Ph.D. Program Advising

The Director of Graduate Studies advises everyone admitted into the history program when they first enroll. Although you will soon choose an Advisory Committee and major advisor, you should still direct all technical questions about department and university requirements and policies to the Director of Graduate Studies. For routine matters, such as forms, applications, deadlines, etc. you should get in touch with the Graduate Secretary, Karen Jackett, 901.678.1366,

•    Choose an Advisory Committee during your first or second semester in the program. The Advisory Committee is composed of a major professor with Full Graduate Faculty status representing the proposed major field and at least two other Graduate Faculty members representing the proposed minor fields. If at all possible the committee should have as a fourth member a second professor representing the major field. The committee will meet shortly after it is formed to assist you in finalizing your fields of study, determining the choice of courses, evaluating the suitability of credits you propose for transfer from other institutions (usually from your previous M.A. work) and judging the applicability of your earlier coursework to your Ph.D. fields. The committee must issue all its decisions in writing, giving copies to you and to the Director of Graduate Studies. Use the Ph.D. planning form for this purpose. You should begin to use this form right away to keep track of your progress. Without this form, properly filled out, the Director of Graduate Studies will not clear you for registration for your second year.

•    A written evaluation of your performance to date will be provided by your Advisory Committee at the end of your first and second year in the Ph.D. program (your committee may adjust this if you are part-time). This will state whether you are doing well, doing acceptably well, but with improvement needed, or not doing well and raising the question of whether you should continue in the program. In the last two cases the committee will provide an explanation, and you should meet with each of the members individually to discuss your options.

•    Meet with the Director of Graduate Studies at least once a year for advising and registration clearance. Prior to meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies, you must have each member of your Advisory or Dissertation committee sign the Ph.D. planning form or Dissertation Committee approval form for ABD students. Bring the form to your meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies. If you try to register before getting this clearance, you will get a message that you need a PIN.

•    All registration is now done on the Web, through the MyMemphis portal. For instruction on how to register, see This is actually a very easy process. Go to, sign in, go to the "Student" tab, scroll down and look for "Add/Drop Classes." As long as you're cleared, you should be able to add classes there.

•    Consult the Ph.D. Program Overview to see if you need to submit a form or take some other action at the current stage of your progress. It also contains links to all forms that are necessary to complete your degree. Please note that especially in the term in which you intend to graduate, deadlines for forms and exams are earlier in the semester than you might think. It is your responsibility to make sure you meet all requirements. The Graduate School enforces its deadlines strictly, so it will be impossible to graduate on schedule if you miss a deadline.