History Graduate Handbook

Table of contents

Academic Year 2023-2024 Contacts:

Director of Graduate Studies:  Dr. Jeff Zalar (zalarjy@ucmail.uc.edu)


The Department of History of the University of Cincinnati is a mid to small-sized research department, home to a diverse community of graduate students and faculty with a wide range of interests. Our curriculum offers rigorous training in history, while also encouraging students to take valuable courses in other fields, including political science and anthropology as well as foreign languages. The flexibility of the program matches the varied goals and expectations of our students. Our graduates, whether at the MA or PhD level, come to us with different professional objectives, and our training is meant to prepare them for success in whatever future work they choose to pursue, including positions in academia, secondary education, public history, the business sector, and beyond.

The purpose of this handbook is to provide an overview of important information for graduate students in the Department on matters such as courses and schedules, degree requirements, funding opportunities, standing departmental events, basic departmental policies as well as resources and tips for living in Cincinnati.

Please note that this handbook is distinct from another important handbook that you should also expect to consult regularly during your graduate career at the university: the UC Graduate Handbook. Unlike this document, the UC Graduate Handbook offers a comprehensive list of rules and regulations affecting all graduate students in the university. Though you will earn your degree through the History Department, the degree itself will be certified and conferred by the Graduate School. It is important to note that the rules of the Graduate School apply to every aspect of your study and work in the program. If you have any questions about these rules, make sure to consult with the Director of Graduate Studies or Program Staff in the History Department, or with the Department Head should the Director of Graduate Studies be unavailable.

New matriculating students in the program should also visit the New Student Checklist (login required) in the month before starting the program to complete onboarding and orientation processes.

Program Design & Degree Requirements

The graduate program in the History Department is designed to train students in the historical discipline through exposure to a rigorous curriculum of graduate-level course work based on a combination of required and elective courses. This basic philosophy applies to our approach to training at both the masters’ and the doctoral level, though requirements for the two degrees are understandably different.

Our standard MA program does not have tracks or areas of thematic concentration. In this regard, for most students at the MA level their specialization becomes in effect the area of research that they identify for their year-long (2 semester) research seminar (HIST 9040 and 9041), which amounts to the centerpiece of the program. The exception is the Public History concentration. Students interested in Public History may choose to focus in this area, which includes taking two additional required courses and a Public History Internship.

In contrast to MA students, PhD students are required to declare a specialization in one of four general areas – US history, the history of Europe, comparative world history, and public history – and to pursue their coursework and the development of their dissertation research in close coordination with a dedicated doctoral advisor.

Though the MA and PhD are distinct degrees, each with its own requirements, there is no formal divide in the Department’s graduate curriculum. Consequently, MA and PhD students routinely take their courses together and participate equally in the intellectual life of the Department.

As a mid to small-sized program, we place a premium on working closely with our graduate students and being flexible and adaptive to their needs and interests. To the degree that we can, we vary our course offerings to meet the interests of our students. The Director of Graduate Studies may also allow some deviation from curricular requirements when appropriate.  

Most of our MA and PhD students are full-time students who enroll in two, or more commonly, three courses per semester (see below), but our graduate community also includes part-time students who may take just one course per term. Our graduate classes thus typically include a range of students working at the MA and PhD levels and proceeding through their degrees at varying paces. All MA and PhD students, full and part-time, should work with the Director of Graduate Studies, and, in the case of PhD students, their doctoral advisor as well, to establish a desirable curricular plan.

Credits, Course Registration, Academic Performance, and Time to Degree

For the UC Graduate School to consider you a full-time student, you must take at least 10 credit hours (i.e. 2 graduate-level history courses + an additional 2 credits) in each of the fall and spring semesters. Summer registration is not required. However, students who receive a Graduate Assistant Scholarship (GAS) must take at least 12 credit hours (i.e. 3 graduate seminars) in the fall and spring terms.  (Please note: Audited courses do not count toward this twelve-hour minimum.  For more information on auditing, see the information on audited courses below.)  Graduate scholarships, such as the GAS or Graduate Incentive Scholarship (GIA), cannot be used to pay undergraduate tuition. All courses taken by students in our program should be 6000 level or higher so credit can be covered by tuition and count towards the degree. History graduate courses (6000-level & above) are typically 4 credit hours, though some courses, such as the Department Topics Seminar and individualized reading courses, may be taken for varying numbers of credits.

Students register for courses through the UC online registration system known as Catalyst (login required). For registration help in Catalyst, see the registrar's Registration How to Guide. The Director of Graduate Studies will help introduce new students to the Catalyst system at student orientation at the beginning of the academic year. Students should also expect to consult with the Director of Graduate Studies every term prior to registration for the upcoming term.

MA students must complete a minimum of 32 graduate credit hours to earn a master’s degree. With careful planning, this means that MA students can complete their degree requirements within 3 semesters. In practice, however, most of our MAs take 2 years to complete the degree and graduate with 48 credit hours because their funding requires that they enroll for 12 credits per term for 2 years. This means that they end up taking 12 credits per semester across 4 semesters. Part-time students pursuing their MA at their own pace may take longer to graduate, though they should seek to remain consistently enrolled in at least one course per term.

PhD students must complete at least 60 credit hours at the graduate level beyond the MA degree. PhD students who pursue their studies full-time and begin their PhD studies with an MA from our program should anticipate graduating in 4 years (8 semesters). PhD students who come to us begin their PhD studies with a non-UC history or other MA should expect to complete their degree work in 5 years (10 semesters.) 

Students who anticipate that their course of study will take longer than the norms described above should consult the UC Graduate School’s Graduate Handbook for policies regarding extension requests. As of 2022, MA students are allowed up to 5 years from the date of matriculation to proceed to graduation. For PhD students, the maximum time in matriculation prior to graduation is 9 years.

Grades and Academic Standing

Graduate students in the History Department must earn at least a B- (3.0) to receive credit for a graduate course. Students failing to maintain a 3.0 GPA overall will cease to be in “good academic standing” with the Department and are subject to dismissal from the program after two semesters. Students who are dismissed may reapply and be readmitted if they would like to resume coursework at UC.

Only students in good standing may serve as graduate assistants and receive university funding. Academic standing is assessed at the end of each semester for the purpose of reviewing financial support.

In those cases when a student cannot complete the work required for a given class, they may request an “incomplete” (i.e. an “I” grade) from their instructor. Students should only do this under special circumstances, as frequent incompletes are a general indicator of struggling performance in the program, and unresolved “I” grades automatically convert to an “I/F” after one calendar year. Furthermore, PhD students cannot proceed to their qualifying exams until they have addressed all outstanding incompletes, and no student, MA and PhD students alike, can graduate with an “I” on their transcript. For those students receiving financial aid, all grades of incomplete must be removed by the end of the subsequent semester or the summer, whichever comes sooner.

In addition to taking courses for full-credit, students may enroll in graduate coursework on a pass/fail basis, and they may also opt to audit courses, but the following special provisions apply in each case:

Pass/Fail: Graduate students may only take courses for graduate credit on a pass/fail basis with the prior approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Courses taken pass/fail cannot fulfill a degree requirement. The only exception is the Public History Internship.

Audited Courses: Graduate students may opt to audit a course, but this is generally only to be considered in special circumstances when the course in question is considered useful, and the student has no need to obtain a grade in the course, and therefore no need for credit. Prior to auditing a course, students should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies and must also request approval to audit the class from the course instructor, who may or may not permit it, Audited courses may not be used to satisfy any graduate degree requirements.

Course Schedules

Standard MA & PhD Schedule for Years 1 and 2

The table below lays out a standard course sequence for full-time students in the MA program. PhD students will typically follow the same course sequence for their first 2 years, especially PhD students with MAs outside the Department. This table applies to all students except those in the Public History concentration.

First Year
First Semester   Second Semester

Department Topics Seminar (HIST7001) [Required]

Historical Methodology Seminar (HIST7060) [Required]

Readings Colloquium, Elective or Foreign Language

Research Seminar I (HIST9040) [Required]

Practicum on Teaching & Professional Development (HIST8073) [Required]

Readings Colloquium, Elective or Foreign Language

Second Year
First Semester   Second Semester  

Research Seminar II (HIST9041) [Required]

Readings Colloquium, Elective or Foreign Language

Readings Colloquium, Elective or Foreign Language

Methods in Digital History (HIST7080) [Encouraged but not required]

Readings Colloquium, Elective, Foreign Language, or PhD Exam Preparation

Readings Colloquium, Elective, Foreign Language, or PhD Exam Preparation


Additional Required and Optional Courses

Students must take all the required courses indicated in the table above, at least 3 elective History Readings Colloquia.

Students are encouraged to take a course in Digital History and should typically expect to take it in their second year, though they may petition the Director of Graduate Studies and course instructor to take it in Year 1 if necessary. This course is not offered every year, so please note that schedules may vary.

In addition to formally scheduled History Reading Colloquia, elective courses may also include special independent reading classes that students arrange with individual faculty on topics of interest. If you are interested in pursuing coursework of this sort, make sure to consult in advance with the Director of Graduate Studies and, in the case of PhD students, also with your doctoral advisor.

Foreign Language study is not required for MA students but may be useful depending on the student’s area of interest. (See below for more information about PhD students’ language requirements.)

Public History Concentration

The following table lays out a standard course sequence for full-time students in the MA program who are pursuing the concentration in Public History. PhD students in Public History will typically follow this initial course sequence as well. If you are interested in learning more about the Public History concentration, ask the Director of Graduate Studies to put you in touch with one of the Department’s public historians.

First Year
First Semester   Second Semester    

Department Topics Seminar (HIST7001) [Required]

Historical Methodology Seminar (HIST7060) [Required]

Readings Colloquium, Elective, Foreign Language, or PhD Exam Preparation

Research Seminar I (HIST9040) [Required]

Public History Practicum or Introduction to Public History (HIST6010 or HIST7064) [Required]

Practicum on Teaching & Professional Development (HIST8073) [Required]

Second Year
First Semester Second Semester  

Research Seminar II (HIST9041) [Required]

Internship Credits (for summer internship) (HIST7066) [Required]

Readings Colloquium, Elective, Foreign Language, or PhD Exam Preparation

Methods in Digital History (HIST7080) [Encouraged but not required]

Public History Practicum or Introduction to Public History (HIST6010 or HIST7064) [Required]

Readings Colloquium, Elective, Foreign Language, or PhD Exam Preparation


Additional Required and Optional Courses

Students pursuing the Public History concentration must take all the required courses indicated in the table above, including the 2 required Public History courses (Public History Practicum [HIST 6010] and Introduction to Public History [7064]) and the Public History Internship (HIST 7066). In addition, they must take at least 2 History Readings Colloquia.

Students typically take Methods in Digital History [7080] in Year 2, when offered, though they may petition the Director of Graduate Studies and course instructor to take it in Year 1. Students should also note that HIST 6010 & 7064 are usually taught in alternate years.

PhD Course Requirements after Year 2

PhD students with MAs from the UC History Department should generally not anticipate taking courses beyond their second year of doctoral study but should instead begin preparing for their PhD exams shortly after the end of their second year with full-time work on their dissertation commencing shortly after the passage of their PhD exams. Students may, however, sometimes find it useful to take a Directed Readings course with an advisor of one of their PhD exams fields to help them prepare for their exams.

Students without MAs from the UC History Department should generally expect to take at least one semester of course work after their second year. In most cases, this could include additional Readings Colloquia, Directed Readings courses, the second semester of the Research Seminar sequence in the fall, or a course relevant to the Advanced Research Skills Requirement determined between the student and their PhD advisor.

Public History students may opt to take an additional Public History Practicum. PhD students with a Public History concentration should ensure that they have completed their special course requirements within the concentration prior to taking their PhD exams.

See elsewhere for details on the PhD exams and the Advanced Research Skills requirement.

Graduate Course Descriptions

Department Topics Seminar, HIST7001 (1 or 4 credits)

This seminar is offered in the Fall term and focuses on a broad theme cutting across different fields. The course is typically led by the Director of Graduate Studies, but each meeting of the class is taught by different members of the Department based on readings related to the theme in his/her field. The course requires regular reading but only light writing assignments. First-year students enroll for 4 credits. Second-year or more advanced students may enroll for 1 credit, with work requirements scaled accordingly.

History Methodology Seminar, HIST7060 (4 credits)

This course is offered in the Fall term and introduces first-year graduate students to fundamental questions and approaches related to the theory and practice of historical scholarship, including the nature of historical inquiry, argument, and narrative. Students explore historiographical scholarship as well as work in primary sources.

Practicum on Teaching & Professional Development, HIST8073 (4 credits)

This course is designed to give practical advice in teaching, especially regarding the leading of discussions in survey classes and other immediate pedagogical concerns

Readings Colloquia, various titles & course numbers (4 credits)

These courses are designed to introduce students to major historiographical issues and trends relating to discrete historical themes, regions, and/or periods, while at the same time assisting them in moving from the narrower perspective of specialized lecture courses to wider views of history as a discipline. The emphasis in these courses falls on the reading of key works of interpretation and synthesis. Reading Colloquia vary from year by year, but a list of yearly offerings will be provided to all graduate students by the Director of Graduate studies at the start of the fall semester. A full list of these courses also appears in OneStop's Course Offerings Catalog

Research Seminar I & II, HIST9040 & HIST9041 (4 credits each)

This two-course sequence is designed to guide students in identifying and developing an original research product based on the study of primary materials and scholarly interpretation and documentation. For students writing a Masters paper, the work should typically be 30 to 40 pages in length and of the quality expected of papers submitted for publication to a refereed scholarly journal. Students who opt to pursue a public history project determine the nature of their final product in consultation with the course professor and other appropriate faculty members. Students in the seminar are expected to present their work at the Department’s Queen City Colloquium each spring, and are also encouraged to present at other scholarly conferences.

Public History Practicum, HIST6010 (4 credits)

This course offers a practical orientation to and exploration of various fields encompassed under the rubric "public history," approached through specific team projects in conjunction with local organizations. Students will develop a museum exhibit, short publication, or other historical product examining an aspect of Cincinnati history with a view to the end product being available to the general public or to be turned over to a museum or other organization to expand into a professionally finished product. This course is required of all students pursuing a Public History concentration.

Introduction to Public History, HIST7064 (4 credits)

This course provides an introduction to a variety of problems, practices and themes in the presentation of the past to various public audiences, utilizing varied media. The course examines both the historiography on forms of public history and memory, as well as the practice of public history. We will consider how the past is defined and understood, and by whom, and explore recent interest in the role of memory in shaping a nation's vision of itself; who can claim to make arguments about the past; venues for presenting the past, including varieties of museums, living heritage sites, memorials and parks, film and television, and texts; as well as the content of presentations: people, objects, places, documents, oral histories. This course is required of all students pursuing a Public History concentration.

Methods in Digital History, HIST7080 (4 credits)

This course introduces students to the field of digital history and digital history methodologies. Students will explore the field of digital history through individual research projects. Students are expected to bring advanced research to the course, select an appropriate methodology and tool, and apply their new skills to gain a marketable digital history specialization. Students will then reexamine their research to see how digital history tools and methodologies have changed the outcome of their project or the questions they can ask of their evidence.

Public History Internship, HIST7066 (4 credits)

While an internship is required of students in the Public History concentration, all graduate students are encouraged to consider taking a history internship during their course of study. To determine their internship, students work in consultation with the Director of Public History   Once the internship is determined, they then register for this course to receive the appropriate credit. To earn credit, students must put 200 hours of work towards the internship during a semester or summer period. Though the History Department does not typically provide internship funding, students are encouraged to seek paid internship experiences.

Independent Studies & Directed Readings in History (1 to 4 credits)

Offered at the discretion of the professor, these one-semester, variable-credit courses are offered in various areas of historical specialization and usually to a single student at a time, though sometimes students may join together in small groups. Directed readings are often used by PhD students to prepare a field for their qualifying examinations. Masters students may also seek directed readings courses to assist them with the completion of a major research project in addition to their work in the standing two-semester graduate research seminar. Both directed readings and independent studies courses tend to focus on those historical areas not otherwise covered in regularly scheduled graduate courses. Students typically do not register for more than 4 credits of independent study or directed readings in any given semester. The terms of the course are set up through consultation between the student and the faculty member offering the course, with the workload varying in relation to the number of credits.


Students are responsible for maintaining regular contact with the Director of Graduate Studies and, in the case of PhD students, their doctoral advisor.

MA students should meet with the Director of Graduate Students at least once per term to review their progress and plan their curriculum. PhD students are required to identify an advisor upon entering the program and are expected have such once-a-semester meetings with their advisor throughout their course of study. PhD students may change advisors with the permission of the new advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Additional Requirements for the MA Degree

The MA Defense

At the end of fall semester of their second year, MA students defend the research project (either a Masters paper or Public History product) that they have completed in the two-semester research seminar. This defense is conducted by a panel of three faculty members, including the faculty member directing the research seminar as well as two additional professors of the student’s choosing. Students choose the members of their committee in consultation with the instructor of the research seminar and/or the Director of Graduate Studies during the first semester of the seminar sequence. One faculty member on the committee may be from outside the History Department.

The defense lasts one hour and focuses on a discussion of methodological and historiographical considerations, including the use of sources and historical argumentation. Students must provide a copy of and/or access to the paper or Public History product at least one week prior to the defense. The defense is graded either Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Fail, All three members of the panel must vote for a passing grade for a successful defense. In the event of a failure, a second defense may be arranged between 2 and 10 months after the first. Anyone failing the defense a second time is ineligible to continue in the program.

Upon successful completion of the defense, students must submit an electronic copy of the final draft of the paper/Public History product to the Director of Graduate Studies and to the history program staff, along with this signed MA Defense Form (login required).


All "Incompletes" (or similar ‘in progress’) grades must be resolved before students can arrange their paper/Public History product defense. Grades of below a B- should be also replaced by a passing grade prior to the MA defense, though the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the relevant course instructor(s), may make exemptions in special circumstances.


Following completion of all their degree requirements, students are eligible for graduation. Graduation is not automatic, however. Students themselves must apply for graduation in advance, typically at the start of the semester. The Graduate School has clear steps to follow when applying for graduation and includes a fee ($50 in 2022). It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they complete all of the Graduate School’s required forms, procedures, and regulations by the required date. Deadlines for each stage of the graduation process can be found on the graduation deadlines page. All necessary forms and steps are all included in the student’s Graduation Checklist (login required).

Additional Requirements for the PhD Degree

Coursework Outside the Department

PhD students are required at some point in their studies prior to their exam to take at least 1 graduate level course outside the History Department. Students should consult with their advisor and/or the Director of Graduate Studies about available courses best suited to their specialization.

Qualifying Exams

After successful completion of their coursework, PhD students must take their PhD exams in their third year, selecting one of two exam schedules as described below. The exams consist of four sequential components: written fields, oral defense of written fields, dissertation proposal, and oral defense of dissertation proposal.  

Directly below, a summary glance is provided of the process for the PhD exams, as differentiated between the two schedules from which students choose. Below that is a more detailed explanation of the process, regardless of the chosen schedule.

Summary Glance at the PhD Exams Process

For each component of the process listed below, simultaneously consult the more detailed description of it directly below. The semesters listed below refer only to a particular fall or spring semester of the student’s PhD program, not summer. For example, Semester 4 equals spring semester of Year 2 and Semester 5 equals fall semester of Year 3.

Schedule 1

  1. Before end of Semester 4: PhD Committee created and form submitted.
  2. Before start of Semester 5: Schedule 1 or 2 chosen and form submitted.
  3. Semester 5, Week 1: Reading lists finalized.
  4. Semester 5, Week 5: Prompts for written fields shared by committee with student.
  5. Semester 5, Week 13: Written fields submitted by student.  
  6. Semester 5, Week 15: Oral defense of fields.
  7. Semester 6, Week 1: Dissertation proposal submitted by student.
  8. Semester 6, Week 3: Oral defense of proposal.

Schedule 2

  1. Before end of Semester 4: PhD Committee created and form submitted.
  2. Before start of Semester 5: Schedule 1 or 2 chosen and form submitted.
  3. 1st Week of Winter Break: Reading lists finalized.
  4. Semester 6, Week 1: Prompts for written fields shared by committee with student.
  5. Semester 6, Week 8: Written fields submitted by student.
  6. Semester 6, Week 10: Oral defense of fields.
  7. Semester 6, Week 14: Dissertation proposal submitted by student.
  8. Semester 6, Week 16 (UC Exams Week): Oral defense of proposal.

Detailed Explanation of PhD Exams Process

  1. PhD Exams Committee Created: Before the end of the student’s second year of the PhD and in consultation with their PhD advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, each student creates an exam committee of three individuals, emailing a completed PhD Exams Committee and Fields form (login required) to their committee, Director of Graduate Studies, and department administrator. At least two members of the committee must be UC Department of History faculty, including the committee chair, and all three must have a terminal degree. Each committee member advises the student in a particular field of study that is determined between the relevant committee member and student. The fields are comprised of one primary field and two secondary fields. In the ensuing months, students work on their lists in consultation with their committee members and may consider doing some of this work through one or more Directed Readings courses.
    1. Optional Committee Change for Proposal Portion of Exams: In some instances, the student and their PhD advisor may decide that the composition of the PhD Exams Committee should be somewhat different for the fields portion (written and oral defense) and the dissertation proposal portion (written and oral defense). In this case, one faculty member of the committee may be substituted by another between the fields and proposal portions of the exams, with this substitution reflected in the PhD Exams Committee and Fields form (login required) either when it is initially submitted or with an amended form resubmitted to the department at some point prior to the student’s submission of their written fields.
  2. Schedule 1 or 2 Chosen: Before the beginning of the student’s third year of the PhD and in consultation with their committee and Director of Graduate Studies, each student selects Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 for their exams, emailing the completed PhD Exams Scheduling form (login required) to their exams committee, Director of Graduate Studies, and department administrator. From this point forward, the timing of the components of the exams depends on one’s chosen schedule, but both schedules have the following in common, with the specific timeline for each schedule detailed further below.
  3. Reading Lists Finalized: At least twelve weeks before the submission deadline for the written fields, reading lists for each field should be finalized by the respective committee members and shared with the student. Committee members should not alter these lists thereafter except in unusual circumstances or for minor revisions. Although the length of the lists may vary depending on circumstances, generally speaking, the list for the primary field typically includes around sixty books or the equivalent thereof and each secondary field includes around forty books or the equivalent thereof.
  4. Prompts for Written Fields Shared: At least eight weeks before the submission deadline for the written fields, each committee member provides the student with the prompt(s) for their respective written field exam. Committee members are encouraged to give a reasonable word limit (or its equivalency) for the student response to their prompt(s) so that the response is both sufficiently substantive and comprehensive while still being reasonably concise and focused.
    1. Drafting the Written Fields: While it is anticipated that the student will likely still be working on portions of their reading lists when they receive the prompts from their committee, the student may nevertheless begin drafting their responses to the prompts at their own pace over the ensuing eight weeks. The student may consult their readings and notes when drafting their written fields. 
  5. Written Fields Submitted: At the submission deadline for the written fields, the student emails their responses for all fields to the committee members and department administrator. Deadline should be before Friday at 5:00 pm of the designated week.
  6. Oral Defense of Fields: Assuming the director of each field deems the student’s submission for their particular field adequate, the oral defense of the written fields will occur as previously scheduled, within two weeks after the deadline for the written fields. The oral fields defense may last up to one and a half hours, with the student and all committee members present, whether in person or virtually. At the defense, committee members may ask the student to defend or elaborate their written submissions and also ask about other aspects of each field not addressed in the written submissions. While the primary-field advisor has some flexibility in determining the structure of the defense, typically each committee member is given a certain amount of time to discuss their field with the student before the entire committee collectively engages with the student about issues for elaboration or to be raised anew. At the conclusion of the defense and in the student’s temporary absence, the committee assesses the student’s collective responses (written and oral together) and agrees upon an examination grade chosen from the following three marks: Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Fail. The student will not pass if there is a single vote to fail, and the vote for Pass with Distinction must be unanimous. The primary-field advisor submits to the Director of Graduate Studies and the department administrator the Oral Fields Completion form (login required), signed by the entire committee. 
  7. Dissertation Proposal Submitted: Assuming the student passes the oral fields defense, the student will email the dissertation proposal to the committee and department administrator by the date previously scheduled on the PhD Exams Scheduling form (four weeks after the oral fields defense, before Friday at 5:00 pm of that week). The proposal must offer an abstract of the intended dissertation, including a historiographical rationale, a methodological plan, and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Though typically 2,500-to-3,000 words in length, proposals may vary in scale at the discretion of the examination committee. Following consultation with their advisor, Public History PhD students may submit a written proposal supplemented by any additional materials that the committee deems useful.
  8. Oral Defense of Proposal: Assuming each member of the committee deems the proposal adequate, the oral defense of the dissertation proposal will occur as previously scheduled on the PhD Exams Scheduling form (two weeks after the deadline for the proposal). The oral defense of the proposal may last up to one hour, with the student and all committee members present, whether in person or virtually. Committee members may ask the student about any aspect of the proposal and suggest revisions to aspects of the project. At the conclusion of the defense and in the student’s temporary absence, the committee decides whether the student earned a mark of Pass or Fail (based on both the written and oral portions), with the mark of Pass requiring unanimity. If the student passes the proposal defense then the student has successfully completed their PhD exams and becomes a candidate for the PhD degree. The PhD advisor submits to the department administrator and Director of Graduate Studies the Oral Defense of Dissertation Proposal form (login required), signed by the entire committee.

Dissertation Committees

Within one month of passing their qualifying exams, PhD students consult with their PhD advisor to create a dissertation committee, which must then be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. This committee is composed of three or four members, at least one of whom must be from outside the Department of History and at least two of whom must be Department of History faculty. Additional guidance from the Graduate Handbook states that a dissertation committee must be composed of a minimum of three UC faculty members. The composition of this committee can be the same as that of the examination committee but does not have to be. Students are encouraged to create a committee that they feel will best serve their interests during the dissertation phase of their training, which may include seeking the involvement of a specialist in their area from another university as long as there are at least three UC faculty members on the committee.

Annual Review for PhD Students

Each year, the Director of Graduate Studies will provide an evaluation form to faculty advisors for each of their PhD students. The advisor, after reviewing a student’s annual progress with the student, will submit the completed evaluation to both the Director and the student. In cases when the Ph.D. advisor is unable to fulfill this responsibility, the Director of Graduate Studies will review the student's academic progress with the student.

PhD Advanced Research Skills Requirement

Before the end of a PhD student’s second year, they should have satisfied the Department’s’ Advanced Research Skills Requirement. Students typically complete the requirement by showing proof of proficiency in at least one foreign language, with two or more often being appropriate for students who regularly conduct research in text-based sources other than English. When a student’s research agenda dictates, they may instead fully or partially satisfy the Advanced Research Skills Requirement by showing proof of proficiency in a different type of Advanced Research Skill (or skills), such as quantitative methods of analysis, data visualization, computer programming languages, documentary editing, paleography, numismatics, and techniques in oral history interviewing and/or historic preservation.

In advance of a PhD student’s required meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in the spring of their first year, the student should share both with their primary advisor and with the DGS a written Advanced Research Skills Plan (typically of no more than one or two pages) that proposes the skill or skills in which a student will show proof of proficiency before the beginning of the student’s third year. That plan is then subject to revisions and final approval based on feedback from the advisor and DGS. Students may formally petition to revise this plan at a later point if their research agenda and corresponding needs have evolved to justify such a change. (Any foreign language or other relevant skills requirement for students enrolled in a joint PhD program would still be required, and would be reflected in the student's Advanced Research Skills Plan.)

Students may demonstrate proof of proficiency in their Advanced Research Skill through one of the following options:

  • By passing an examination offered by a professor, university department, or other relevant expert deemed sufficiently qualified by the student’s primary advisor.
  • By completing a course of study (in or outside the History Department) deemed appropriate by the student’s primary advisor with a grade of at least a B- (3.0) that attests to the satisfactory acquisition of the skill or skills. Depending on a student’s approved Advanced Research Skills Plan, the coursework may entail one or (as is commonly the case) more semesters.

Students may not take their PhD qualifying examinations until they have fulfilled all Advanced Research Skills Requirements in their approved plan.

PhD Student Teaching

PhD students must teach at least one course of their own design before completing their degree. Ideally this course will be a lecture and discussion course in the student’s area of concentration. Course selection and scheduling must be negotiated with the Director of Graduate Studies and the  Head. Students should anticipate teaching this course only after they have passed their qualifying exams.

Dissertation Defense

Students write their dissertations under the guidance of their dissertation committee with the committee chair serving as the primary advisor. After every member of the committee approves the dissertation, the candidate schedules a defense. This defense may occur in the summer if all committee members are available. The defense is open to the public and must be advertised at least one week in advance as per the regulations of the Graduate School. To advertise the defense by Graduate School standards, the student must start their Graduate Checklist (login required) and enter the time and place of their defense a week in advance of the defense. Defense advertisements show up on this page: Defense Announcements. Defenses are also advertised to the Department via listserv email sent out by the committee chair inviting Department members to attend the defense. Students have up to 5 years (10 semesters + the summer) from the start of their PhD studies to schedule a defense or apply for an extension. 

The dissertation defense consists of an oral presentation by the candidate followed by questions posed by members of the committee. After the committee completes its questioning, other persons present may ask questions or make comments, as moderated by the PhD advisor.

At the conclusion of the defense, the committee members will deliberate in private in order to make a decision on the acceptability of the dissertation and its defense. Following their deliberations, the committee members will inform the candidate of their decision and confer one of three marks for the dissertation and defense: pass with distinction, pass, or fail. Assuming the candidate has passed, the committee members then sign the dissertation form the student receives from their Graduation Checklist (login required). The student then re-submits the form in their checklist to show the Graduate School that the defense was passed. The student also submits a copy to the graduate program staff.

If one or more members of the committee vote against the candidate, the candidate will be judged to have failed the defense. In that case, the student’s PhD advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the candidate will meet to discuss the deficiencies of the defense and the dissertation. After the dissertation has been revised, the committee will reconsider it and suggest appropriate changes or modifications. Every member of the committee must approve the dissertation. A second defense of the dissertation will be held and will follow the same procedures as the first. In the event of a second failure, the candidate becomes ineligible for the PhD degree.

Once approved, a digital copy of the final dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School through their online portal. See the Graduate School's ETD Submission page for more information.


Following completion of all their degree requirements, students are eligible for graduation. Graduation is not automatic, however. Students themselves must apply for graduation in advance, typically at the start of the semester. The Graduate School has clear steps to follow when applying for graduation and includes a fee ($50 in 2022). It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they complete all of the Graduate School’s required forms, procedures, and regulations by the required date. Deadlines for each stage of the graduation process can be found on the graduation deadlines page. All necessary forms and steps are all included in the student’s Graduation Checklist (login required).

Funding and Assistantships

History Department Graduate Funding

The Department makes every effort to provide funding to qualified graduate students admitted to the program, and, in practice, the majority of our incoming students receive some form of university scholarship money to assist with meeting the cost of UC tuition. In addition, the Department provides funding to support graduate-student research, conference travel, and language study as well as a range of cash prizes and fellowship awards recognizing student achievement. Here we list some of the support available. For additional information, see the Department website.

The Department provides tuition and stipend funding in the following basic forms:

University Graduate Assistantships (UGA) and Graduate College Scholarships (GCS): These assistantships draw on monies provided to the Department by the College of Arts & Sciences and the Graduate School and are offered at the time of admission to most incoming History graduate students. Together these two forms of funding typically cover between 80% and 100% of all tuition and most fees for both in and out-of-state students. Please note, however, that neither of these awards covers books or some required non-academic fees, though additional funding may be available to assist with these costs.

It’s helpful to think of the University Graduate Assistantship (UGA) and the Graduate College Scholarship (GSC) as performing two separate functions. The GSC scholarship covers tuition; the UGA provides a stipend – that is, money to live on during the academic year. In almost all cases, these awards are made jointly. Thus, a student who receives a UGA will also receive GSC.

Students who are awarded a UGA are expected to provide service in return for their stipend, with this service generally defined as working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in Department courses. The Director of Graduate Studies typically makes TA assignments no later than one week prior to the start of classes in a given semester, and they will inform both the student and the professor of the appointment in the same communication – usually by email. The GA-ship is awarded on the basis of a two-semester academic-year calendar and on a yearly basis. In other words, UGA funding is offered for the Fall and Spring semesters (i.e. this funding covers just the nine-months of the school year, not the summer) and is offered one year at a time. For more on the responsibilities of TAs, see the separate section below.

Niehoff PhD Fellowship: In contrast to the University Graduate Assitantship (UGA), which are based on College and Graduate School monies, the Niehoff PhD Fellowship draws on special endowed funds within the Department and is typically awarded to an exceptional incoming PhD student at the time of admission. Beyond covering tuition and fees, the Niehoff Fellowship also offers a significant research fund that the student may use over the course of their degree program.

Taft Dissertation Fellowships: The Taft Research Center provides two dissertation fellowships per year to two History PhD students.


Onboarding: All students who are awarded a service-based assistantship or fellowship are required to onboard with the University's human resources department in order to receive payment. For steps related to onboarding, see the New Student Checklist.  All funded students will also receive a letter of funding annually with updated pay information. These letters must be signed and returned to history program staff before the second week of classes.


In addition to the above scholarships and fellowships offering tuition and stipend support, the Department awards several discrete fellowships and prizes every year to support graduate research and training. All of the funds indicated below require either applications submitted by the student or nomination by a History faculty member. Students should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies for information on application procedures, award amounts, and eligibility. Students should also consider asking faculty members for counsel on their applications.

Werner Von Rosenstiel (VR) Fund: This fund offers support for conference and research travel as well as language study for students specializing in modern European history. Students in other fields whose research overlaps with modern Europe may also apply, and in fact, often receive VR support. VR funds are also used to enhance select scholarships.

Zane Miller Fellowship in American Urban History: This annual fellowship supports a PhD student pursuing work in the history of American cities, broadly construed.

Roger Daniels Summer Fellowship: This annual fellowship supports graduate student research in US history. It is typically awarded to a PhD student after their first year of study in the doctoral program.

Herbert Shapiro Fellowship: This annual fellowship supports graduate student research in the area of African American and civil rights history.

John Alexander Teaching Awards: This award recognizes excellent teaching by graduate students in the Department. The norm is to offer two awards per year, one to an excellent graduate teaching assistant, the other to an excellent graduate student teacher of their own class. Students are nominated for these awards by members of the History faculty.

UC Funding Outside of the History Department

Guidelines for using University Funds for Research Travel

When awarded University funds for travel, all travel must adhere to the University's Student Travel Policy.

Travel funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis. However, this can be piecemeal to avoid financial burden. For example, a flight can be reimbursed up front after purchase and before travel.

Student travel reimbursement is processed through Catalyst, which is separate from payroll (UCFlex). For this reason, direct deposit will need to be set up in Catalyst (even if you already have it setup in UCFlex). Here are instructions for setting up direct deposit in Catalyst: https://ituc.service-now.com/kb?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0011336

To be reimbursed, send graduate program staff:
(note - GSGA funds follow their own process - submit any HGSA funding to the HGSA treasurer; this process is for departmental or Taft funding)

  • Signed Student Travel Authorization (department head signs BEFORE travel/travel expenses) [blank form: PDF | Word (login required)]
  • Any funding award letters, including the original budget for Taft awards
  • Itemized travel receipts:
    • All receipts must show the expense was paid (method of payment)
    • If traveling by plane, this must be an itemized receipt showing the breakdown fees, ticket number, and flight itinerary
    • If driving your own car and claiming mileage, include a Google map that shows your route and departure/arrival addresses
    • Please note if your hotel receipt shows multiple occupants in the room, UC's policy is to reimburse only 1/2 the lodging

Reimbursement must occur within any specified award dates from the award letter and up to 30 days after travel. Send documents to program staff as soon as you can to ensure there are no complications with your funded award.

Health Insurance Funding

Regrettably none of the above-mentioned funding sources offer coverage for health insurance, yet all graduate students must have health insurance in order to enroll at UC, whether this insurance is purchased privately or through the University. The Graduate School offers a Graduate Student Health Insurance (GSHI) Award students should apply for in order to defray health insurance expenses. Though the award does not cover all health insurance costs, it provides a significant annual subsidy.

Students with their own health insurance do not need to carry insurance provided by UC and therefore do not need to apply for the award. Such students must submit a waiver of UC student insurance by following UC Health Insurance waiver prompts in Catalyst.

Expectations, Events, Policies

Contact Information

The Department and University must have your current address and other contact information during your time in the graduate program. This includes your UC email address, which you will receive upon matriculating in the program and which will serve as the Department’s main means of contact with you throughout your course of study. Contact information is updated in Catalyst, using these instructions: https://onestop.uc.edu/registration/personal-information.html.

Graduate Assistants on payroll should also update their contact information in the Employee Self Service (ESS) portal of UCFlex, using these instructions: https://ituc.service-now.com/sp?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0011342

In order to receive assistantship paychecks directly to a bank account, students must maintain an updated direct deposit connection through ESS in UCFlex. Changes to Direct Deposit in UCFlex can be made following these steps: https://ituc.service-now.com/sp?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0011470

Life of the Department

Outside of required coursework, graduate students in the Department are expected to participate in the scholarly life of the Department, including in the following specific ways:

  • By participating in the History Graduate Student Association (HGSA), including by attending monthly meetings and joining other scheduled activities. The HGSA is a student-run organization governed by bylaws approved by the Graduate School.
  • By attending Department lectures, including three important annual events: the History Department Taft Lecture, Von Rosenstiel Lecture, and Zane Miller Symposium.
  • By attending and participating in the Department’s annual grad student conference known as the Queen City Colloquium (QCC), (For more on the QCC, see below.) 
  • By attending other Department talks and workshops to the best of their ability, including Taft Dissertation Fellowship presentations (by fellow History graduate students) and Department research workshops with graduate students and faculty.
  • By attending the annual Friends of History departmental fundraiser.
  • By maintaining an updated profile in the UC research directory (login required).

Queen City Colloquium (QCC)

The QCC is the Department’s annual graduate student conference that is typically held in March or April of every academic year. As a wholly graduate-student-run event, HGSA officers schedule the meeting, organize the sessions, and select a keynote lecturer based on nominations from the graduate student body. The principal presenters at the conference are graduate students enrolled in the Department research seminar, though graduate students from other universities or other UC departments may also attend and present. To assist in covering the costs of the keynote speaker, the Director of Graduate Studies works with HGSA officers to submit an application to the Taft Research Center. Past keynote speakers have included prominent historians such as Matthew Connelly (Columbia), John Mack Farager (Yale), Nicky Gullace (New Hampshire), Thomas Robisheaux (Duke), and Thomas Daniel Smail (Harvard).

Graduate Assistant Responsibilities & Resources

Students with GA-ships may on occasion serve as research or program assistants for Department faculty, but most typically they work as teaching assistants in Department courses. All GA-ship assignments, whether as TAs or in any other capacity, are made by the Director of Graduate Studies, and are confirmed at least one week prior to the start of the term.

Though the expectations of individual assignments may vary, the general expectations of students as Graduate Assistants is as follows:

  • GAs should meet with their assigned faculty member prior to the start of the term to establish expectations and meeting times for the semester.
  • GAs should work not more than 20 hours per week on their GA assignment.
  • GAs will be provided, free of charge, all books necessary for any TA assignment. Professors are responsible for securing books for their TAs.
  • GAs will have access to a GA copy number so that they are not charged for copies made for GA assignments. For more information see, the History Department Printers Guide (login required).
  • In cases when GAs lead their own discussion sections in larger survey courses, the time, content, and structure of these sections should be planned in consultation with the supervising faculty member.
  • Some GA assignments will primarily entail grading, administrative duties, and student support. GAs assigned to undergraduate courses are expected to hold 2+ hours of office hours per week.
  • GAs should be available to meet weekly with their supervising faculty member.
  • GAs who wish to gain lecturing experience should ask their course professor about the possibility of leading one or more class sessions.
  • GAs experiencing issues with their GA assignment should consult the Director of Graduate Studies for assistance.

Student Code of Conduct

All students are expected to know and comply with the UC Student Code of Conduct, which defines behavior expected of all University of Cincinnati students. Both academic and non-academic misconduct (such as disturbing the peace, destruction of property, and theft) are clearly defined in the Code, as well as the disciplinary and appeal procedures that apply in cases when students engage in misconduct. 

Key principles of the Code that History graduate students should be especially aware of include the following: 

  • Academic Integrity: The Department and the university more generally take academic integrity very seriously. See the UC Academic Integrity & Misconduct website for details.
  • Plagiarism: UC defines plagiarism as: (1) Submitting the published or unpublished work of another author in whole, in part, or in paraphrase, as one’s own without fully and properly crediting the original author with footnotes, quotation marks, citations, or bibliographic references;  (2) Submitting as one’s own original work, material obtained from an individual, agency, or the internet without reference to the person, agency, or webpage as the source of the material; (3) Submitting as one’s own original work material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators; and/or (4) Submitting one’s own previously written, oral, or creative work without modification and instructor permission.
    It is each student’s responsibility to understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. For additional information on this topic, see the following resources:  "Plagiarism and Why It Should Matter to You" (UC Libraries); "How Not to Plagiarize" (University of Toronto); and “Avoiding Plagiarism: Mastering the Art of Scholarship” (UC Davis).
  • Nondiscrimination Policy: The History Department reaffirms the University of Cincinnati policy that UC “does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, parental status (including status as a foster parent), sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, military status (past, present, or future), or gender identity and expression in its programs and activities. The University does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on these bases and takes steps to ensure that students, employees, and third parties are not subject to a hostile environment in University programs or activities.” Complaints involving discrimination should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies or the Department Head. For additional information, see the UC Notice of Non-Discrimination and links provided near the bottom of this document under “Resources.”

Right to Review Records

Students have the right to review their educational records. Students interested in doing so, should submit a request to the Director of Graduate Studies. Once the request is granted, students may review their files only in the presence of the Department Head or the Director of Graduate Studies. While most information in the file is open to student review, students are not permitted to view confidential materials such as letters of recommendation to which they have previously waived the right to read.


Within the History Department

The Department provides the following physical spaces and services to assist graduate students with their study and work in the Department:

The Graduate Student Lounge & Study Areas: The Graduate Student Lounge, known as the Grad Lounge, located in 358 Arts & Sciences Hall, is open for use by all History graduate students as a place for gathering and studying and relaxing. Students with teaching responsibilities may also hold office hours in the lounge.  Currently enrolled students will have a storage shelf for books and personal items as well as a mailbox slot. The lounge contains a copy machine, couches, a small fridge, microwave, coffee pot, and a hotpot. Students are responsible for keeping the space clean. Students seeking quieter study or meeting spaces may use nearby Department seminar rooms and open offices on the third floor of Arts & Sciences Hall, including rooms 310, 320, and 360. 

Photocopies: Each student receives a per-semester allotment of free photocopies to be made on the Department’s copy machines. The number of free copies varies depending on departmental funding. For current free copy rates, see the Department Printers guide (login required).

Keys: All graduate students may obtain a key to the graduate lounge (Arts & Sciences Hall 358). Information regarding key pick-up at Edwards 4 is included on the New Student Checklist (login required).

History Facebook Page: There are two separate history student facebook pages. One for current graduate students only and one for current graduate students & alums.

University Resources

ID: Students need a student identification card (“Bearcat Card”) to check books out of the library, have access to University recreation facilities, and receive discounts at the UC bookstore. Your Bearcat Card may also be used as a debit card on campus and at businesses near campus. Every card includes a unique identification number known as an M-number (M, followed by 8 digits), which serves as the basic identification number for all your UC accounts. IDs can be obtained at the Public Safety Office at in Edwards Building 4 during regular business hours. In order to obtain your ID, you must be registered for classes and have a photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.). Your initial ID is free, but a fee is required for any replacement.

Transportation: Because parking near campus is challenging and often expensive, UC students often walk or ride their bikes to campus (if they live close enough) or use public transportation, bike or scooter shares, or UC shuttles, most of which are discounted or free for UC students. These services include UC Shuttles, NightRide, Cincinnati Metro cards (city buses), bike rentals, bike sharing, bike repairs, and Zipcar. Please consult the UC Transportation page for more information on options as details change periodically. The UC online shuttle tracker gives students real-time updates on the locations of UC shuttle buses to minimize wait times.

Parking: Given UC’s urban setting with limited dedicated parking, parking is a recurrent challenge for students who aim to drive to campus. To make sure that you can park as easily and as cheaply as possible, it pays to be prepared.  

UC parking passes may be purchased through parking services. These passes are for designated garages, which may be found on a campus map. You can also purchase a Cincinnati Parks Department parking pass for about half the price. This will allow you to park in nearby Burnet Woods. You will find limited metered street parking near campus, but beware: tickets for parking illegally or not keeping up with your meter can be steep! Some students choose to park in areas surrounding campus with more parking such as the Clifton Gaslight District, University Heights (south of campus), or in Corryville (east of campus). The walk from these areas to campus is approximately 10 to 15 minutes. UC Shuttles also service these neighborhoods. 

Campus Map: Also available on UC’s website

One Stop: UC’s student service center connecting students to resources a range of needs, including financial aid, billing, money management, registration, student records, housing, parking, Bearcat Card, and student health insurance. Located on the lower level of University Pavilion. 

Bearcats Landing: (login required) UC’s landing page with links to a wide variety of campus resources and offices.

Canvas/IT Support: (login required) UC uses Canvas as its learning management system (LMS), which can be accessed through the UC website. Once in Canvas, you will find a clickable tile for each of your courses. If you need help with Canvas or other technology questions, contact the UCIT help desk at (513) 556-HELP or submit a ticket

UC Libraries: The UC Library system boasts an impressive array of resources of use to History graduate students.  Langsam Library is the library most used by most our students, but you will find numerous other repositories around campus, including the Archives and Rare Books library (ARB) located in Blegen Hall, all of which can be helpful depending on your interests and research topics. The library system’s online reservation portal allows students to have books sent for pickup to any UC library of their choice – Langsam or otherwise. The closest libraries to the History Department office in Arts & Sciences Hall are the CECH and Geo-Physics libraries. Graduate students have semester-long check-out privileges that can be renewed for up to three semesters. For books not held at UC, students may request books through Ohiolink, which draws on the holdings of libraries across the state of Ohio, or through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  Beware that fees and withdrawal periods differ between UC books and books obtained through Ohiolink or ILL. 

Books: The UC bookstore is located in Tangeman University Center (TUC). Students are free to obtain books for courses at the bookstore, though, as a rule, many choose to get their course books via online sellers such as Amazon.com, Half.com, Powell’s, or Alibris. If you don’t want to buy books for a course, you can often request books through OhioLink or find a copy within the UC library system. OhioLink check-out periods last only three weeks, with just one renewal allowed, and overdue fines are steep, so be careful. Professors also often put course books on reserve at Langsam Library or assign titles that may be available in e-book format.  

Business Cards: UC graduate students can order UC-branded business cards through the UC print service. There are several options to choose from. The cost is about $50. Printing usually takes two to three weeks. Order from Printing Services at http://comservices.uc.edu/PSP/app/PSP_Start.asp.

Physical and Mental Health Support: Graduate school can be demanding and stressful. It’s important to take care of your physical and mental health during your studies. To help keep you feeling good, UC offers a variety of services to assist with health questions and needs, including the following: 

  • University Health Services (UHS): This division provides health-related care for all UC students, including primary care, immunizations and screenings, mental health and anxiety consultations, gender, identity, and sexual health care, substance abuse, grief, and help with issues related to disordered eating and body image concerns. The student health clinic is located in the lower level of Varsity Village. For more information, call their main line at (513) 556-2564. 
  • Counceling & Psychological Services (CAPS): UC’s office of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) offers counseling and mental health care to graduate students through the UHS system, including both psychotherapy and psychiatric services. In addition, CAPS can provide professional counseling upon request, including up to six free counseling sessions without insurance. If you are affected by anxiety, depression, trauma/assault, adjustment to grad school life, interpersonal/relational difficulty, sexuality issues, family conflict, grief and loss, disordered eating and body image, alcohol and substance abuse, anger management, identity development and issues related to diversity, concerns associated with sexual orientation and spirituality concerns, as well as any other issue of concern, please make sure to reach out. The professionals at CAPS are ready to help. After hours, students may call UHS at (513) 556-2564 or CAPS Cares at (513) 556-0648. For urgent physician consultation outside of regular business hours, students should call (513) 584-7777. CAPS is located off campus on Calhoun Street near Target. 

Campus Recreation Center: Full-time graduate students have free access to UC’s excellent recreation center (part of the obligatory student activity fee). The rec center includes exercise machines, swimming pools, a hot tub, climbing wall, running track, basketball courts, and an extensive schedule of fitness courses including yoga, palates, cycling, cardio, and fitness boot camps. Whenever you’re sick of reading or writing (which may happen frequently!), feel free to hit the gym.

University Ombuds Office: A safe place for all members of the UC community to talk about university related conflicts, issues or concerns.

Accessibility Resources: If you require accommodation for a disability or have any accessibility concerns, you should register with the Accessibility Resources office for support. Registered students will be assigned an accommodation counselor and can qualify for permanent or temporary academic accommodations including captioning interpreting and free accommodation software. 

Office of Equity & Incusion (OEI): Th ORI is located at 600 University Pavilion. The OEI’s mission is “to welcome and leverage individual contributions to collaborate, create, innovate, and compete in a global society.” The offer trainings, conferences, resources, grants and awards, They also address issues of harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, and retaliation. Students who wish to file Title XI complaints can do so using an online form. (including Title IX) (UC Notice of Non-Discrimination)

The LGBTQ Center: The LGBTQ Center is located in room 565 of the Steger Student Life Center. The Center is open to undergrad and graduate students and offers several support groups, social events, activism, awards, and trainings for trans-inclusion, allyship, and activism.

The Women's Center: The UC Women’s Center is located in 571 Steger Student Life Center and offers a range of feminist events, opportunities for activism, student organizations, and awards. They also provide lactation support for students nursing their children and for women experiencing gender-based or sexual harassment or violence.

The African American Cultural & Resource Center (AACRC): The AACRC is located at 60 West Charlton Street on the east side of campus. The Center provides student organizations, networking, and resources including a quiet study room, student lounge, and rooms that can be reserved for meetings and events. One signature program is the AACRC choir.

Religious Observances & Class Attendance Policy: UC holds to the principle that an institutional climate of respect for cultural and ideological diversity extends to the variety of religious practices in our community.

UC Bearcats Pantry & Resource Center (BCP): This is a free pantry for material resources UC students might need in challenging times. It is located in Stratford Heights Building 16 Room 007. The (BCP) provides free food, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and professional clothing. The pantry also provides meal vouchers that can be used at campus dining halls and To-Go Bags that can be conveniently picked up at locations across campus.

Food: The closest food court to the Department is located just across the quad on the ground floor of Tangeman University Center (TUC).  TUC also includes a convenience store, a nicer sit-down café on the 1st floor, a basement bar & grill, and a take-out counter serving sandwiches, soups, salads, and coffee.  A Subway sandwich shop is also located on campus, just diagonally opposite from the TUC food court. In addition, you’ll find a number of other coffee shops and eateries around campus. The nearest Starbucks is at the College Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Off Campus Resources

Research: In addition to research resources on campus, students are encouraged to explore the rich array of institutions available to support their research in the broader Cincinnati area, including (but not limited to) the Cincinnati Public Library system (including two branches in Clifton and Corryville, both an easy walk from campus, as well as the main library building downtown), the Lloyd Library and Museum, featuring rich collections in the history of science, and the American Jewish Archives and the Klau Library, both affiliated with the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and each distinguished by remarkable holdings related to ancient and modern Jewish history. For links and more information, see the History graduate page under "Your Research - Powered by UC."

Dining, Entertainment, & Errands: UC is located in a busy urban neighborhood with plenty of dining and entertainment options. A few worth noting are:

  • Calhoun and MacMillan Streets boast many restaurants, a Target store, and bars.
  • “Short Vine” just beyond the eastern side of campus which includes quick carry out restaurants, bars and a large Kroger grocery and two chain pharmacies. 
  • Ludlow Avenue is located a mile down Clifton Avenue from the History Department and contains shops, restaurants, bars, the Clifton Market grocery store, a CVS, and the Enquirer, a wonderful independent movie theater. 

Burnet Woods: A historic, wooded park between campus and Ludlow Avenue offering hiking trails, picnic areas, and a pond.

Religious Life: Nearby religious institutions include:

In addition to funding provided by the Department, History graduate students (both MA and PhD) may also compete for other sources of support at UC. The most important of these include the following:

Taft Research Center: The Taft Research Center is a privately endowed research center whose mission is to support the work of UC faculty and students in 15 departments connected to the humanities and social sciences. One of Taft’s primary areas of focus is graduate education, and consequently, it offers an array of grant programs to support graduate student conference travel, research, equipment, language study and training more generally. Students may apply for Taft Graduate Travel Awards at any time, while there are set deadlines for other awards. In general, there are three annual deadlines for Graduate Enrichment awards: in fall, winter, and spring. The Graduate Summer Fellowships usually have a deadline in late winter. Check the Taft Center deadlines page for specific deadlines.

Graduate Student Government (GSG): As UC’s official graduate student organization, the GSG offers various funds to support graduate education and research, including monies for conference travel, research expenses, conferences, symposia, and poster competitions, as well as prizes for academic achievement. All graduate students qualify for an annual allotment of GSG Conference Awards. The award can be used for conference presentations or conference attendance and can be split between multiple conferences. GSG also offers competitive Research Fellowship Awards for research travel and supplies and the GSG Membership award to cover the costs of one professional membership per year. Note that in order to qualify for GSG Conference Awards students must submit a UC Travel Authorization form prior to traveling and submit receipts for reimbursement within 30 days of conference travel. GSG does not reimburse expenses for food.

University Research Council (URC): The URC provides funding to support faculty-student collaborative research projects.

The Graduate School's Distinguished Dissertation Award: Academic units across UC nominate one PhD student per year to be considered for this highly prestigious competitive award.

Yates Fellowship: This fellowship provides supplementary funding for MA and PhD students from underrepresented groups, Students are nominated by their departments, and awardees receive their funding over several years.

External awards: In addition to university-based funding, we also encourage History graduate students to compete for grants and fellowships offered by organizations beyond the university. Students interested in such grants should take advantage of information available through the UC Office of Nationally Competitive Awards

Some organizations that History students have applied to in the past include the following: