History

Program Overview

The Department of History at the University of Toronto offers a broadly diversified program of graduate studies leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Instruction is offered in all major areas of historical scholarship by a graduate faculty of approximately 70 members. Courses are offered in the history of Canada; the United States; Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern Europe and Britain; Eastern Europe; Russia; Latin America; Africa; South Asia; East Asia; Southeast Asia; International Relations; the History of Medicine; and Women’s History.

The University of Toronto also offers rich resources outside the department to support the study of history. The Robarts Research Library in the Humanities and Social Sciences, unrivalled in Canada and among the leading university libraries in North America, provides a foundation for a wide range of study. Specialized collections are located elsewhere in the University, including in a number of centres and research institutes. The Centre for Medieval Studies and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies have particularly strong resources for European and British medieval history. The Munk School of Global Affairs; the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology; the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies; the Institute for Urban and Community Studies; as well as the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies afford additional opportunities for interdepartmental work. The department participates in a number of interdisciplinary collaborative specializations.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MA, PhD:

8-Jan-2020

MA, PhD:

8-Jan-2020

Supporting documents deadline MA, PhD:

10-Jan-2020

MA, PhD:

10-Jan-2020

Minimum admission average MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A- average in Master’s

MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A- average in Master’s

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes (minimum A-minus average in courses in the relevant discipline)

PhD:

Yes (minimum A-minus average in courses in the relevant discipline)

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MA:

After

PhD:

Before

MA:

After

PhD:

Before

MA:

Applicant/Graduate Unit

PhD:

Graduate Unit

MA:

Applicant/Graduate Unit

PhD:

Graduate Unit


Master of Arts​

Program Description

The Department of History offers a broadly diversified program of graduate studies leading to the Master of Arts degree. There are opportunities to study and research several geographic, chronological, and thematic areas of history. Visit the departmental website for descriptions of specific fields. The requirements vary for the field in Contemporary International History; see the admission and program requirements below.

The MA program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with at least a B+ standing.

  • Successful completion of at least 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in history. Applicants without adequate history training may be required to complete an appropriate number of undergraduate history courses before being considered for admission. In rare cases, an applicant may be admitted to the MA program but will be required to do one or two courses in addition to the MA program requirements.

  • In addition to the School of Graduate Studies online application form, applicants must submit:

    • an Application Information Form

    • three letters of recommendation

    • a 500-word specific research proposal outlining a precise field and area of historical investigation

    • a writing sample of no more than 3,000 words.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with scores of at least:

    • ​​​paper-based TOEFL exam: 600 with 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

    • Internet-based TOEFL exam: 100/120 with 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

Program Requirements

  • Students may complete the MA by:

    • coursework and research paper or

    • coursework and thesis (with special permission).

  • Students must achieve at least an overall B average in their courses to maintain standing.

  • Students must also demonstrate competency in a language other than English, to be assessed in a manner approved by the Associate Chair (Graduate) or designate.

Coursework and Research Paper
  • 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE must be either HIS 1997H or HIS 1201H taken following consultation with Graduate Coordinator

    • HIS 2000Y0 MA essay (1.0 FCE)

    • 2.0 FCE HIS courses. Normally, up to 1.0 FCE may be taken outside the Department of History with the approval of the Associate Chair, Graduate.

  • Full-time MA students are expected to complete all degree requirements within 12 months of entering the program.

Coursework and Thesis
  • 2.0 FCEs as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE must be either HIS 1997H or HIS 1201H taken following consultation with Graduate Coordinator

    • present an MA thesis (1.5 FCE)

  • The thesis MA might take longer than the course MA. The thesis must be presented by full-time students within three years of entering the program; part-time students must present within six years of entering the program.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time
 

Field: Contemporary International History

The field in Contemporary International History (CIH) focuses on the historical roots and genealogies of contemporary international issues. It emphasizes the development of research and analytical skills that will enrich decision-making in an increasingly interconnected, but tension-filled global environment. The field is designed to prepare students in research, analytical, and communication skills for decision-making in non-academic careers in government, international organizations, NGOs, media, business and finance, law, and the cultural sector.

The coursework-plus-thesis option is not permitted in this field.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university with successful completion of at least 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in History with a B+ average.

  • A B+ average (grade point average of 3.3), or equivalent, in the final 5.0 FCEs of the BA.

  • In addition to the School of Graduate Studies online application form, applicants must submit:

    • an Application Information Form

    • three letters of recommendation

    • a 500-word specific research proposal outlining a precise field and area of historical investigation

    • a writing sample of no more than 3,000 words.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with scores of at least:

    • paper-based TOEFL exam: 600 with 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

    • Internet-based TOEFL exam: 100/120 with 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE: HIS 1997H

    • 0.5 required FCE: HIS 1900H or HIS 1901H

    • the remaining 1.5 FCE can be taken within or outside the History department.

  • HIS 2000Y0, a research project defined in consultation with a supervisor and approved by the CIH Coordinator.

  • Students must achieve at least an overall B average in their courses to maintain standing.

  • Students must also demonstrate competency in a language other than English, to be assessed in a manner approved by the Associate Chair (Graduate) or designate.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

​Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The Department of History offers a broadly diversified program of graduate studies leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. There are opportunities to study and research several geographic, chronological, and thematic areas of history. Visit the departmental website for descriptions of specific fields.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate MA degree or 2) direct entry following completion of an appropriate bachelor’s degree.
 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • The closing date for applications to the PhD program is January 15. Later applications will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.

  • Normally, applicants may enter the PhD program with an MA degree in history or its equivalent with an A– average or better.

  • Applicants must satisfy the department of their ability to do independent research at an advanced level.

  • In addition to the School of Graduate Studies online application form, applicants must submit:

    • an information form

    • three letters of recommendation

    • a 500-word specific research proposal outlining a precise field and area of historical investigation

    • a writing sample of no more than 6,000 words.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of a recognized English-language proficiency examination as outlined in the School of Graduate Studies General Regulations.​

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. With MA degree in history: 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) with a B+ average throughout coursework.

  • Residence requirement. Residence means students must be in such geographical proximity as to be able to visit the campus regularly and participate fully in the University's activities associated with the program. PhD students must maintain geographical proximity to the campus until they have passed their field examinations but no longer than a period of two years.

  • Comprehensive examinations. At the beginning of their programs, students consult with their supervisor and the Associate Chair, Graduate to determine their fields. Two options are available: two majors or one major and two minors. Major fields should coincide with the subject area(s) that the student has chosen for the thesis. Minors should be in different areas. The comprehensive field examinations consist of a written examination in each field and a common oral examination covering all fields. Students are required to take their field examinations by the spring of Year 2, but they are strongly advised to take them as soon as possible after the completion of their coursework. Examinations are held in January and April. Examinations cannot be postponed beyond the spring of Year 2 without permission of the Associate Chair, Graduate. The department's website lists the fields offered.

  • Language requirements vary with the student’s major area of study. If not already so qualified, a student must qualify in one language other than English by the beginning of Year 2 and may be asked to qualify in other program-related languages. All language requirements are subject to the approval of the Associate Chair, Graduate​.

  • Thesis: When all of the above requirements are completed, the candidate will proceed to write the PhD thesis and defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The thesis must be a piece of original scholarship, approximately 350 pages (90,000 words) in length, exclusive of notes and bibliography. Thesis preparation is guided by a committee consisting of the major supervisor and two other faculty members. The thesis must be presented within six years of first enrolment in the full-time PhD program.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years
 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • The closing date for applications to the PhD program is January 15. Later applications will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.

  • Exceptional applicants may enter the PhD program by direct entry from the BA with an A– average or better.

  • Applicants must satisfy the department of their ability to do independent research at an advanced level.

  • In addition to the School of Graduate Studies online application form, applicants must submit:

    • an information form

    • three letters of recommendation

    • a 500-word specific research proposal outlining a precise field and area of historical investigation

    • a writing sample of no more than 6,000 words.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of a recognized English-language proficiency examination as outlined in the School of Graduate Studies General Regulations.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. By direct entry: 4.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs), 0.5 of which must be either HIS 1997H or HIS 1201H. Students must maintain an A– average in their first 2.0 FCEs in order to continue in the program.

  • Residence requirement. Residence means students must be in such geographical proximity as to be able to visit the campus regularly and participate fully in the University's activities associated with the program. PhD students must maintain geographical proximity to the campus until they have passed their field examinations but no longer than a period of two years.

  • Comprehensive examinations. At the beginning of their programs, students consult with the Associate Chair, Graduate to determine their fields, and students will be assigned advisors. Two options are available: two majors or one major and two minors. Major fields should coincide with the subject area(s) that the student has chosen for the thesis. Minors should be in different areas. The comprehensive field examinations consist of a written examination in each field and a common oral examination covering all fields. Students are required to take their field examinations by the spring of Year 2, but they are strongly advised to take them as soon as possible after the completion of their coursework. Examinations are held in January and April. Examinations cannot be postponed beyond the spring of Year 2 without permission of the Associate Chair, Graduate. The department's website lists the fields offered.

  • Language requirements vary with the student’s major area of study. If not already so qualified, a student must qualify in one language other than English by the beginning of Year 2 and may be asked to qualify in other program-related languages. All language requirements are subject to the approval of the Associate Chair, Graduate.

  • Thesis: When all of the above requirements are completed, the candidate will proceed to write the PhD thesis and defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The thesis must be a piece of original scholarship, approximately 350 pages (90,000 words) in length, exclusive of notes and bibliography. Thesis preparation is guided by a committee consisting of the major supervisor and two other faculty members. The thesis must be presented within seven years of first enrolment in the direct-entry PhD.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Yongshan He

“The faculty members I’ve met at U of T are all very friendly, so don’t be shy.”

Yongshan He
PhD Candidate, East Asian Studies
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