makes the applications available to members of the faculty, who review the applications according to the prospective fields of study. Members of each field then recommend applicants for admission to the Graduate Studies Committee. The Graduate Studies Committee then decides whether to admit applicants to the department’s graduate program. In recent years, approximately fifteen percent of applicants have been nominated by faculty fields for admission, and approximately ten percent of these applicants have received offers of admission to the program.




  1. Formally accept your offer of admission in your Applicant Center: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/grad/after-you-are-admitted.html. You should notify the Graduate Studies Chair, Graduate Studies Coordinator, and your faculty contact/advisor of your decision to accept. Fellowship awardees must accept their fellowship offer through the link included with their fellowship notification letter no later than April 15.
  2. Inform the Graduate Studies Coordinator of any change in your status. If you need to defer your enrollment, please notify the Graduate Studies Coordinator immediately. Your application can be reactivated for two additional semesters without further fees.
  3. Consult with your assigned advisor to discuss your proposed program of study and its requirements. Identify which courses you need to take and when they are available. Consider which Autumn Semester courses you will take.
  4. Register for courses by the Registrar’s enrollment deadline: https://registrar.osu.edu/registration/index.asp. The Department of History is not responsible for any late enrollment fees incurred by lack of timely enrollment. If you have questions about registration logistics, contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator.
  5. After arriving on campus, update your local address and telephone number in your Buckeyelink Student Center, and keep them current thereafter. After you establish your OSU email account, you must check it regularly.
  6. During your first year of study, you should define your major field of concentration and at least one of your minor fields. Students should carefully consider the ways in which their minor fields will reinforce or supplement the major field and lay a foundation for their professional careers.
  7. Be aware that intellectual interests mature and change during the course of study. A student may change advisors, provided another faculty member agrees to accept them as an advisee. Contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator to facilitate a change in advisor.
  8. Keep a copy of this Graduate Handbook throughout your course of study here at OSU. It contains the rules under which you entered; rules change from time to time, but the rules in place when you enrolled will continue to apply to you. For more information, see Section 5 of the Graduate School Handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/5-academic-and-professional-standards.


New students should attend both the Graduate School’s welcome session and the department’s new student orientation. Both take place at the beginning of the Autumn Semester. For students entering the program as GTAs, there is a mandatory teaching workshop, sponsored by the Drake Institute for Teaching & Learning, during the week prior to the start of Autumn Semester classes. Faculty will ordinarily be available for advice about programs of study during the week prior to the start of the semester.


The advisor/advisee relationship is one of the most widely recognized factors in a successful graduate experience. Some of the more important responsibilities include the following:


  • Maintain regular communication with their advisees even if the advisors are on leave;
  • Are aware of the curricular choices of advisees each semester;
  • Articulate and respect established deadlines;
  • Check GPAs and other performance measures;
  • Mentor advisees, share lessons learned through professional experience, and guide advisees into the profession.


  • Initiate regular communication with their advisors even if the advisees are not on campus;
  • Inform their advisors, at the beginning of each semester, of the courses they are taking;
  • Learn and respect established deadlines and Graduate School protocols;
  • Arrange for letters of recommendation and signatures at least two weeks in advance of a given deadline;
  • Actively explore professional opportunities that lead to achievement and growth.


The program includes multiple opportunities to assess student progress and overall intellectual development. Advisors and advisees should consult regularly throughout the year, and graduate students are required to submit annual reports of their progress. It is expected that there will be at least three meetings per year between advisor and advisee. These three meetings would typically be:

  1. Beginning of the Autumn Semester: e.g., to review summer progress; clarify plans and goals for the year; discuss upcoming teaching duties.
  2. Beginning of the Spring Semester: e.g., to clarify plans and goals for the semester; discuss upcoming teaching duties; discuss possible classes to be taken the following year.
  3. End of the Spring Semester: e.g., to review student progress during the year and complete the annual review; discussion of summer plans.

In addition, the following two landmark consultations should be scheduled as indicated:

  1. During the second semester of study, the student should meet with their advisor to discuss progress to date and plans for the coming year. For students entering with a BA, this meeting typically includes specific discussion of the MA thesis.
  2. During the second year, the student should meet with their advisor and other members of their PhD candidacy examination committee to discuss progress to date and plans for the coming year.

In consultation with their advisors, students entering with a BA will work with three successive committees at OSU: the MA committee, the candidacy committee, and the dissertation committee. Students entering with an MA will work with the last two. Fields have varying expectations for completion times of the MA thesis and candidacy exam; students should consult their advisors to learn the expectations.


Should a student wish to change advisors, the student should email the Graduate Studies Coordinator with the request, cc’ing the new advisor as indication of their acceptance of the change. The student should also notify the former advisor of this change.


All students should make every effort to obtain Ohio residency status, assuming they are eligible (normally after one year). This is especially important for unfunded students, for students who have run out of funding, and for those who wish to obtain a research position in an academic unit that requires in-state residency. Information on how to achieve residency may be found on the Registrar’s website: https://registrar.osu.edu/Residency/index.html




African American
Atlantic World
Early Modern Europe                       
East Asian
Environmental (ETS; see below)       
Latin American
Medieval Europe
Modern Europe
Russian and Eastern European
U.S. since 1877
U.S. to 1877


*World History is a field for the MA and for candidacy examinations, but not for the dissertations.

**Students may pursue an MA or minor field in Digital or Public History, although they currently cannot pursue those as major fields or for the dissertation.

Note: Students may also propose fields that are specific to their interests, e.g., religious history or the history of science. They may be interested in using one of the department’s constellations (see below) to frame such a field. The Graduate Studies Committee will evaluate proposals on a case-by-case basis. The Committee’s chief concern will be that proposals evidence the same scope, in terms of breadth and depth, as the fields that are commonly presented for the candidacy examination. These fields should also contain comparative elements, and students who intend to propose them should consult both with their advisor(s) and the Graduate Studies Chair as early as possible in the course of planning their programs.


Maintaining our commitment to the traditional regional and chronological fields of study, the Department of History has organized itself into cross-cutting constellations that are framed around the thematic questions that we all ask as we study the past: questions such as the workings of the state, the construction of identity, and the environmental circumstances of human life. The thematic framing of these constellations promises to enhance our connections with scholars and students working throughout the university. Graduate Students are encourage to incorporate these constellations into their candidacy exams, using them as secondary or minor fields. Constellations include:

Comparative Empires
Environment, Health, Technology, and Science
Global Early Modern
Human Conflict, Peace, and Diplomacy
Power, Culture, and the State
Race, Ethnicity, and Nation

Religion in History
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality History 

More information concerning the constellations may be found the department’s website: https://history.osu.edu/courses/info/constellations.


7000-level reading courses

These courses serve to acquaint students with the literature of the field. Such courses give students wide-ranging bibliographical knowledge and introduce them to the major interpretive issues and controversies that have characterized the development of scholarship in the field. History 7193 is a graduate-level independent study course that requires a contract between the student and the instructor. There are two versions of History 7193: 7193.01 (graded A-E, and therefore counted toward the GPA), and 7193.02 (graded S/U, not counted toward the GPA). Students should enroll in 7193.01 unless directed otherwise by the instructor, in consultation with their advisor(s).

8000-level seminars

In these seminars, students conduct research in primary source materials, integrate the results of their research with pertinent secondary sources, and aim to produce papers of publishable quality. Students will submit their work to the constructive criticism of their peers as well as the instructor. History 8193 is a graduate-level independent research course that requires a contract between the student and the instructor. It is intended to allow students to study the kind of research topics that one would normally study in an 8000-level seminar before committing to a dissertation topic. It is graded A-E and may be taken for up to six credits per semester, and for up to 15 credits (maximum five iterations) in total.

Thesis and Dissertation Courses

6999 is the MA thesis writing course. The student must register for this course with a faculty member and should make sure that the faculty member is aware of the registration, so that a grade of S or U may be awarded at the end of the relevant semester.

8999 is the PhD dissertation writing course. All 8999 sections are scheduled with the Graduate Studies Chair as the instructor of record, though students will work with their individual advisor(s). The Graduate Studies Chair will email the faculty at the end of the semester for guidance on posting grades of S or U.


Graduate students are graded in their coursework on a scale of A to E. Graduate students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 to continue as Graduate Associates, and all students must maintain a GPA of 3.2 to remain in the PhD program. Grades in graduate classes are awarded on the following basis:

A                      Outstanding/excellent work
A-                     Very good work
B+                    Good work
B                      Satisfactory work
B-                     Marginal work
C+ and below  Unacceptable work
S                      Satisfactory (for 6999, 7193.02, or 8999)
U                      Unsatisfactory (for 6999, 7193.02, or 8999)




Foreign language requirements for the MA

Proven competence in one foreign language in fields that require foreign languages for research. The faculty in the student’s major field should determine the method by which the language requirement should be satisfied.

Foreign language requirements for the PhD

A student must possess competence in those foreign languages that the major field requires. Language requirements must be completed prior to admission to candidacy, and preferably in the first year of study.

For students whose major field lies within US History, the department requires competence in at least one foreign language, to be determined in consultation with the advisor.

In all other fields, a minimum of two foreign languages, including the language used for the MA, is required.

Foreign language requirements may be met by:

  1. Receiving a grade of at least a “B” in a 4000-level (or higher) course that certifies ability to read with the use of a dictionary.
  2. Passing a proficiency examination administered by the appropriate language department, or passing a proficiency examination administered by the History faculty in the student's major field. In the latter case, an additional reader from outside the department may also read the exam.

In the case of a language not taught in any OSU department, the Director of Graduate Studies may appoint an OSU faculty member with the necessary competence to administer proficiency exams of the same standards as in other languages.



The MA program comprises study of historical scholarship in a given field or fields of history, training in a variety of research methodologies, and acquisition of research skills such as languages and statistics. Normally a student with an MA in a field other than History will be required to complete an MA in History before proceeding to the PhD program.

In consultation with their advisor, the student may choose a non-thesis option or a thesis option. Students entering with a BA generally take the non-thesis option in order to facilitate completing the program while they still enjoy guaranteed funding from the department. A student and their advisor might consider the MA thesis option if they believe it would be in the best interest of the student to have the learning experience of writing a full thesis. Both options result in written work based on thorough research in primary sources and should demonstrate rigorous argumentation, sound historical judgment, good organization, and clear, readable style – in short, the standards that apply to all professional scholarship.

Credit Hours

Thirty (30) credit hours in courses with graduate credit, selected as follows:

Required courses

History 7900                                                                3 hours

History 7905                                                                3 hours

Additional 7000-level courses (excluding 7193)       6 hours

8000-level courses (including 8193)                          3 hours

Additional credit hours satisfied by:

Elective 7000 level courses

Elective 8000-level courses

Up to 13 hours of 8999/8193/7193 (students may petition for an increased limit, if necessary)

Up to 9 hours (3 courses) outside of the History Department

Students in fields other than U.S. history must also demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language before completing the M.A.

Upon completion of these requirements, all students must pass a one-hour oral examination based on either the MA thesis or on their 8000-level work for the degree. The committee will consist of the student’s advisor and at least one faculty member chosen by the student’s advisor in consultation with the student. Students will provide to the committee a portfolio of existing/appropriate graduate-level work, along with a copy of their advising report. Students should consult with their advisors regarding the make-up of this portfolio. If the student continues along the PhD track, this portfolio can serve as a preliminary version of the field portfolio that will be submitted for the PhD exam. During the exam, the student, advisor, and faculty member discuss the student’s thesis or coursework and general progress. After the exam, the committee decides whether to recommend the student for admission to the PhD program in the History Department.

To graduate with an MA, a student must have been in residence for two semesters, unless the applicant received an undergraduate degree from OSU, in which case only one semester of residence is required. During the semester in which the Master’s Examination is held, the student must be enrolled at the full-time equivalent for their student status:  https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/3-1-registration-course-load.

To apply for graduation with the MA, the student must complete the Application to Graduate – MA form, which may be located at gradforms.osu.edu, no later than the third Friday of the semester in which they intend to graduate.

A student may undertake doctoral work only upon the recommendation of the student’s Master’s Examination Committee and after a faculty member has agreed to serve as the doctoral advisor.

Time Limit
The time limit for completion of the Master’s degree is four years, with an additional fifth year upon approval of the student’s advisor and the Graduate Studies Chair. To hold a Graduate Associateship appointment, however, a student must complete the MA degree within three years of enrolling in the MA program.



The purpose of the PhD program is to train superior students in the skills necessary to enable them to add substantially to public and scholarly understanding of history. Students will be expected to acquire competence in their chosen fields and to develop professional expertise in research and writing, making use of both traditional and newer methods of historical inquiry. To this end, students are required to master the basic tools of research in their respective fields, such as language, paleography, and quantitative skills.

To broaden their horizons as historians and to prepare them for careers other than teaching, students are encouraged to augment their training with the techniques of inquiry and analysis of other academic disciplines. The PhD program at OSU should not only qualify a person to perform successfully in the academic world, but should also be of considerable value for careers in business, government, and other areas where the historian’s knowledge and skills in research and communication are useful. Thus, students will have the opportunity to build into their programs correlative training outside the department.

A student may be admitted directly to the PhD program upon completion of a baccalaureate degree, with the favorable recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee and upon consent of a faculty member to serve as the student's advisor.

Credit Hours

At least 50 credit hours beyond the MA degree, of which no more than 30 hours may be devoted to research and writing the dissertation (History 8999). For students who enter with a BA, 80 total credit hours are required.

Required courses                                                    With MA                           With BA
History 7900 (unless taken for the M.A.)               3 hours                               3 hours
Two of the following three seminars:

     History 7905                                                       3 hours                               3 hours

     History 7906                                                       3 hours                               3 hours

     History 7910                                                        3 hours                               3 hours

Additional 7000-level courses (excluding 7193)   9 hours                               9 hours

8000-level courses (including 8193)                     3 hours                                6 hours


Elective courses to complete the credit hour requirement:

  • Up to 30 hours of 8999
  • Up to 10 hours of 7193 (13 for those who enter with a B.A.; students may petition for an increased limit if necessary).
  • Up to 15 hours of 8193.
  • Other 7000- and 8000-level courses

A three-hour research seminar in another department may be substituted for one of the seminars with written permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students are allowed to count up to six courses from outside the department for the PhD, and may petition to count more. These courses may include language training or training in other professional skills in other departments, or thematic and other topical courses in other departments. Petition requests may be emailed to the Director of Graduate Studies along with syllabi for the courses.


Before advancement to candidacy for the PhD, a student must pass the Candidacy (or “General”) Examination.

The PhD Candidacy Examination in the Department of History serves two central purposes:

  1. The Candidacy Examination probes the breadth and depth of a graduate student’s knowledge of the narrative of the chosen fields of study, as well as the secondary scholarship in those fields. They evaluate the student’s ability to frame research interests within the context of the existing scholarship.
  2. The Candidacy Examination also serves as an opportunity for the student to share their dissertation prospectus with members of the faculty.


A student will prepare for the Candidacy Examination in one major field and two minor fields. The major field will be the field in which the student intends to write a dissertation. There will be at least two faculty examiners in the major field. The student is expected to develop a broad knowledge of the entire field and specialized competency in particular sub-areas, in consultation with the major examiners. If the student desires and the advisor agrees, at least one of the exam questions may engage directly with the dissertation topic and the secondary literature associated with it.

Given the emphasis in the discipline of History on comparative, transnational, transcultural, and interdisciplinary themes, students are advised to take advantage of the three-field configuration of doctoral study to craft a program that is both coherent and wide-ranging. The minor fields should complement or supplement the major field thematically, geographically, and/or chronologically, and provide chronological diversity beyond the major field. To this end, the student might consider developing an interdisciplinary program by choosing a minor field outside of the History Department. Such a choice should be made in consultation with the advisor and must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students interested in pursuing one of the many certificates, specializations, and minors in other departments available to PhD students in History are encouraged to speak with their advisors concerning these options early in the programs, so as to leave sufficient time to complete the course requirements in those departments.


Reading Lists: The faculty advisor for each field must provide the student with a list of items to be mastered at least six months prior to the exam. A faculty advisor may require a student to devise their own list, which should then be approved or amended by the advisor. The list should include works regarded as indispensable by the examiner, both cutting-edge and classic, and should also represent the student’s own interests and prospective dissertation research area. Although there may be some small variations among fields, major field lists should normally include no more than 100 items. Minor field lists should normally include no more than 50 items.

Independent Reading: It is strongly recommended that the student take at least one independent readings course with each examiner. Additionally, it is customary for advisors and students to hold periodic meetings to review the literature of the field, discuss major themes, and pursue possible areas of questioning. History 7193 provides credit to the student for this purpose. Ten credit hours of 7193 are permitted for students entering the program with an MA, and 13 hours for students entering with a BA. History 8999 may also be used for independent work.

The Examination

The student must complete the Application for Candidacy form, located at gradforms.osu.edu, and have it approved by their advisor and Director of Graduate Studies or Graduate Studies Coordinator, at least two weeks prior to the oral portion of their exam. After the student has arranged the writing dates and scheduled a date and time acceptable to all committee members for the two-hour oral exam, the student must notify via email the Graduate Studies Coordinator and arrange for them to receive the written exam questions from the field examiners, and to schedule a room for the oral exam.

During the semester in which the Candidacy Examination is held, the student must be enrolled at the full-time equivalent for their student status: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/3-1-registration-course-load.

The Candidacy Examination consists of:

  1. Major field written examination:

The written examination questions are to be prepared by at least two examiners. The total response should be no longer than 5,000 words (roughly 20 double-spaced pages in a 12-point font). The student may write the exam in an environment of their choosing, but must complete the exam within 48 hours by emailing their answers to their committee within that timeframe.

The student should also provide the examining committee members with a Major Field Portfolio that includes the final papers from 8000-level research seminars, major written work from at least two 7000-level reading seminars in the major field, the student’s OSU advising report, and the dissertation prospectus. The major field portfolio should be submitted to the examiners at least two weeks prior to the oral exam.

Written examinations will be posted on Carmen by the Graduate Studies Coordinator. Major field examiners must supply the Graduate Studies Coordinator with the examination questions at least five working days prior to the start date of the written examination. Examiners will be asked to submit contact information valid for the day of the examination in the event that instructions need to be clarified or an unexpected problem arises.

After completing the written examination, the student should distribute the questions and answers to all committee members. Within one week of the examination’s completion, the examiners should indicate to the student whether or not they have passed the written examination. The written examination and the two-hour oral examination must take place within a three-week period. If, based on evaluating the written portion, the advisor or another member of the Candidacy Examination Committee sees no possibility for a satisfactory overall performance on the Candidacy Examination, the student may be advised to waive the right to take the oral portion. (The Candidacy Examination Committee may not, however, deny a student the opportunity to take the oral portion). The student and faculty examiners will then determine the approximate date of the second written examination. A student may retake their written exams no more than two times.

  1. Minor field written portfolios

Both minor fields will be assessed via reading lists and portfolios. Each minor field portfolio should include (1) all papers written for 7000- and 8000-level courses related to the minor field, (2) the reading list compiled by the student and the examiner, and (3) a list of six to eight historiographical and methodological questions related to the field. At least one of the minor field portfolios should also include a syllabus that the student creates for a course that they may wish to teach in that field. The student must provide a copy of their portfolios to each member of the committee at least two weeks prior to the oral examination.

  1. Oral Examination

The two-hour oral examination committee will consist of the four Candidacy Examination Committee members. The oral examination should include (1) a review of the written component of the examination, and (2) a discussion of the reading lists and portfolios presented by the student. Faculty should also reserve time for a brief discussion of the student’s dissertation prospectus. It is recommended that prior to the examination, faculty and the student agree on the order of the examiners and on the questioning procedures.

Videoconferencing and hybrid attendance is permitted for the oral examination. Refer to the guidelines in Section 7.5 of the Graduate School Handbook.


In the absence of the student, the committee discusses the oral exam and votes on whether the outcome is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Each examiner must indicate their judgment by completing the Report on Candidacy form in Gradforms, which must be submitted within 24 hours of the oral examination.

The student is considered to have successfully completed the Candidacy Examination only when the decisions of the Candidacy Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative.

If the examination is judged unsatisfactory, the Candidacy Examination Committee must record that decision on the Report on Candidacy form.

The nature of the second Candidacy Examination is determined by the Candidacy Examination Committee, but it must include an oral portion. If a second examination is held, the Candidacy Examination Committee must be the same as the original one, unless substitution is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. The Graduate School automatically appoints a Graduate Faculty Representative to the Candidacy Examination Committee for second candidacy examinations.

A student who fails the Candidacy Examination twice is not allowed an additional examination. After two unsatisfactory attempts at the Candidacy Examination, a student is not permitted to be a PhD candidate in the department or in any other graduate program in the affiliated college(s) at this university.

Post-Candidacy Rule

Students must complete a minimum of three graduate credit hours over at least one semester after admission to candidacy. Post-candidacy students are required to enroll in at least three credit hours per semester (excluding the summer term) until graduation. Students are encouraged to enroll in 8000-level seminars even after they have completed their exams, as the seminars provide an excellent opportunity to complete chapters of the dissertation in a timely manner.

Dissertation Prospectus

Students are required to submit a prospectus as part of the major field portfolio required for their candidacy exams. The prospectus describes the dissertation topic, its significance, the status of existing scholarship, the materials available for investigation, and the questions that will guide the research. After the successful completion of the student’s candidacy examination, they must submit a copy of the prospectus with the signature of their advisor to their dissertation committee.

The Dissertation

Under the supervision of the student’s advisor and dissertation committee, the student will write a dissertation involving independent research in primary sources. The dissertation should demonstrate the student's professional competence, be an original contribution to scholarly literature, and demonstrate potential for future publication as a monograph. For information regarding preparation of the document, refer to Section 7.8 of the Graduate School Handbook.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee is composed of the advisor and at least two other members of the Ohio State University Graduate Faculty. The advisor must be a member of the History Department faculty, and it is recommended that at least one of the other committee members also come from the History Department. Non-Ohio State Graduate Faculty members may be appointed to the dissertation committee with the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee via a petition to the Graduate School. However, such committee members are in addition to the required three Ohio State Graduate Faculty Members.

The dissertation committee is established at a time considered appropriate by the student and the advisor. Students are responsible for making certain that committee members are on duty in the semester or summer term of their defense.

External Members

With the approval of the Graduate School, faculty from other universities, or persons with special academic or technical expertise, may be appointed to the dissertation committee. Adjunct appointments are not needed for these members. However, these committee members are in addition to the required three current Ohio State Graduate Faculty members.

Final Oral Examination Committee

The final oral examination committee is composed of the student’s dissertation committee, plus the Graduate Faculty Representative.

Time Limit

The PhD dissertation must be completed no more than five years after the student has passed the Candidacy Examination.

Application to Graduate with the PhD

The PhD degree requires a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and satisfactory performance in courses that are graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (History 6999, 7193.02, and 8999). Students must complete a minimum of six graduate credit hours over at least two semesters after admission to candidacy. During the semester in which the student intends to graduate, the student must be enrolled at the full-time equivalent for their student status: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/3-1-registration-course-load.

The Application to Graduate must be completed by the student on gradforms.osu.edu, and approved by the student’s advisor and Director of Graduate Studies or Graduate Studies Coordinator, no later than the third Friday of the intended graduation semester or summer term.

Application for Final Examination

The Application for Final Examination must be completed by the student on gradforms.osu.edu, and approved by the student’s advisor and dissertation committee, at least two weeks prior to the defense date. If holding an in-person defense, the student must reserve a defense location with either the Program Coordinator or Graduate Studies Coordinator prior to submitting the Application for Final Exam.

Students should regularly refer to the Graduate School’s list of final semester policies and procedures to ensure they are meeting all requirements: https://gradsch.osu.edu/completing-your-degree/final-semester/final-semester-procedures-and-timelines.

Students should regularly refer to the  Graduate School’s graduation calendar to ensure they are meeting all deadlines: https://gradsch.osu.edu/calendar/graduation.

Draft Approval

The student must submit a complete dissertation draft to the dissertation committee for review and approval. Approving the dissertation draft means that the dissertation committee members judge it to be of sufficient merit to warrant holding the final oral examination.

Graduate Faculty Representative

Once the final oral examination is scheduled, the Graduate School appoints the Graduate Faculty Representative. The Graduate Faculty Representative is a Category P Graduate Faculty member who is neither a Graduate Faculty member in the student’s graduate program, nor a member of the dissertation committee. At least one week prior to the oral examination, a complete, word-processed dissertation must be sent to the Graduate Faculty Representative. The Graduate Faculty Representative is a full voting member of the final oral examination committee, and reports to the Graduate School on the quality of the examination, of the dissertation, and of the student’s performance, as well as the fairness of the examination and its conformity to Graduate School rules.

Attendance and Format

All committee members are expected to fully participate in questioning during the course of the examination and in the discussion of and decision on the result, whether they are in attendance or participating via videoconferencing. The final oral examination lasts approximately two hours. According to Graduate School regulations, at least one hour of the two-hour examination period must be allotted to the discussion of the dissertation research and to questions on the dissertation.


All examinations, including dissertation defenses, are currently permitted to be held via videoconferencing, hybrid attendance, or in-person attendance, without a petition. Students should always check Graduate School rules or ask the Graduate Studies Coordinator for guidance on this policy in the future, as it may change.


The final oral examination is expected to be held as scheduled; however, circumstances may prompt the advisor to postpone it. Before taking such action, the advisor must consult the student and the other members of the dissertation committee, which does not include the Graduate Faculty Representative. Prior to the examination, the advisor must notify the Graduate School of the postponement.

Halting an Oral Exam in Progress

If for reasons of illness, fire, or other emergency, the committee members, including the Graduate Faculty Representative, agree that it is necessary to halt the final oral examination, then the examination will be rescheduled without prejudice to the student. If, however, the committee members unanimously decide that the examination has been sufficient to reach a decision to pass the student, then they will consider the examination concluded and must report the result to the Graduate School via the Report on Final Exam form.

Format Review

The student must submit the complete, word-processed dissertation draft to the Graduate School for format review at least two weeks prior to the defense date. The dissertation must conform to the Graduate School format requirements: https://gradsch.osu.edu/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/Guidelines.pdf.




The Department of History nominates students to the Graduate School for fellowship funding, including University Fellowships and Graduate Enrichment Fellowships. Students do not apply for these fellowships. Fellows are appointed by the Graduate School for 12-, 24-, or 36-month terms. They must enroll for 12 graduate credit hours each semester of their fellowship tenure, except after candidacy when they must enroll for three graduate credit hours.

The major fellowships awarded by the Graduate School to incoming students include:

Dean’s Distinguished University Fellowship (DDUF)

Distinguished University Fellowship (DUF)

University Fellowship (UF)

Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Enrichment Fellowship (DDGE)

Dean’s Graduate Enrichment Fellowship (DGE)

Graduate Enrichment Fellowship (GE)

Patrick S. Osmer Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) Fellowship

ENGIE-Axium Fellowship

All of the above fellowships are for entering students only. Stipend information may be found on the Graduate School’s website: https://gradsch.osu.edu/faculty-staff-resources/fellowship-guidelines/d-1-graduate-school-fellowship-stipends-graduate.


Applicants to the program need only check the appointment box on the Graduate & Professional Admissions application form to be considered for fellowship nomination. All materials must be received no later than December 1 for US applicants and November 30 for international applicants for the upcoming academic year. The History Department’s Graduate Studies Committee nominates students to the Graduate School for fellowships based on the recommendations of faculty members in the History Department’s various subject fields. The Graduate School’s selection committees make the final determination concerning fellowship awards.


Holders of Graduate Associateships fall into two categories: Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs) and Graduate Research Associates (GRAs).

Graduate Teaching Associates

There are three types of GTAs:

  1. Graders, who grade papers in high-enrollment courses (45+ students);
  2. Discussion Section Leaders (DSLs), who lead discussion sections and grade students in introductory and/or online courses taught by a faculty member or lecturer;
  3. Small-Section Leaders (SSLs), who teach independent sections with full responsibility for the classes. SSL assignments are restricted to students who have passed the Candidacy Examination. SSLs may only teach 1000- or 2000-level classes, and appointments depend on departmental need and the recommendation of the Chairs of the Graduate Studies and Undergraduate Studies Committees. SSLs should follow the guidelines for “Instructors” below.

Graduate Research Associates

GRAs work either in the Goldberg Center or with individual faculty members. Only a few are appointed each year.

Application Procedure

Applicants to the program need only check the appropriate box on the Graduate & Professional Admissions application form to be considered for a GA position. All materials must be received no later than December 1 for US applicants and November 30 for international applicants for the upcoming academic year.

Selection Process for GAs

After December 1, the Graduate Studies Committee evaluates all GA applications and recommends a ranked list to the faculty and Department Chair for approval. Applicants are notified via email in mid-February. The deadline for acceptance or rejection of an associateship offer is April 15.

The number of GAs the department may appoint varies from year to year; in recent years, less than five appointments are made to students each year, as most are awarded first-year fellowships. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their undergraduate and graduate GPAs, preparation in necessary languages, statements of purpose, letters of recommendation, writing sample quality, and their fit with the faculty in their field of application.

Individuals who have been accepted as unfunded students but who wish to be considered for a GA position may submit a formal application to the Graduate Studies Committee by December 1. Their field’s faculty are to consider their applications when they rank their students for consideration. Such requests are not guaranteed.

Eligibility for GA Appointment

Applicants for graduate associateships must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Maximum semesters of eligibility:
    1. Students who enter the graduate program with the BA degree are eligible for a total of ten (10) semesters of support. Note: Summer Term appointments are not counted toward the 10-semester total.
    2. Students who enter the graduate program with the MA degree are eligible for a total of eight (8) semesters of support. Note: Summer Term appointments are not counted toward the 8-semester total.
    3. Exceptions to these eligibility limits include graduate associateships granted to holders of multi-year Graduate School fellowships (DDUF, DUF, DDGE, DGE, etc.). Other exceptions may be granted under unusual circumstances upon petition to the Graduate Studies Committee.
  2. Graduate associates who have reached the limit of eligibility for regular GA appointments will not be eligible for a subsequent Summer Term appointment. However, the Graduate Studies Coordinator may determine that the teaching needs of the department warrant waiving this provision.
  3. GAs are normally not appointed to Summer Term positions more than twice. Should the Graduate Studies Coordinator determine that this provision hinders the scheduling of an adequate number of small-section lecture survey courses (staffed by post-candidacy GAs as SSLs), the Graduate Studies Coordinator may waive this provision to ensure adequate scheduling of survey sections for the Summer Term.
  4. Time spent on an externally-awarded fellowship or a language training fellowship does not reduce the semesters of eligibility.
  5. Graduate associates may not accept more than incidental additional employment outside of their usual responsibilities for the department.

Terms of Appointment

The normal GA appointment is 50% FTE, or 20 hours per week (a total of 240 hours over the course of a semester). Occasionally there may be an appointment of more than 50% FTE for a particular semester; these supplemental appointments are made by the Graduate Studies Coordinator with the consent of the GA involved. Supplemental appointments are compensated by a pro rata increase in the stipend (e.g., a 75% appointment would be compensated at 125% of the stipend).

GAs must be enrolled at the full-time equivalent for their student status: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/3-1-registration-course-load.

Retaining Appointments

GAs are expected to meet certain minimum standards in order to retain their appointments. These are:

  1. Maintain a GPA of 3.2 and satisfactory performance in courses that are graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (History 6999, 7193.02, and 8999) for the first 18 months; maintain a GPA of 3.5 and satisfactory performance in courses that are graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory in subsequent years.
  2. Perform GA duties in a satisfactory manner, as determined by faculty supervisors and the Graduate Studies Coordinator. For information on the standards used to evaluate GTAs, see the section titled “Responsibilities of Faculty and Graduate Teaching Associates,” which outlines the duties and responsibilities of both faculty supervisors and GTAs.
  3. Maintain adequate progress in pursuing a graduate degree. Adequate progress is defined as:
    1. Completing annual review forms;
    2. Completing the MA by the end of the 9th semester in the program.
    3. Passing the Candidacy Examination by the end of the 15th semester in the program with the BA, or the 9th semesters with the MA degree.
    4. Filing a dissertation prospectus with the Candidacy Examination Committee as part of the student’s candidacy exam portfolio.
    5. Completing the doctoral dissertation within 12 semesters of passing the Candidacy Examination.

Please note that summers or other semesters in which a student is not taking classes do not count toward the totals mentioned above.

If, in a truly exceptional case, it appears that a GA will exceed these time allotments, the student and the advisor may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for an additional year’s appointment. If the advisor and the Committee are satisfied that normal progress is being made in light of circumstances, the GA appointment may be continued. Examples of such circumstances include the absence of the advisor, unusual foreign language requirements, or sources suddenly becoming unavailable.

Should a GA not fulfill all of the above requirements, the Graduate Studies Committee will investigate the circumstances. In cases of unsatisfactory performance or misconduct, the Committee may terminate a GA’s appointment. Being found guilty of academic misconduct is grounds for immediate termination. Such terminations may be made with two weeks’ advance notice or may become effective the following semester or academic year. In the case of more serious infractions (and in the case of arrest and conviction), immediate termination may result, pursuant to The Ohio State University’s Code of Student Conduct and/or Self-Disclosure of Criminal Convictions Policy (4.17).

Duration of Funding

New GAs, University Fellows, and Graduate Enrichment Fellows who enter the combined MA/PhD program (i.e., enter the program with a BA) can expect, under normal circumstances, to receive funding for a total of five academic years (10 semesters) if they meet the standards for retaining their appointments.

New GAs, University Fellows, and Graduate Enrichment Fellows who enter the doctoral program (i.e., enter with an MA), can expect, under normal circumstances, to receive funding for a total of four academic years (8 semesters) if they meet the standards for retaining their GA appointments.

Multi-year fellowship awardees (e.g., DDUF, DUF, DDGE, DGE) who enter the combined MA/PhD or the doctoral program can expect, under normal circumstances, to receive funding for a total of six academic years (12 semesters), including fellowship years, if they meet the standards for retaining their GA appointments.

Post-5th Year (Extended) Funding

Pending budgetary constraints and the department’s teaching requirements, GAs and Fellows will be eligible to apply for an additional year of GA funding at the end of their normal terms of appointment. In recent years, very few of these funding opportunities have been available.

Summer Term Appointments

The department normally appoints a limited number of Graduate Associates for summer term appointments. These appointments are open only to current GAs. A preliminary announcement of openings will be released in the preceding Spring Semester. Those interested must fill out an online application form, and applicants will then be ranked for these positions by the Graduate Studies Committee. The positions available will be determined by available funds that the needs of the department.

Summer Term Tuition and Fee Waiver

Graduate Associates who have held appointments for consecutive Autumn and Spring semesters of an academic year are eligible for a waiver of tuition and fees for the Summer Term that immediately follows. For the semester fee waiver to take effect, pre-candidacy students must register for at least four credit hours during the Summer Term, while post-candidacy students must register for at least three credit hours.

Stipends for Graduate Associates

Stipend amounts are set by the Graduate School for all graduate programs. Current stipend rates may be found in the Graduate School’s Handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/9-2-graduate-associates-terms-appointment-reappointment-or-termination#9-2-7.

Assignment of Graduate Teaching Associates

Each semester, the Graduate Studies Coordinator asks GTAs to indicate their assignment preferences, both for the type of assignment (DSL or Grader) and for specific courses. The Graduate Studies Coordinator then assigns GTAs to courses. Although department need comes first, every effort is made to assign GTAs to one of their preferred courses.

No GTA should be responsible for grading the work of more than 60 students.

A post-candidacy GTA may be assigned to teach an independent (SSL) section of a 1000- or 2000-level course. To be assigned such a section, a graduate student must have passed the Candidacy Examination and have demonstrated teaching ability as a DSL for the course. The department’s policy is that each GA should teach at least one SSL course as final preparation for teaching elsewhere.

Responsibilities of Faculty and Graduate Teaching Associates

Faculty members in the Department of History recognize the importance of training graduate students to teach at the university level. One of the methods the department employs involves assigning Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs) to work with faculty instructors in survey and upper-level lecture courses. It is the purpose of the following guidelines, which have been developed through discussions between faculty and graduate students, to clarify the responsibilities of both the faculty instructor and the GTA, who may serve as either a Discussion Section Leader (DSL) or Grader. As a general principle, faculty instructors should always be committed to helping GTAs learn the skills of pedagogy and fulfill their potential as teachers. Moreover, the relationship between instructor and GTA should always be one of cooperation, partnership, and mutual respect. It is essential that faculty instructors be at all times alert and sensitive to issues of diversity, inclusivity, harassment, discrimination, and mental well-being. For the department’s stated commitment to building a diverse, inclusive, and healthy environment, see the department’s website: https://history.osu.edu/about/diversity.

Responsibilities of Instructors

  1. The instructor is responsible for designing the course, including preparing the syllabus and course requirements, establishing the structure and content of discussion sections, setting grading policies, and ordering desk copies of the assigned books for the GTA.
  2. After GTA assignments are announced for the forthcoming semester, the instructor should, as soon as possible before the first day of class, discuss with the GTA the design of the course and the expectations of the GTA.
  3. To ensure that course objectives are being met, the instructor should schedule meetings with the GTA at regular intervals, normally once per week, throughout the semester to discuss various aspects of the course, including the assigned readings, advising of students, grading of assignments, and, for DSLs, the topics and readings to be discussed in each discussion section. The instructor should hold a final meeting at the end of the semester to furnish an opportunity for both the instructor and the GTA to provide feedback on their experience in the course.
  4. The instructor may ask the GTA to submit graded examinations and papers (or samples thereof) and grade distributions to the instructor for approval. It is understood that, although the GTA may be assigning grades to his or her students, it is the instructor who bears final responsibility for the course and for grades assigned in the course. The instructor will act as the source of appeal for a student who is not satisfied with the GTA’s explanation of a grade, but the instructor should consult with the GTA about the final determination of the appeal.
  5. The instructor is responsible for evaluating the GTA’s work. For a DSL with less than three semesters of experience, the instructor should visit a discussion section at least twice during the semester: once during the first three weeks, and once after the sixth week. The instructor and the DSL may arrange additional visits. For a DSL who has served as a discussion section leader for at least three semesters, the instructor need only attend one discussion section during the first three weeks of the semester. Soon after each visit, the instructor and the DSL should discuss the observations made.
  6. When working with multiple GTAs, the instructor should do everything possible to ensure an equitable distribution of workload among them. There should be no “head Grader/DSL.”
  7. The instructor must ensure that a GTA never performs more than 20 hours of work per week on average, for any course.
  8. Since GTAs should not be responsible for grading the work of more than 60 students for any given assignment, the instructor should automatically take on responsibility for grading whatever assignments GTAs cannot grade themselves.
  9. The instructor should never ask GTAs to perform tasks that lie outside their normal pedagogical duties, e.g., “soda runs.”
  10. If the instructor is unhappy with the pedagogical performance of a GTA, all effort should be made to resolve the issue by thoughtful, considerate discussion between the two. If the problem nevertheless persists, the faculty instructor should refer the matter to the Graduate Studies Chair.

Responsibilities of the GTA

  1. GTAs are normally responsible for all grading and course-related advising of students assigned to them. The GTA is expected to attend and take notes on all lectures, complete all readings assigned in a timely fashion, hold a minimum of two regularly scheduled office hours per week in their office (more if needed after the return of examinations and papers), be available to students by appointment, and complete grading assignments according to the standards established by the instructor, and by the date assigned by the instructor. If requested by the instructor, the GTA may participate in the crafting of examinations and other written assignments.
  2. GTAs will not be expected to complete outside readings beyond those required of students in the course, except in circumstances where a GTA is assigned as a DSL in a course for which they lack preparation; in these cases, the instructor may provide additional readings as necessary.
  3. If there are problems between the instructor and the GTA that the GTA does not think can be brought directly to the instructor, the GTA should contact the Graduate Studies Chair, who will consult with the Graduate Studies Coordinator, and, when necessary, the Department Chair.
  4. DSLs will be assigned as discussion leaders to appropriate lower-level courses, or any online course, as needed by the department. Although DSLs will ordinarily be assigned to courses related to one of their fields of study, it may occasionally be necessary to assign a DSL to a course for which they have little or no graduate-level preparation.
  5. Without prior approval of the instructor, the DSL will not present formal lectures in their own sections. The DSL will follow the structure and content of discussion sections as outlined by the instructor. The DSL is encouraged to employ a variety of teaching techniques that they have learned from other courses and teaching experiences.
  6. Following University rules, the DSL must use the Student Evaluation of Instruction form at the end of the semester. The DSL is strongly encouraged to use an additional evaluation form for qualitative feedback.
  7. Any grade disputes over assignments should be immediately referred to the instructor.

Faculty Observation of DSLs and SSLs

As general guidelines:

  1. It is expected that faculty instructors will visit each of their courses’ discussion sections to observe the performance of every DSL at least twice each semester.
  2. It is expected that PhD advisors will visit and observe each class taught by their advisees as SSLs at least once.
  3. At any time, any GTA may contact the Director of Graduate Studies to request a classroom observation from a faculty member of the Graduate Studies Committee. GTAs will also have the option of requesting a formal report of the visit.

Teaching Resources for GTAs

Title IX Training for Instructors (including SSLs)

The department and university are committed to creating a working environment where all students, staff, and faculty feel fundamentally safe, respected, and included. As part of this commitment, the university requires all instructors to undertake Title IX training every year. For more information on the online training, please visit OSU’s Title IX website: https://titleix.osu.edu/global-navigation/training.html.



Presidential Fellowship
Each Autumn semester, the Graduate School calls for nominations from each department for the Presidential Fellowship, which is designed to support research and writing in the final year of the dissertation. Currently, the Presidential Fellowship provides a monthly stipend along with a tuition and fee waiver and other benefits. Students who have received multi-year University and Graduate Enrichment Fellowships (DDUF, DUF, DDGE, and DGE) are not eligible to be nominated for a Presidential Fellowship.

Richard R. Duncan Fellowship
The Duncan Fellowship is awarded to a post-candidacy graduate student in the Department of History whose dissertation research falls within the period between the 1860s and 1950s. Geographical region is open. Graduate students writing dissertations that begin before the 1860s and/or extend beyond the 1950s are eligible for the Duncan Fellowship if their dissertations engage historical events within those parameters in a significant and meaningful way. The nine-month (academic year) fellowship provides tuition, fees, and a stipend equivalent to the current GTA stipend.


There are a variety of sources within the university for research and travel funds. Most useful in this regard is the Arts & Humanities Research and Small Grant program, which funds travel to research collections and travel to present papers at conferences. The College provides up to $700 in support; the Department of History will match whatever funds the College grants, subject to availability and student eligibility. For more information, visit https://artsandsciences.osu.edu/academics/graduate-students/funding-resources.

The Council of Graduate Students (CGS) has numerous grants and awards to support research, travel, and career development. Visit their Funding & Awards website for more information: https://cgs.osu.edu/funding-awards.

The Department of History has limited funds to support travel to conferences. Priority is given to students who are presenting papers, but since the department feels that attending academic conferences is an important part of learning to be a professional historian, it makes some funds available to students to attend conferences even if they are not presenting papers. Students presenting at conferences may receive a maximum of $700 for travel and conference costs. Students attending a conference but not presenting a paper may receive a maximum of $350 for travel and conference costs. It is department policy that students will receive travel and conference support a maximum of once per semester, and, subject to availability of funds, once per academic year. The student should apply to the Director of Graduate Studies well in advance of the conference. The application should include a copy of the conference program, a description of the conference topic (with an explanation of its relevance to the student’s graduate program), and a budget. If the application is successful, the student must obtain a Spend Authorization (SA) from the department’s Fiscal Associate prior to departure. If the SA is not assigned prior to travel, university regulations make it impossible to reimburse travel expenses.


The BTAA Traveling Scholar program enables a graduate student to take advantage of special resources, such as unusual courses and library collections, available at participating BTAA universities and the University of Chicago that are not available on the OSU campus. The program is administered by the Graduate School, and graduate students in the Department of History may participate in it if they meet the requirements. More information may be found on the Big Ten Academic Alliance website: https://btaa.org/ and in the Graduate School’s handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/7-19-doctoral-big-ten-academic-alliance-traveling-scholar-program.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships in critical languages are available through the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Slavic and East European Studies, the East Asian Studies Center, and the Middle East Studies Center, all of which are overseen by the Office of International Affairs: https://oia.osu.edu/grants-and-scholarships/graduate/foreign-language-and-area-studies-fellowships/.

The Melton Center for Jewish Studies offers two year-long fellowships, as well as travel grants for research and conferences and an essay prize, for graduate students whose research includes a Jewish Studies component: https://meltoncenter.osu.edu/graduate-funding.


The American Historical Association has a guide to grants for historians. In order to access the database, one has to be an AHA member. Please consult the Graduate Studies Chair if you are not an AHA member but are interested in accessing this information.

Graduate Student Awards and Prizes from the Department of History

Department of History graduate students may apply for the following research awards. The Awards & Prizes committee will announce when applications are open, typically in February of each academic year. More information may be found on the department’s graduate student funding and awards website: https://history.osu.edu/graduate/funding-awards.


Mansel Blackford Student Travel Award
The award supports travel for research in any field of history. One or two awards of up to $4,000.

Ruth Higgins Award
The award supports dissertation or thesis research in any field of history. One or two awards of up to $2,000.

Retrieving The American Past (RTAP) Award
The award provides summer support to a graduate student in any field of history for work on dissertations or theses in Columbus or elsewhere. Several awards of up to $5,000.

History Faculty Scholarship
Established November 8, 2013, with gifts from faculty and friends of the Department of History, this scholarship supports graduate student research for students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences who are studying history. One or two awards of up to $2,000.


Robert Bremner Award
The award supports graduate student education in U.S. history. One or two awards of up to $1,000.

Andreas Dorpalen Award
The award supports a graduate student working on a dissertation in the area of nineteenth-or-twentieth century German history. One award of up to $1,000.

Foster Rhea Dulles Award
The award supports a graduate student working on a dissertation or thesis in U.S. history, particularly 20th century. One or two awards of up to $3,000.

Sydney Fisher Memorial Award (Faculty Nomination Required)
The award supports research and study of Ottoman and Turkish Studies. One or two awards of up to $4,000.

Genevieve Brown Gist Dissertation Research Award in Women’s History
The award supports a master's or doctoral student who is studying history. Preference is given to females based on scholastic ability and need. One or two awards of up to $4,000.

The Lieutenant Colonel Sean M. Judge Award
Established in memory of Sean M. Judge by his friends, for those who study military history, with a preference for graduate students in the Department of History. One or two awards of up to $2,000.

Helen and Harold Kapiloff Research Award
The award supports doctoral research for student in diplomatic/international history, with preference given to those working in libraries and archives outside the U.S. One award of up to $2,000.

Bradley R. Kastan Award
The award supports a graduate student in the field of business history. One or two awards of up to $500.

Kauffman Family Summer Research Award
The award provides summer research support for graduate students in American history. Several awards of up to $15,000.

Joseph H. Lynch Award
The award is given to students studying medieval history or the history of Christianity. One or two awards of up to $2,500.

Philip Poirier Awards
The award supports dissertation research abroad on any area of British history. One or two awards of up to $3,000.

Elaine S. And John C. Rule Award
The award supports travel and/or study abroad in Western Europe (France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Portugal), with preference first for doctoral students in the field of early modern Europe (1450-1789) and then for doctoral students in modern Europe (1789-present). Several awards of up to $10,000.

Henry H. Simms Award
The award supports dissertation research and writing on some aspect of one of the following areas of study: the colonial and ante-bellum South, the slavery controversy, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction period. One or two awards of up to $3,000.

Allan and Helen Wildman Memorial Award
The award supports students working in the area of Russian or East European history. One award of up to $1,000.

Tien-Yi Li Prize (Faculty Nomination Required)
The award is given to an outstanding graduate student in the field of Chinese history and culture. One award of up to $850.



Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC)
The GSAC is an elected body of the History Department graduate students who serve as representatives of the graduate students to the department faculty. As such, GSAC members not only serve on individual department committees and attend department faculty meetings, but they also meet monthly, distribute reports on the business of their committees, keep graduate students aware of ongoing issues in the department, and facilitate a sense of community among the graduate students. They organize a buddy program, plan social events, and work with the Graduate Studies Coordinator to plan orientation and visitation day. GSAC elections take place each spring, although GSAC members are encouraged to serve two-year terms.

Department of History Diversity Committee
The History Department is committed to creating an inclusive environment, welcoming to all, where a student’s success and prestige are based not on ethnic background or biology but on achievements. It recognizes that true academic excellence depends upon recruiting and supporting a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students, and encourages them to pursue innovative research, effective teaching and learning, and engaged outreach. In addition to hiring and admissions, diversity also requires a critical engagement with intellectual perspectives that go beyond mainstream master narratives.

In addition to the department’s Diversity Committee (https://history.osu.edu/about/diversity), the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has a number of other important resources: https://odi.osu.edu/.

The Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in TeachingThe Goldberg Center, located in Dulles 207, provides an instructional computing facility for all History faculty, graduate students, and staff. The facility is available only for instructional computing related to the teaching mission of the department. The Goldberg staff can help you create class websites, use the Multimedia Database, develop class presentations, and organize class discussion groups. It can also help with other classroom-related computing needs. The Goldberg Center is open during regular business hours.

The Undergraduate Mentorship Program (UMP)The UMP aims to match interested undergraduate students with graduate student mentors in the History Department. The graduate student mentors serve as friendly, approachable sources of informal guidance and first-hand practical advice about such matters as paper- and thesis-writing, bibliographic searches for particular fields, off-campus research project logistics, foreign travel, and graduate school applications and experiences. They do not replace staff or faculty advisors. They provide a different kind of professional service, one that complements and supplements the more formal kinds of guidance that staff and faculty already provide. Participating in the UMP is entirely voluntary on both sides. Once matched, the mentor and mentee usually meet once or twice per semester. Students interested in participating in the program as a mentor should contact the department’s Program Manager, Dr. Ray Irwin (Irwin.8@osu.edu), to request an application form.

Non-Departmental Resources
The Council of Graduate Students: https://cgs.osu.edu/
The Ohio Union Activities Board-Grad/Prof: https://ouab.osu.edu/grad-prof
The Student Wellness Center: https://swc.osu.edu/
Counseling & Consultation Service: https://ccs.osu.edu/
Disability Services: https://slds.osu.edu/
The Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning: https://drakeinstitute.osu.edu/
History Subject Librarian: https://library.osu.edu/subject-librarians

Job PlacementPrimary responsibility for job and career placement rests with the student and their advisor. The History Department’s Placement Officer, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Graduate Studies Coordinator advertise positions on the History graduate student email listserv as they are sent to them. The Placement Officer also organizes CV and cover letter workshops, mock conference interviews, and mock job talks for job candidates. These activities provide useful opportunities for prospective job candidates to practice their presentation skills. A student seeking employment should contact the Placement Officer and prepare a dossier including a cover letter, CV, dissertation synopsis, and teaching portfolio. Students are encouraged to submit their dossiers through www.interfolio.com.

Academic and personal computing is available at the university libraries; visit their website for a list of library locations and hours: https://library.osu.edu/.



Continuous EnrollmentThe university’s Continuous Enrollment policy is effective for all students who were admitted to the Graduate School in Autumn 2008 and afterward. All students who successfully complete their doctoral candidacy exams are required to enroll in at least three graduate credit hours per semester until graduation. Summer enrollment is not required unless the student intends to defend and graduate in the Summer Term. For more information see Section 7.7.3 of the Graduate School Handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/7-7-doctoral-candidacy.

Leaves of Absence

Post-candidacy students may request a leave of absence from their doctoral studies on a semester basis. The initial request for a leave should be submitted via email by the student to the Director of Graduate Studies. If the leave is given initial approval by the Director of Graduate Studies, the student may then submit a Committee & Examination Petition form on https://www.gradforms.osu.edu to request the leave of absence from the Graduate School. The request for leave should be submitted before the actual leave period begins. Verification of circumstances should be included as part of the leave request. More information may be found in the Graduate School’s handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/11-2-benefits-graduate-associates-fellows-and-trainees-time.

Pre-candidacy graduate students may request a leave of absence from their studies on a semester basis. The request for leave should be submitted by the student to the Director of  Graduate Studies, and must include support from the student’s advisor. A petition to the Graduate School is not required for pre-candidacy students.

Students returning from a leave of absence must complete the Graduate School’s reactivation form: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_55469HVWMNd3EjQ.

Parental Leave for Childbirth/Adoption

The Graduate School’s policy on parental leave for graduate students may be found in the  Graduate School handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/f-7-guidelines-time-graduate-students-appointed-gas-fellows-relevant-selected-definitions.

Eligibility for Childbirth/Adoption Leave of Absence

Eligibility criteria may be found in the Graduate School’s handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/f-3-guidelines-time-graduate-students-appointed-gas-fellows-eligibility-criteria.

Use of Parental Leave and Childbirth/Adoption Leave of Absence

Procedures for use of parental leave may be found in the Graduate School’s handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/f-7-guidelines-time-graduate-students-appointed-gas-fellows-relevant-selected-definitions.

Mental Health Resources for Graduate Students

As a student, you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating, and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities.

OSU offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus through the Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service: https://ccs.osu.edu/. CCS is located on the 4th floor of the Younkin Success Center and 10th floor of Lincoln Tower. You can reach an on-call counselor when CCS is closed at 614-292-5766. If you are thinking of harming yourself or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk, or if you are worried about someone else and need advice about what to do, 24-hour emergency help is also available through the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 614-221-5445 or 1-800-273-8255, or text 4hope to 741741, or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. Additional information may be found on OSU’s suicide prevention website: https://suicideprevention.osu.edu/get-help/.

Students may also download the “Ohio State Wellness” app on their mobile devices.



Academic Misconduct

Information on the university’s academic misconduct policies may be found at https://oaa.osu.edu/academic-integrity-and-misconduct. The university's Code of Student Conduct defines academic misconduct as "any activity that tends to compromise the academic integrity of the University, or subvert the educational process." While many people associate academic misconduct with "cheating," the term encompasses a wider scope of student behaviors which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Violation of course rules
  • Violation of program regulations
  • Knowingly providing or receiving information during a course exam or program assignment
  • Possession and/or use of unauthorized materials during a course exam or program assignment
  • Knowingly providing or using assistance in the laboratory, on field work, or on a course assignment, unless such assistance has been authorized specifically by the course instructor or, where appropriate, a project/research supervisor
  • Submission of work not performed in a course: This includes (but is not limited to) instances where a student fabricates and/or falsifies data or information for a laboratory experiment (i.e., a "dry lab") or other academic assignment. It also includes instances where a student submits data or information (such as a lab report or term paper) from one course to satisfy the requirements of another course, unless submission of such work is permitted by the instructor of the course or supervisor of the research for which the work is being submitted
  • Submitting plagiarized work for a course/program assignment
  • Falsification, fabrication, or dishonesty in conducting or reporting laboratory (research) results
  • Serving as or asking another student to serve as a substitute (a "ringer") while taking an exam
  • Alteration of grades in an effort to change earned credit or a grade
  • Alteration and/or unauthorized use of university forms or records



Plagiarism is the act of stealing the ideas and/or the expression of another and representing them as your own. It is a form of cheating and a kind of academic misconduct that can incur severe penalties. It is important, therefore, that you understand what it consists of, so that you will not unwittingly jeopardize your graduate career.

Plagiarism can take many forms. The most obvious form is a word-for-word copying of someone else’s work, in whole or in part, without acknowledgment, whether that work be a magazine article, a portion of a book, a newspaper piece, another student’s essay, or any other composition that is not your own. Any such verbatim use of another’s work must be acknowledged by (1) enclosing all such copied portions in quotation marks, and by (2) giving the original source either in the body of your essay, in a footnote, or in another appropriate form of scholarly citation.

A second form of plagiarism is the unacknowledged paraphrasing of the structure and language of another person’s work. Changing a few words of another’s composition, omitting a few sentences, or changing their order, does not constitute original composition and therefore can be given no credit. If such borrowing or paraphrasing is ever necessary, the source must be scrupulously indicated by footnotes or other appropriate forms of scholarly citation.

Still another form of plagiarism is difficult to define. It consists of writing a paper based solely on the ideas of another. Even though the language is not the same, if the thinking is clearly not your own, then you have committed plagiarism. If, for example, in writing a paper you reproduce the structure and progression of ideas in an essay you have read or a speech you have heard, you are not engaging your own mind and experience enough to claim credit for it.

Reporting Academic Misconduct

Instructors and GTAs should not penalize students for academic misconduct. All cases of suspected academic misconduct should be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM), which will decide them. GTAs should report cases to the instructor, who will then pass them on to COAM. More information about the COAM process may be found on the following website: https://oaa.osu.edu/academic-integrity-and-misconduct/faculty-obligations.

For further information on ethical standards for historians, consult the American Historical Association’s “Statement of Standards of Professional Conduct”: https://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development/statements-standards-and-guidelines-of-the-discipline/statement-on-standards-of-professional-conduct.

Research Involving Human Subjects

Students whose MA or PhD research involves interviewing must get approval from the University’s Human Subjects Review Committee. Consult the website of the Office for Responsible Research Practices, Office of Research, for details: https://orrp.osu.edu/irb/. Since the approval process is a lengthy one, students are advised to begin the application procedures well in advance of the research proposed.

Sexual Harassment

Graduate students, in their dealings with all members of the university community, are subject to university regulations governing sexual harassment. These regulations may be found in OSU’s Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy: https://policies.osu.edu/assets/policies/Policy-NDH-Sexual-Misconduct.pdf. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of these regulations.

Hate- and Bias-Related Harassment

Graduate students are subject to university regulations concerning hate- and bias-related actions. University regulations may be found in in OSU’s Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy: https://policies.osu.edu/assets/policies/Policy-NDH-Sexual-Misconduct.pdf. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of these regulations.

Grievance Procedures

Graduate students with grievances may seek advice from either the Director of Graduate Studies or from the Graduate and Professional Student Ombudsman in the Office of Academic Affairs: https://ombuds.osu.edu/grad-ombuds. They may also seek advice from the Department Chair at any time.

The Graduate School is specifically authorized by the Graduate Council to review grievances related to graduate examinations and Graduate Associate appointments. Further information concerning the Graduate School’s grievance process and Grievance Committee may be found in Appendix D of the Graduate School’s Handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/handbook/d-graduate-student-grievance-review-guidelines.

Graduate student grievances involving grades and academic misconduct are handled in accordance with existing university policies: https://oaa.osu.edu/academic-integrity-and-misconduct.

Graduate student grievances involving hate and bias incidents are handled by the Office of Institutional Equity: https://equity.osu.edu/. Students may also consult the College of Arts & Sciences Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: https://artsandsciences.osu.edu/about/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.

The remainder of this section outlines the procedures for handling grievances within the department that are not governed by existing, formalized university procedures. Such grievances might be related to the structure of classes, GTA or GRA appointments, disputes between graduate students and faculty, or conflicts between graduate students. In such cases, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. Informal mediation
    1. The student should first discuss the complaint informally with the individual or individuals who are the basis of the grievance.
    2. If this does not result in a satisfactory resolution, then the student should take the complaint to the Vice Chair, who will try to work out a satisfactory resolution. If the Vice Chair is the target of the grievance, the student should take the complaint to the Department Chair.
  2. Formal complaint

If efforts in step 1 fail, the student should submit a written complaint to the Department Chair, with copies to the individual or individuals against whom the complaint has been made. If the Department Chair is the target of the complaint, the Department Chair should immediately designate the Director of Graduate Studies or the Vice Chair to handle the formal complaint. The individual or individuals named in the grievance must submit a written response to the Department Chair or designee within thirty working days. The Department Chair or designee will provide the student with a copy of this response and make one final attempt to resolve the situation.

  1. Response to formal complaint

Following step 2, if the grievance has not been resolved, the Department Chair or designee will provide the student with a written summary of the efforts taken to resolve the dispute and a description of the solution reached, or a summary of the unresolved issues. In the event that no solution is reached, the Department Chair or designee will provide advice on the procedures for petitioning the College of Arts & Sciences or the Graduate School, whichever is appropriate, for a formal hearing or other appropriate avenue of appeal.