The Department of History has close, collaborative relationships with other programs across the Catholic University campus.
History graduate students often take courses, share mentoring, and design doctoral fields with faculty in other departments and schools. The department values the interdisciplinary study that such collaboration fosters.
All graduate students in History must qualify in one or more foreign language, and doctoral students may go on to advanced study of texts in those languages. Many History students acquire reading comprehension in modern languages for purposes of secondary source research through curriculum offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Students in medieval and in some cases early modern history require advanced proficiency in Latin – and, depending upon their particular fields of research, Greek, or Arabic or other languages of the early Near East – and the department is fortunate in the remarkable array of languages on offer at the university. To that end, History students regularly take coursework with faculty in the Department of Greek and Latin or in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures.
Catholic University is particularly rich in faculty expertise in late antiquity and the middle ages, with experts ranging across many subject areas. History students who specialize in these periods or want to prepare minor doctoral fields in them regularly take advantage of curricular and co-curricular offerings by the Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies and the Center for Early Christian Studies. The School of Theology and Religious Studies has masters and doctoral programs in Church History, and History and Church History students may take courses in each other’s areas.
With the guidance of advisers, doctoral students prepare for comprehensive examinations in one major and two minor fields, and one of the minor fields may be entirely outside the discipline of history. Fields may range from literature to politics to media studies, making it possible to craft interdisciplinary doctoral projects. Faculty in History regularly participate in fashioning comprehensive exams and mentoring dissertation projects for doctoral students in other disciplines, and History students likewise draw upon faculty expertise elsewhere on campus for the same purposes.