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Klonoa

History PHD program with no language/GRE requirement

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Hello.

I attained my master's degree last year and took the non-academic route into the work force. 
Recently, I have been playing with the idea of going for a PhD in history, but I'm not fond on a few of the requirements placed on many history programs -  those requirements being foreign language and the GRE. I have no desire to learn a foreign language and I'm against standardized tests of any kind. 
Are there any history programs that do not have these two requirements? If this thread has already been made in the past, please link it below and I will go from there. 
Thank you!

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If you want to go outside of the US you probably don’t need a GRE. Other than that I don’t know of any program that doesn’t require it. This being said it isn’t the most important component of an application. 

Languages are necessary if you are doing anything other than British and American history. Even with these fields most schools, especially top programs, will encourage/require you to take another European language.

 

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I've researched a good number of history PhD programs in the U.S. and the only program that comes to mind is Northwestern.  They don't require the GRE but it's still a very competitive program.  You didn't indicate your primary and secondary fields of interest, so assuming they are U.S. and Britain, Northwestern doesn't require a foreign language for Americanists but do require one for British History.  There may be a few other programs in the U.S. similar to NW, but I don't know of any more.  As Narple suggested look into European programs to bypass the GRE and I would add Canada as well, but that doesn't help you with the foreign language requirement.    

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Without a foreign language, it's going to be extremely unlikely to get into any of the top-tier History PhD programs that require no GRE scores. There would be nothing stopping you from earning a PhD through a lower ranked program, some of whom will not require GREs. 

However, you might need to ask yourself why you want to get the PhD. If it's just for personal edification or a personal accomplishment, that's fine, but it might be a big financial investment. If it's to enter academia, then you will need to earn your PhD from a top-tier institution with a good program and good placement rates. If it's the latter, then there's no way around it--you need one or more foreign languages and you need to take and do well on the GRE.

Edited by TheHessianHistorian

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Let's say that funding is not an issue and that attending a top-tier university/program doesn't matter. 

I have looked into Northwestern, and that is the only university I have on my list so far.

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If you are studying history that requires only/primarily English-language sources, you likely only need to know a foreign language well enough to translate an article in 2-3 hours with a dictionary--to do this, fluency is not even close to required. However, I don't know of any competitive PhD programs that do not require a foreign language or two, even for Americanists. Some places may allow you to sub a language for a quantitative field or something like that, but from what I've seen that's becoming more and more rare. 

Doing a PhD in any field outside of English-language ones requires at least one foreign language, as it should (though, with the continued popularity and importance of transnational history, I am of the mind that foreign languages are quite beneficial and even necessary for all fields, including U.S. history)

The GRE is probably the least important part of an application, and most history programs don't care about the quantitative component. I totally get not wanting to take it, but it's one of those hurdles that 99% of PhD programs, including the most elite programs (excluding Northwestern) require.

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None us in grad school like standardized tests. Further, as an international student I felt they were absolutely unfair because I had never taken anything like that before. For me it was not only studying words, it was studying an exam format and a reading style and a writing style. And on top of that I had to do it twice. I invested about a thousand dollars only on this test that is not even important for the application.  Unfortunately, you have to pick your battles and I preferred to get into a good program and 'fight' the system from the inside stay out of it. I echo @TheHessianHistorian in their question of what you want the PhD for. Most reputable programs that offer fellowships or assistantships require it. 

In addition, I know for a fact that GRE scores are one of the least important elements in your application. It is so minuscule that arguing against a program only because it requires the GRE is simply not worth it. GREs are usually graduate school imposed upon departments. If you really want a PhD because you need it for your career goals, then just do it.

Languages, on the other hand, are PhD requirements. This means that they are one of those boxes you tick to get a PhD together with (and this varies a little between programs) TAing, coursework, exams, dissertation, etc. I know people that study African history that came into (a top 20) the program with ZERO knowledge of French, Zulu, or Swahili, and they learned them during coursework and over the summers to fulfill the requirements. Now, if you altogether don't want to learn a language because you just don't, that's fine, but depending on your field and professional goals this might be detrimental. 

Now, bear in mind that a standardize test and a language are not the only things you will be required to do. Some you will enjoy and others... 

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Mind you, even if you paid your way through the program, there is no guarantee that the professors will take you seriously as a student (except for your adviser, perhaps). Do you really want that?

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18 hours ago, Klonoa said:

I have no desire to learn a foreign language and I'm against standardized tests of any kind. 

Echoing others, very few people in history departments are for the GRE and it's not taken particularly seriously. A lack of desire to learn a foreign language kind of sets off warning bells for me, to be honest, even if you're an Americanist (perhaps especially if you're Americanist, given the number of languages that people speak as a first or only language in the US). What field are you interested in--?

Edit: I just noticed that you've asked this before, a few years ago, and most of the the advice in that thread still stands. 

 

Edited by OHSP

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Oh, I totally forgot I did ask this nearly three years ago.

Thank you everyone for your replies.

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