Course description

PhD Tutorial I is devoted to developing the structure, topics and faculty committee for the PhD Comprehensive Exam, through a combination of group sessions and individual meetings.. This involves preparing an exam bibliography of at least 100 items (predominantly monographs, chapters in collective volumes, and journal articles – without excluding more innovative genres of academic publication) on topics related to the dissertation, and composing an essay explaining their selection. At the end of the term these documents are reviewed by the Supervisors and the History Department Doctoral Studies Committee.


Learning outcomes

Students develop an enhanced awareness of the different uses of the various forms of scholarly publications, and are better able to locate their own academic interest and work in the existing literature. As a result, they are able to submit the first draft of their documents for the comprehensive exam.


Learning activities and teaching methods

The course combines small seminar group meetings and individual consultations with each student. Both formats are designed and fully exploited for in-depth discussion of student projects, and the necessary skills and materials.



This course is taken for a pass/fail grade. The requirements are to submit in early December an essay of c. 1000 words describing the logic of the bibliography chosen for the comprehensive exam, the assembled bibliography of approximately 100 items, and the application to candidacy form (provided by the PhD coordinator), including the names of the prospective comprehensive exam committee members. These materials are assessed by the prospective supervisor(s) and the History Department Doctoral Program Committee. Suggestions may be made for a revised submission in the winter term.