Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

3-5 years
Credit Hours:

30 (with master's) or 54 (with bachelor's)
Gain a better understanding of where we are as a nation by becoming an expert in U.S. history.
United States history is a diverse field of study that encompasses a growing number of research approaches and specialty areas, and the University of North Texas stands at the head of these dynamic transformations.

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Why Earn a U.S. History Ph.D.?

UNT's enduring and distinguished reputations in the histories of Texas and the southwestern borderlands, in military history and in oral history have been augmented in the 21st century with new strengths in American social and cultural history that mark UNT as a leader in the rapidly advancing fields of race and ethnic studies, gender and sexuality, food and the body, and environmental history.

Areas of study for doctoral students:

1. Chronological

  • Colonial and Revolutionary
  • Early national
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Late 19th- and early 20th-century
  • 20th century

2. Topical

  • Old South
  • New South
  • American West
  • Spanish and French borderlands
  • Texas
  • Military
  • Women and gender
  • African American
  • Mexican American
  • Local
Marketable Skills
  • Synthesize/interpret large amounts of data
  • Pedagogical practices
  • Mastery of the historical literature
  • Expertise in the history of specific topics/regions
  • Research/write studies based on primary sources

U.S. History Ph.D. Highlights

Graduate classes normally include eight to 12 students, allowing you to receive personal attention from the instructor.
Through extensive reading, writing assignments and specialized seminar classes, you'll strengthen your analytical, writing, research and presentation skills.
Our classes are taught by faculty who have published numerous books and articles, been awarded many research grants, and earned national and international recognition in their fields.
Several nationally and internationally recognized speakers address faculty and students on different topics each year.
The UNT chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, organizes scholarly and social events during the year.
Our doctoral students in United States history research and teach a wide array of topics, and they produce cutting-edge scholarship, winning awards and accolades that elevate our program over other institutions.

What Can You Do With a U.S. History Ph.D.?

The knowledge and skills students gain while earning a history degree offer excellent preparation for a seemingly endless variety of occupations. Students of history learn to analyze and evaluate evidence with care, to communicate persuasively and clearly, and to understand diverse perspectives and experiences.

Many history majors directly apply course content to fulfilling careers as historians, museum professionals, historical interpreters, researchers, writers, filmmakers, and educators. According to the American Historical Association, history graduates work in almost every field imaginable, ranging from financial services to healthcare to community and social services and beyond.

Particularly large numbers of history majors leverage their critical thinking and communication skills for careers in business administration or management, sales, and in the legal profession. Earning an undergraduate degree in history also offers students excellent preparation for graduate school, launching them on pathways toward careers in fields such as higher education, journalism, law, and public policy.

U.S. History Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Environmental History (3 hrs)
Theory and methods that emphasize the interactions of communities and their biophysical worlds at different historical moments.
U.S. Gender and Sexuality History (3 hrs)
History of gender and sexuality in the United States with an emphasis on critical theories and research methods.
Historiography of American Exceptionalism (3 hrs)
History and critical study of the concept of American exceptionalism in American historiography, emphasizing the work of both American and international scholars.
U.S. Food History (3 hrs)
Major topics in U.S. food history with a focus on food as a mechanism for the construction of social, political and cultural identities.
Texas History (3 hrs)
A review of the historical literature concerning the development of Texas from its frontier beginnings to an urban state, focusing on social, political, and economic topics within a chronological framework.
Seminar in Modern U.S. Political History (3 hrs)
Research seminar in modern U.S. political history focused on historical approaches that center the significance of political activities in modern America.

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