As members of the scholarly profession whose purpose is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and as experts qualified to teach at the graduate level, University professors normally engage in research and writing in their field of specialty. Before choosing your fields of concentration and your major professor, you should familiarize yourself with the work of the various members and their specialties, phone and office numbers, email addresses. You may want to ask faculty about their research and read their published works as well as enroll in their seminars.
Professional responsibilities limit the number of courses University professors are able to offer, so occasionally they are not available to teach a particular course when you may want to take it. We try to plan ahead to ensure a balanced program. You should keep in contact with the Director of Graduate Studies and with individual professors to find out when professors may be going on leave and what courses are planned for future semesters. You should also let us know what courses you would like to see offered. Ideally, we work on a three-year course rotation schedule.
Keys to Success:
- Review degree requirements
- Consult the Director of Graduate Studies
- Consult potential committee members
- Select an academic advisor in the first year
In planning your program:
- Read the Graduate College Catalog carefully for degree requirements and list of courses. The University’s curriculum catalog and schedules of classes are now available via UA Info or website http://www.arizona.edu.
- Discuss your interests with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) at least once every semester during your first year of study, preferably before you register. The DGS office hours are posted in the Front Office, Chavez 400N.
- Consult with potential members of your committee- the professors in whose field you will want to concentrate and who will supervise your work.
- By the end of the first year, each entering history graduate student must choose, in consultation with the faculty involved and the Director of Graduate Studies, a major advisor from the ranks of the History faculty. Students will be paired with individual faculty in accordance with shared fields of interest. For example, students studying Latin America should consult with professors of Latin American History. The purpose of this program is to ease your transition from undergraduate to graduate school and to help you feel more comfortable and secure in the department. Advisors will not duplicate the work of the Director of Graduate Studies. Their role is relatively simple: to make you feel you have a specific professor who can provide general orientation and answer questions about the field, the faculty, and the curriculum. Your advisor will be your resource person, and you may change your advisor if necessary. This arrangement does not commit any advisor to membership on M.A. or Ph.D. committees.