Graduate Handbook | Summers
In contrast to most undergraduate work, graduate training does not take a break during the summer months. Making the most of this time is vital to your steady progression toward your degree and the larger process of professionalization. Below are a few ideas for making the most of your summers during your graduate career.
Most summer course work falls into two areas:
Language Requirements - As all students must demonstrate either (1) proficiency (advanced reading ability and conversational ability) in one research language other than English or (2) competence (reading ability) in two research languages other than English. Faculty members in each graduate field will set additional language requirements as necessary for research in that field. Proficiency and competence in languages will be assessed in two-hour translation examinations administered by History faculty at the beginning of every semester. All students must pass departmentally administered language examinations before proceeding to qualifying examinations for the doctoral degree. Summer courses are often available that will help students prepare for these examinations.
- Qualifying Exam Preparation – Establishing a History 590: Directed Research course with a professor during the summer can be a useful way to prepare for your qualifying exams while also earning necessary credits. This is one way to be sure you accumulate enough credits toward your degree.
With a bit of persistence, graduate students can often find work opportunities that will complement their studies and professional goals. Begin scouting for opportunities early in the spring semester. Talk with professors in your field and members of the Graduate Studies Committee for ideas. Also check with the directors of the various Institutes connected with the history department.
Summer is also an excellent time for research travel for students preparing to write the dissertation prospectus as well as those who have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy. For suggestions on funding opportunities, see the Finances subsection of Life as a Graduate Student.