Apr 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 


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Chair: Valerie Garver

Graduate Faculty

Christina D. Abreu, associate professor, Ph.D., Purdue University
Anita M. Andrew, associate professor, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Stanley Arnold, associate professor, Ph.D., Temple University
E. Taylor Atkins, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Bradley Bond, associate professor, Ph.D., Louisiana State University
Andy Bruno, associate professor, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Kenton Clymer, Distinguished Research Professor, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Sundiata Djata, professor, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Sean Farrell, associate professor, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Heide Fehrenbach, Distinguished Research Professor, Board of Trustees Professor, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Damián Fernández, associate professor, Ph.D., Princeton University
Rosemary Feurer, associate professor, Ph.D., Washington University
Aaron S. Fogleman, Presidential Research Professor, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Eric Hall, associate professor, Ph.D., Purdue University
Anne G. Hanley, associate professor, Ph.D., Stanford University
Beatrix Hoffman, professor, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Kristin Huffine, associate professor, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Trude Jacobsen, professor, Ph.D., University of Queensland
Eric Jones, associate professor, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Natalie Joy, assistant professor, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Emma Kuby, assistant professor, Ph.D., Cornell University
Vera Lind, associate professor, D.Phil., Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel
Amanda Littauer, associate, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Eric W. Mogren, associate professor, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Ismael Montana, associate professor, Ph.D., York University
Brian Sandberg, professor, Ph.D., University of Illinois
James D. Schmidt, Presidential Teaching Professor, Ph.D., Rice University
Andrea Smalley, associate professor, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University

The Department of History offers programs leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. The department views historical study not only as a scholarly analysis of the past but also as a means of providing sophisticated learning that will be of practical significance to society and the individual. Traditionally graduate work in history, especially at the doctoral level, has led into the world of scholarship and teaching, but it has also led to many other successful careers in the private and public sectors. Historical training provides recognized skills in administration, management, research, writing, policy analysis, consulting, and editing; and trained historians have been successful in fields ranging from business, education, journalism, and law to government, publishing, and archival or museum work. Graduate study in history also is appropriate for individuals seeking self-fulfillment or a better understanding of the human experience and predicament.

Graduate courses in history are principally of three types: advanced lecture-discussion courses, reading seminars designed to acquaint the student with the literature and problems of a selected field, and research seminars in which intensive research on a particular historical topic provides experience in historical methodology and in the use of primary and secondary source materials.


Admission to the M.A. program in history is based upon consideration of the following factors: general undergraduate GPA; preparation and GPA in undergraduate history courses; scores on the GRE, especially on the verbal and analytical sections of the General Test; letters of recommendation; special requirements in the applicant’s proposed field of study; a brief essay submitted by the applicant; and, where appropriate, proficiency in foreign language(s) or quantitative methods.

The department endeavors to review application data in a comprehensive manner and to avoid mechanical judgments. It prefers, however, that applicants have a general GPA of 3.00 or higher in the last two years of undergraduate work, a GPA of 3.25 or higher in all undergraduate history courses, and GRE verbal and analytical scores in the 60th percentile or higher. The GRE Subject Test in history is not required. Applicants need not have an undergraduate major in history, but those with fewer than 18 semester hours of undergraduate history courses may be required to enroll in one or more undergraduate courses on a deficiency basis. Applicants to the M.A. program in history are accepted twice a year for fall and spring admission (see website www.niu.edu/history/graduate for deadlines). Applicants are typically notified of an admission decision within six weeks of receipt of all required application materials.

Applicants for admission to the doctoral program are expected to have established an outstanding record at the master’s level and to have demonstrated a capacity for effective research and writing. Admission to the Ph.D. program requires at least average proficiency in one approved foreign language or in quantitative methods. Applications to the Ph.D. program in history are accepted once a year for fall admission only (see website www.niu.edu/history/graduate for deadline). Applicants are typically notified of an admission decision within two months of  receipt of all required application materials.

A student who has enrolled as a student-at-large before being admitted to the history program may, with department permission, count up to 15 semester hours of graduate course work taken at NIU towards his or her M.A. and/or Ph.D. degree provided the courses fit his or her program. The director of graduate studies may, upon good cause being demonstrated, allow additional student-at-large hours to be counted towards an M.A. or Ph.D. degree.


At the time of admission to a degree program, a student will be assigned a departmental adviser who will be responsible for implementing department and Graduate School regulations. As early as practical the student should initiate the selection of a field adviser from among the faculty. M.A. students should have at least one such adviser, and Ph.D. students should normally have two. The field advisers are primarily responsible for assisting students in planning a program of study, selecting appropriate courses, outlining problems unique to a particular field, and determining appropriate areas of research. Departmental requirements are detailed in the departmental booklet, Handbook for History Graduate Students, available at www.niu.edu/history/graduate.

Foreign Study in History

The Department of History encourages students to take advantage of study-abroad programs, which provide students of history and allied disciplines an opportunity to study at first hand the historical developments and traditions of other peoples and their cultures. Courses carry either undergraduate or graduate credit. Interested students should first consult the Division of International Programs for relevant details of forthcoming offerings and then contact the director of graduate studies in history and appropriate departmental faculty about including study-abroad courses in their NIU program. For further information see “International Programs.”

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