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The Best Ph.D. Programs for History

    • The Ph.D. in History is the terminal degree in the field.history image by Ewe Degiampietro from

      Many colleges and universities across the country offer Ph.D. programs in history, and each provides a unique experience. Typically, graduate students complete about 10 survey courses before taking an examination and embarking on their dissertation. There are many things to consider when selecting a graduate program; looking for scholars who share your interests and critical perspective is important, as is ensuring that the institution is a "fit" for you. The three schools noted below are considered to have some of the finest Ph.D. history programs.

    Princeton University, Department of English

    • Princeton University's Department of History offers students a broad training in the discipline. Jeremy Adelman, William Jordan and Jonathan Levy are faculty members. The program has a special focus on American political history, American studies, British studies, the history of science, and medieval studies. This university can also claim President James Madison (1751-1836) as its first unofficial "graduate student," since he stayed for a year after graduation and studied the Hebrew language and culture.

      Princeton University
      Department of History
      129 Dickinson Hall
      Princeton, NJ 08544-1017
      (609) 258-4159

    University of Chicago, Department of History

    • Offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University of Chicago's Department of History has been one of the country's most important throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries, with faculty members often leading professional organizations like the American Historical Association and winning Pulitzer Prizes. Robert Barlett, a major historian of medieval colonialism; Dipesh Chakrabarty, an influential historian of South Asian history; and Bernard Wasserstein, a scholar of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are faculty members. The university is home to 113 research centers, including the Oriental Institute and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, which offer unique resources to history scholars. Kenneth T. Jackson and Gerhard Weinberg are former graduate students the department.

      University of Chicago
      Department of History
      1130 E. 59th Street, Room 105
      Chicago, IL 60637
      (773) 702-8415

    University of California-Berkeley, Department of English

    • The Department of History at the University of California, Berkeley is one of the West Coast's premier history departments. Typical graduate courses are "Politics and Religion in the Greek World," "Approaches to the Modern History of the Middle East," and "The Symbolic World of Chinese Villagers in the Premodern World." The faculty includes John Connelly, David A. Hollinger, Tabitha Kanogo, Emily Mackil, and Maureen C. Miller.

      University of California-Berkeley
      Department of History
      3229 Dwinelle Hall (Mailcode 2550)
      Berkeley, CA 94720-2550
      (510) 642-2378

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