Requirements for Admission

Prospective applicants must hold at least a Bachelor degree from an accredited institution. Undergraduate work should include a focus on the Humanities, but no specific major is required. Some language preparation is highly desirable. The Department of History recruits and admits all students to the Ph.D. track; the Department does not grant stand-alone or terminal Master degrees.

Preparing Your Application

All applicants must complete the Application for Admission through the Graduate School. All applications must be completed and submitted by January 6th preceding the Fall semester of admission.

A particularly important document is your Statement of Intent. Unlike the personal essay you may have written when applying for college, its object is not to describe in general how you became the person you are today, but to help the History Department know you as an aspiring historian. A strong Statement of Intent will include the following topics:

  • What is your general area of historical interest, and which faculty member(s) in the History Department would you like to have as mentor(s)? Examples of “general areas” might include, say, “20th century American women’s history,” or “the Italian Renaissance,” or “the South American independence wars,” or “France in the High Middle Ages.” Without this information, we can’t assess how well your interests match our resources.
  • Why does this subject area interest you, and what is your background in it? Tell us about your previous studies, such as courses you took, papers you wrote, or stimulating works of scholarship that you read. Perhaps you have also had relevant personal experiences—say, working on an archaeological dig, interning at an archive, volunteering for a political organization, or spending time in the country you wish to study. If so, tell us about it. Do you already have a specific idea for a dissertation topic? This is in no way required, but if you have one, describe it.
  • What other qualifications do you have for the graduate work you wish to pursue, such as foreign languages, computer skills, or familiarity with other academic disciplines relevant to your proposed field? If you are missing an important qualification but have plans to acquire it—say, by taking an intensive language course—tell us that, too.

Your writing sample should demonstrate your skills in writing, analysis, and, if possible, historical research. In general, writing samples should be no longer than 20 pages. If you are sending part of a longer work (for example, a Master's thesis), please include an abstract describing the whole piece and its argument.

Admission Decisions

Applications are reviewed by multiple faculty members, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department's Graduate Studies Committee. Select applicants will be interviewed by faculty members via video conference. Admissions offers are made based on application materials, including letters of recommendation, and the interview. Admitted students are invited to visit the University and interact with the faculty and current students before making their final decision.

Financial Support

All graduate students admitted to the Ph.D. program are offered a full tuition scholarship, a generous stipend, and additional support for research travel, conference presentations, and other professional development. Detailed financial arrangements are included in the formal offer letter from the Graduate School.