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Department of History
Old Horticulture
506 E. Circle Dr
Room 256
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Main: 517.355.7500
Fax: 517.353.5599
Email: history@msu.edu
Hours: 8:00-5:00 M-F

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Graduate Handbook

II – Program Components/Plan Options

Synopsis of the Doctoral Program: The First Year

  1. Completion of first-year courses selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director or advisor.
  2. Selection of the major professor/dissertation research advisor.
  3. Selection of the Guidance Committee.
  4. Initial Guidance Committee meeting. This should be held as soon as possible, and must be held within 12 months after entering the graduate program. At this meeting, the complete course program must be formally decided.
  5. Completion and submission of the form entitled “Report of the Guidance Committee–Doctoral and Other Programs.” The final typed form must be signed by the student and all members of the Guidance Committee. This requirement should be completed in conjunction with the initial Guidance Committee meeting.
  6. International students who are working as teaching assistants must pass the SPEAK test (with a score of at least 50) certifying that the student qualifies in English proficiency as a teaching assistant.
  7. All students must be certified in the first of their foreign languages.

The Second Year

  1. Continuation of course work.
  2. Enrollment in courses prescribed by the Guidance Committee
  3. Evaluation of the student’s performance as a teaching assistant.
  4. Take research seminar and complete MA paper or thesis or defend research paper, as desired by guidance committee.
  5. Annual meeting of guidance committee. Letter of progress submitted by student’s main advisor to graduate director.

The Third Year

  1. Enrollment in courses prescribed by the Guidance Committee.
  2. Satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination.
  3. Approval of doctoral dissertation proposal.
  4. Evaluation of the student’s performance as a teaching assistant.
  5. Complete language requirements.
  6. Annual meeting of guidance committee. Advisor submits letter of progress to graduate director.

Each Subsequent Year

  1. Dissertation research and/or writing.
  2. Annual meeting or conference call with guidance committee.
  3. Progress report submitted to graduate committee each year by February 1.

The Final Semester

  1. Final oral examination in defense of the dissertation.
  2. Submission of unbound dissertation to the University, and bound copies to the Department of History and to the major professor.