PhD Studies

The School awards PhD degrees in various fields and sub-disciplines of history. Instruction is conducted in small seminars with an emphasis on personal supervision of research. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged, alongside work on textual evidence in the original languages. Whatever the approach or school of thought, PhD dissertations have to be well-grounded in a specific time and place. Students may be trained in political, social, economic, cultural, and intellectual history, or in the history of ideas and science, and are encouraged to critically consider disciplines other than history.

Doctoral candidates keen on pursuing special research interests are directed, as much as possible, to tailor-made programs within the range of fields covered by School faculty. Students coming from fields other than history are admitted as “candidate for research student” (See terms of acceptance bellow) and attend a specifically designed preliminary program to prepare them for undertaking PhD studies as full-fledged research students. Diversity and flexibility are built into our system of study and research, partly to enable comparative insights and broad-based historical interpretation.

Doctoral students have to enroll in two courses (8 hours), including the PhD research seminar (a total of 4 hours) and another seminar of their choice appropriate for the subject of research.

Prospectus and thesis-writers' seminars are conducted in Hebrew, hence proficiency in spoken and written Hebrew is assumed. However, doctoral students without sufficient reading and writing knowledge of Hebrew may still enroll in the School, provided they can find a dissertation supervisor willing to guide them through an individual study program. They may write their dissertation in English. Other students, too, may obtain permission to present their work in English, French, or Arabic (and in special cases request to submit in other languages), if supervision and final evaluation of the dissertation in these languages are deemed possible.

Admission and Registration:

Candidates with a Masters' degree in one of the fields of study covered by the School, a minimum accumulative grade of 80, and a Masters' thesis grade of at least 85 may apply. Applicants may contact the registrar at TAU for further information about degree qualifications. The current contact person is Ms. Eva Gitlin, by phone +972-3-6494892.

Applicants are urged to contact the potential supervisor and negotiate with her/him to get their consent for supervision. Afterwards, the applicant may contact the School for guidance and help in the actual process of registration.

There are two kinds of PhD programs (five years):

  • The regular PhD Program: Students qualifying for admission (see conditions above) are enrolled as “Stage A” research students. Following approval of their prospectus (within a maximum period of two years), they become “Stage B” students and are then considered “dissertation writers.”
  • PhD Program (Direct Course): Outstanding students are allowed to enroll without an MA degree either directly after they have received their BA degree (with an accumulative grade of 95), or no later than two years into their MA program (with a minimum accumulative grade of 90 and exceptionally high grades). Candidates who received their Masters' degree in fields or disciplines other than history are admitted as "candidate for research" (status 60) and have to attend a preliminary program which best prepares them for undertaking their PhD studies as full-fledged research students. This program will be tailor-made for them by their prospective supervisor and approved by the School.