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 five primary fields, which reflect faculty strength: 1) United States; 2) Latin America; 3) Early Modern Global; 4) China; and 5) Middle East. By admitting only a few students in these five fields, the department can focus its resources on preparing students for a diverse range of careers. In addition to seminars in our five primary fields, we offer graduate coursework in the thematic areas of: 1) Environment, Science, and Technology; 2) Gender; 3) Transnational; 4) Race and Ethnicity; 5) Modern Global; and 6) Colonialism and Nationalism.
Graduates of our PhD program pursue a range of careers in academia, education, government, business, and the non-profit world. We work closely with our advanced students as they begin the job-seeking process to develop the skills and networks they need to succeed. In academia, our graduates have joined the faculty at large research universities and liberal arts colleges. Other graduates have found positions in federal government agencies, non-profit fundraising and advocacy, technology and consulting companies, higher education administration, and private and public secondary education. For a department placement data overview, please visit The College of the Liberal Arts placement page.