The history graduate program has developed quite a bit since the department granted its first PhD degree to Erwin Meyer for his dissertation on English craft guilds in the 1920s. Today graduate students are trained in the central principles and research methods that characterize the discipline of history through classroom instruction, professional development training and individualized advising. They also gain a thorough grounding in their particular area of study as well as an ability to situate that area of study in a larger transnational and global context.
MA candidates may undertake fields of study in: medieval Europe, early modern Europe, modern Europe, United States to 1877 and United States since 1865. Master of Arts candidates can choose from two courses of study: a thesis or nonthesis option, and there are also many opportunities for students to participate in dual MA programs with the Departments of Asian Languages and Civilizations, French and Religious Studies.
Graduate students focus their studies in two equallyweighted fields: 1) a regional/national field, including either the U.S. (all of U.S. history), Europe (medieval, early modern or modern, with a regional/national emphasis) or Asia (emphasis on country/region and/or period); and 2) a global/thematic field. Courses in this field might include, but are not limited to: imperialism and colonialism, decolonization in transnational perspective, environmental history in transnational perspective, diplomacy and international relations, visual culture in the modern world, trade and diaspora in the early modern world, World War I in global perspective, history and memory in transnational perspective and the Atlantic world.
The Department of History sponsors a graduatestudent run history conference. The Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary History Conference (RMIHC) is in its thirteenth year, and draws graduate student presenters from top research universities throughout the country. RMIHC provides graduate students the opportunity to present their original research in a highly professional yet collegial atmosphere. Students also have the opportunity to serve on the conference’s executive committee for a twoyear term. RMIHC is not only an excellent way to become involved with the Department of History’s faculty and students and to develop one’s own research, but also to gain important professional development and organizational experience.
PhD graduate students have the opportunity to participate in the Graduate Teaching Program, which is a centralized program that works with disciplinary departments to provide training in college teaching and professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are pursuing both academic and nonacademic positions. The Department of History also runs its own teaching and professional development workshops on a regular basis throughout the year.