The Doctor of Philosophy in History program is tailored to each individual student's interests and background. The department accepts students for doctoral study in medieval and modern European history and in United States history. The department typically enrolls five to six new Ph.D. students a year and counts 30-40 students in various stages of the doctoral program.

The Catholic University of America has a strong tradition of graduate education in history, stretching back almost a century to the granting of the university’s first Ph.D. in history.  Today, an accomplished faculty, strong resources on campus and in the Washington, D.C., area, and a low student-faculty ratio create an ideal environment for graduate study.

A Ph.D. requires a minimum of 18 courses (54 credit hours) beyond the bachelor's degree. University regulations specify that a maximum of 8 courses (24 credit hours) can be transferred from another institution toward the Ph.D. at CUA. At least four seminars are required for the Ph.D. The time for completing the degree can vary dramatically, but it is the normal expectation that a full-time student can complete course requirements for the Ph.D. in three years.


  • 18 courses, or 54 semester credits
  • Proof of proficiency in at least two foreign languages
  • Passage of comprehensive exams
  • A completed dissertation