In response to increasing student interest in historical studies that transcend geographical areas, we offer students the option of crafting an individual plan of study, which enables them to work formally with faculty members who specialize in different geographical areas. It is aimed at students who wish to gain roughly equal depth of training in more than one geographical area.
Students considering this option should bear in mind two considerations:
- The choice of an individual plan may have job-market ramifications. Although there has been some movement in recent years away from the traditional definition of academic jobs in terms of a single geographical area (e.g., U.S. history, African history, or East Asian history), many academic positions are still defined in geographic terms.
- Because an individual plan of study offers roughly equal grounding in the history and historiography of more than one geographical area, it may well require more time to complete than would a major in one program.
Students who pursue an individual plan of study must:
- Assemble a Supervising Committee. Students should discuss their interests in an individual plan of study with the faculty members who would serve on the student’s supervising committee (two co-advisors, one from each field of study, and a third committee member).
- Draft a Plan of Study. The student and the supervising committee will need to design the plan of study and reach an agreement on:
- The student’s M.A., language, and minor requirements;
- The format and timing of the preliminary exams; and
- Any needed revision of the benchmarks that normally define satisfactory progress.
- Petition for Approval. Once an agreement has been reached, the student, with the committee’s support, must petition the Graduate Council for approval of the individual plan of study.
For further information, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.