Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Learn from internationally recognized scholars in a program with excellent student-to-supervisor ratios. Departmental expertise is wide-ranging; our historians are specialists in histories of Africa, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Students learn valuable skills in argumentative writing, critical thinking, public speaking, and grant proposal writing. Typically, students base their doctoral research in archival work within Canada and abroad. Students will complete a dissertation that contributes meaningfully to their chosen fields as they gain experience in teaching at an undergraduate level, present at conferences, and prepare research for publication.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: A reading course and two additional courses in the primary area of study and a course in the secondary area of study.
  • Language: Students demonstrate reading knowledge of a second language relevant to the student's research prior to the candidacy examination.
  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.
  • Additional Courses: Historiography and the Theories of History and two other elective courses; may include one course from another department.
  • Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams in primary and secondary areas.


Academic teaching and research, research consulting, public history, education, professional writing and editing, journalism, civil service and diplomacy.

A PhD in history is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required; potential supervisors must be listed when applying to the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Lyndsay Campbell

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. George Colpitts

    Accepting Inquiries
    Environmental History, Canadian History, Western Canada, Indigenous People, Cultural Exchange and the Fur Trade, Fur, Modernity and Industrialized relations, Treaty Trade, the State, and Business History
  3. Heather Devine

    Accepting Inquiries
  4. Petra Dolata

    Accepting Inquiries
    Energy History, International History, Diplomatic History
  5. Alexander Hill

    Accepting Inquiries
    Soviet military history, The Second World War, Soviet military and naval policy
  6. Nancy Janovicek

    Accepting Inquiries
    Twentieth Century Canada, Canadian Women's and Gender History, Oral History
  7. Amelia Kiddle

    Accepting Inquiries
  8. Mark Konnert

    Accepting Inquiries
    Early modern Europe
  9. Hendrik Kraay

    Seeking Students
    History of Brazil, Civic Rituals, Popular Festivals, Military Institutions, Slavery, Race, Popular Politics, Latin American History
  10. Ken MacMillan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Early Modern England, circa 1500-1750, English Empire and Atlantic World, circa 1575-1750, Crime and Criminal Justice in Early Modern England, Early Modern International Law and Diplomacy

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Masters degree in history (or related) and a four-year undergraduate program with honours or a major in history.

Work samples

A sample of written work, normally a master’s thesis chapter or a major research paper completed at the master’s level.


A detailed statement of research interests, career goals, and ideas for the thesis topic

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

  • TOEFL score of 86 with no section less than 20 (Internet-based). Our institution code is 0813
  • IELTS score of 6.5 with no section less than 6.0 (Academic version)
  • MELAB score of 80, or higher
  • PTE score of 59, or higher (Academic version)
  • Tier 3 of the International Foundations Program with minimum grades of B,C,C (Writing & Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension & Oral Fluency).


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of History

Social Sciences Building, Room 656
618 Campus Place NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website