History | Guide to Graduate Fields of Study & Major Professors

Preferred Fields of Study forms

The following information is designed to help applicants complete the Preferred Fields of Study Form (for M.A. and for Ph.D.), which must be submitted with the application materials. Please use the form to advise the Graduate Studies Committee as to your preference(s) regarding primary fields, secondary fields, and major professors.

Primary Fields

An individual professor will serve as a major professor of a Ph.D. student in a primary field. The professor will be responsible for the student’s preliminary examination in the primary field and will mentor the student’s doctoral dissertation.

Field of StudyFaculty Member(s)
Colonial and Early Republic Lawrence B.A. Hatter
19th Century U.S.Peter Boag
Jennifer Thigpen
Modern U.S.Robert Bauman (TC)
Peter Boag
Rob McCoy
Laurie Mercier (V)
Jeff Sanders
Matt Sutton
U.S. Foreign RelationsNoriko Kawamura
U.S. Women and GenderPeter Boag
Laurie Mercier (V)
Jennifer Thigpen
U.S. EnvironmentPeter Boag
Jeff Sanders
U.S. West Robert Bauman (TC)
Peter Boag
Lawrence Hatter
Rob McCoy
Laurie Mercier (V)
Jeff Sanders
Orlan Svingen
U.S. Race and EthnicityRobert Bauman (TC)
Rob McCoy
Laurie Mercier (V)
Atlantic WorldCandice Goucher (V)
Lawrence Hatter
Sue Peabody (V)
Reformation EuropeJesse Spohnholz
18th Century EuropeSue Peabody (V)
Medieval Islamic HistoryMarina Tolmacheva
Modern BritainAshley Wright
Modern FranceSteven Kale
Modern GermanyRay Sun
Modern Russia/Soviet Union/Post-SovietBrigit Farley (TC)
Steven Hoch (TC)
Modern ChinaXiuyu Wang (V)
West AfricaCandice Goucher (V)
Colonial AfricaCandice Goucher (V)

(V) = Vancouver Campus
(TC) = Tri Cities Campus

General Fields

Each field will have a coordinator, who will be responsible for coordinating 1) the field’s preliminary examination and 2) the initial mentor screening of graduate applications (M.A. and Ph.D.) for the field. The coordinator will also serve on the Graduate Studies Committee.

Field of StudyFaculty Member(s)
U.S.Robert Bauman (TC)
Peter Boag
Lawrence Hatter
Noriko Kawamura
Rob McCoy
Laurie Mercier (V)
Jeff Sanders
Matt Sutton
Orlan Svingen
Jennifer Thigpen
Middle EastMarina Tolmacheva
Early Modern EuropeSue Peabody (V)
Jesse Spohnholz
Modern EuropeBrigit Farley (TC)
Steven Hoch (TC)
Steven Kale
Ray Sun
Ashley Wright
PublicRobert Bauman (TC)
Rob McCoy
Laurie Mercier (V)
Orlan Svingen
East AsiaXiuyu Wang (V)
William Puck Brecher
WorldCandice Goucher (V)
Sue Peabody (V)
Xiuyu Wang (V)
Ashley Wright

(V) = Vancouver Campus
(TC) = Tri-Cities Campus

World/Comparative Field (Ph.D. students only)

All Ph.D. students must take 9 credits of graduate courses to fulfill the requirements of World/Comparative Field. The World/Comparative Field will have dual purposes of (1) providing opportunities that allow students to learn and explore global and comparative perspectives of students’ research subjects, and (2) offering credible training in world history as a teaching field.  No preliminary examination is required for the World/Comparative Field. Students must pass all three courses with a minimum grade of B+.   All students (except those who take World History as their General field*) are required to take 570, 571, and one more field course (either 571, a graduate field course outside their General Field, or a 400- or 500-level course outside History.

*Students who pursue World History as their General Field must define a comparative field in consultation with their major professor, and take at least 9 credits of graduate field courses that will focus on specific geographic areas outside their Primary Field, or 6 credits of those courses and one course outside the discipline of history.

Washington State University