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Graduate Program

 The Penn State Department of History offers a small, focused, PhD program designed to prepare students for careers inside or outside academia. Our program admits students in four primary fields, which reflect faculty strength: 1) the United States; 2) Latin America; 3) Early modern global; and 4) China & South Asia. By admitting only a few students in these four fields, the department is able to focus its human and financial resources on providing the best possible preparation for a difficult academic job market. In addition to seminars in our four primary fields, we offer graduate coursework in the thematic areas of: 1) environment, science, and technology; 2) gender history; 3) transnational; and 4) race.

Upon admission to the department, graduate students join an intellectual community committed to excellence in scholarship and teaching. Our graduate students work closely with world-class faculty, graduate student colleagues, and undergraduates. Our graduate students benefit from small academic seminars, reliable financial support, faculty mentoring, a top-tier library, professionalization seminars, and options for interdisciplinary work.

Dual-title Degrees
The Department of History partners with the departments of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Asian Studies; and African American Studies to offer dual-title degrees. History graduate students in dual-title degree programs pursue interdisciplinary work through seminars and interaction with students and faculty in other departments. This diverse training facilitates innovative work at the dissertation stage and expands employment prospects.

Full Financial Support
All graduate students in good standing receive full financial support for five years. Students in our program initially work as teaching assistants, and later work as editorial assistants, research assistants, or research fellows. The department also supports participation in academic conferences and provides funds for summer study and research.

Most graduates of our PhD program pursue academic careers, and we work closely with our advanced students as they enter the job market. Our graduates have joined the faculty at universities such as Colorado State, Butler, Kansas State, SUNY New Paltz, Iowa State, Old Dominion, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Lawrence, George Mason, West Florida, Texas Tech, Stephen F. Austin, and SUNY-Geneseo. For a department placement data overview please visit College of the Liberal Arts placement page.

How to Apply
If you would like to join the department of History as a graduate student, please refer to the "How to Apply" page for further information and application details.