Ph.D. Program

The William P. Clements Department of History at Southern Methodist University offers an innovative Ph.D. program. The course of study explores historical experiences in American, transnational, and global contexts, with special emphasis on advanced work in the U.S. Southwest, the U.S. West, Mexico, borderlands, ethnic Mexicans, and Native Americans. The program also offers a focus on U.S. political, diplomatic, and/or presidential history.

All students take three core courses, including a course in digital humanities. Individual students also choose from a slate of courses in three required fields: U.S. history, global and comparative history, and a specialized field of their choice. Specialized fields may be oriented around particular themes, regions, time periods, etc. within national, transnational, global, and/or comparative contexts. Specialized fields are subject to approval by the Graduate Committee and the availability of faculty mentors.

The strengths of the graduate program in the areas of borderlands, transnational, global, and comparative history will prepare students to produce innovative scholarship, teach in a wide range of higher educational institutions (including community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and research universities), and pursue careers outside the academy (in historical archives, museums, and other public history institutions).

The program offers unusual opportunities for students to broaden and deepen their knowledge. Resources include the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, with its symposia, research fellows and distinguished visitors; SMU's DeGolyer Library, a repository for a remarkable collection of books and manuscripts on Mexico and the Southwest; and the Meadows Museum of Art, which houses perhaps the world's finest collections of early modern Spanish art outside of Spain. 

For students with more interdisciplinary interests, the Bridwell Library provides a wealth of primary sources for the study of religious history; the Underwood Law Library supports the study of legal history, including that of international law; and the Center for Presidential History allows for research in the domestic and foreign affairs of the United States.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program offers a graduate certificate that can be earned together with the Ph.D. in history. Naturally, the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute especially addresses the needs of students with global, multidisciplinary interests. December 15 is the deadline for admission to the Ph.D. program. Click here to apply.