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Washington State University Factsheets

Doctor of Philosophy in History

Faculty working with Students: 22
Students: 20
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 60%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 10
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • 550 TOEFL Minimum score
  • GRE

Degree Description:

The Department of History offers programs of study for full-time and part-time students leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. Students entering the PhD program in History are expected to have completed a Masters degree in History or in a related field of study at an accredited college or university, and to show promise of doing excellent work at the doctoral level. All doctoral candidates conduct independent research leading to a written dissertation, with the objective of making a major contribution to the body of academic knowledge in History. Research will be focused on a specific Primary Field, which is embedded in a broader General Field that gives a geographical, chronological, and historiographical framework for the research. The program will culminate with a final oral examination. Financial aid in the form of a teaching assistantship is available for dedicated, quality full-time PhD students.

Admission Requirements:

Must complete a Language Background Form (competency in a foreign language desired, but not required). Also must complete a Preferred Fields of Study Form (both Language and PFS forms are available for download on the History Dept website)

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1.  Student’s mastery of the main methodologies and historical arguments in the primary fields of study.
  2.  Student’s familiarity with the major trends in historiography and the methodological innovations associated with changes in historiographical theory.
  3.  Student’s ability to apply appropriate theories and methods to the major field through independent research projects.
  4.  Student’s demonstrated mastery of historical exposition.
  5.  Student’s skills associated with the presentation of historical research within the professional apparatus of the discipline, and communication skills for diverse professional purposes.
  6.  Student’s success in the production of a successful and nationally commensurate master’s thesis or dissertation by defining a viable research project and conducting research according to  nationally recognized professional standards.
  7.  Student’s skills associated with the teaching of history at the college level.

Student Opportunities:

The Department of History has a committee dedicated to Graduate Professional Development. History graduate students also organize a weekly colloquium in addition to weekly meetings of the History Graduate Students Association (HGSA). The HIST 595 course gives students knowledge and practice for teaching in higher education.

Career Opportunities:

Students receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in History can go on to be professional teachers and researchers at all types of schools and universities, they can work in museums and curation, and serve as historians at both private and governmental organizations providing research and cultural resource management expertise.

Career Placements:

Tenured faculty at public and private colleges and universities; high school teachers; librarians; independent researchers; historians for various federal and state agencies; writers; and leaders in public and private historical organizations.

Faculty Members:

Bauman, Robert Alan, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Boag, Peter Guy, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Farley, Brigit Ann, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

20th century Russia and Europe, War and Peace in the 20th century, Holocaust, and commemoration, translation/annotation of historical works from Eastern Europe and Russia.

Gerber, Lydia, Ph.D.

Goucher, Candice, Ph.D.

Research Interests

World history, African history, the history of food, and Caribbean studies

Hatter, Lawrence, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Research interests broadly encompasses the social and geopolitical history of empire in the United States and British North America between 1750 and 1820. His current book manuscript explores the intersection of nationhood, imperialism, and nationality in the Great Lakes region after the American Revolution.

Hoch, Steven L, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

Modern Russian history, European agrarian history, and historical demography.

Jordan, Theresa, M.A.

Research Interests

Theresa received an M.A. in history from the University of Washington in 1991. She taught at Idaho State University from 1992 through 2001 and began teaching at WSU in 2001. Her primary interests include Secondary Teacher Education, World History, European Medieval History and Roman History.

Kale, Steven David, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Kawamura, Noriko, Ph.D.

McCoy, Robert R, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Mercier, Laurie K, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Peabody, Susan, Ph.D.

Sanders, Jeffrey C, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Spohnholz, Jesse A, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

Spohnholz’s research focuses on social practices of toleration in Reformation-era Germany and the Netherlands, experiences of religious refugees during Europe’s Age of Religious Wars, and historical memory of the Reformation.

Sun, Raymond C, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Sutton, Matthew A, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

Sutton is currently writing a book tentatively entitled (Un)Holy Spies: Religion and American Espionage in World War II, which will be published by Basic Books in 2019. This book tells the story of the rise of the United States’ first intelligence agency and its relationship to God. During World War II American leaders for the first time had to learn to navigate the complex ways in which the religious identities of peoples and nations shaped global conflict. They also had to determine how to use what they learned to their advantage. Leading the crusade into the mysterious netherworld of global religious faiths was a small army of missionaries, missionary executives, and adult missionary children, working for William “Wild Bill” Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services. Without necessarily anticipating the long-term consequences of their actions, they crafted new and important relationships for the United States with Mecca, the Vatican, and Zion. These relationships profoundly shaped the trajectory of American involvement with the rest of the world from the CIA’s Cold-War battle against “godless” communism to the “war on terror.”

Svingen, Orlan J, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Tolmacheva, Marina, Ph.D.

Wang, Xiuyu, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Vancouver campus faculty

Wright, Ashley, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Ashley Wright teaches courses in the fields of modern British, imperial, and World History. Her research interests are in the history of the British empire.

Contact Information:

Kenneth Anderson
PO Box 644030
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-4030