Why study History?

The University of Cincinnati has an excellent mid-size department of history and a lively intellectual community. All students entering the Doctoral program must have earned an MA.

Our Doctoral program is intentionally small and is designed to provide an excellent education to students we can serve best through closely supervised coursework and mentoring. Our program emphasizes professional training in both teaching and researching history.  

Our curriculum encourages broad interaction with History faculty, and students take valuable courses in other fields, including foreign languages. The flexibility of our program matches the varied interests of our students. Graduates move along a variety of career paths, but most seek tenure-track academic positions.

Doctoral students prepare themselves in three fields of study, a major and two minors. One of the minor fields may be outside the History Department. Students chose their fields in consultation with their advisors, the Director of Graduate Studies, and those faculty members who will serve on their exam committee.

The major field of concentration may be United States, European, World History, or Public History.

The two minor fields should be broadly conceived areas of study based on chronological, topical, geographical, or methodological emphasis. One minor field must be outside the major field; one minor field may be a subset of the major field. Examples of minors are: Modern Europe, Latin America, Comparative Women’s History, Public History, and Comparative Urban History.

Admission Requirements

Each of the following play an important role in the Admission Committee’s decisions:
• 3 Letters of recommendation
• Personal statement
• Transcripts
• Writing sample

International students may also need to submit TOEFL scores or English Proficiency documentation as described here: https://grad.uc.edu/admissions/criteria/international-students.html.  Please contact the Director of the History Graduate Program for more detail. 

All students entering the program have a Doctoral advisor, assigned at the time of admission. This advisor will guide the student through all intellectual aspects of the program. In addition, the Director of Graduate Studies serves as an advisor on departmental and institutional requirements. Students may change advisors, with the permission of the new advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

During the first year of enrollment, in consultation with the Doctoral advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, each student creates an exam committee composed of three individuals, at least two of whom must be Department of History faculty, and all three of whom must have a terminal degree. Members of this exam committee also serve an important advisory role in the semesters leading up to the qualifying exam.

In addition, each student creates a dissertation committee in consultation with the Doctoral advisor. This committee is composed of three or four members, at least one of whom must be from outside the Department of History. At least two members of this committee must be Department of History faculty. Members of the dissertation committee serve an important advisory role during candidacy.

Each year, usually in the fall semester, the Director of Graduate Studies will provide an evaluation form to faculty advisors for each of their Doctoral students. The advisor will then meet with each of his/her Doctoral students to review the student's academic progress for the past year. A copy of the completed evaluation form will be given to the student and to the Director of Graduate Studies.

At the University of Cincinnati's Department of History, Doctoral students are connected directly with faculty, with interests in many areas. We also have conferences, symposia, colloquia, and many visiting speakers throughout the year to both inspire new ideas and give students a chance to show their work professonally. The majority of our graduate students are funded throughout their graduate career. The university and surrounding libraries have incredible collections to facilitate research. For more information, see our Graduate Program Page

Application Deadlines

If you would like to submit an electronic application for the Doctoral Program please visit the Online Graduate School Application and complete the form. In order to complete the admissions process, you need to visit the Doctoral Program website or contact the program directly for information about application requirements or to inquire about materials that need to be submitted when applying to this program.

The application deadline is typically mid-January every year.  Please contact the program directly for the application due date of this year.  

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Jeff Zalar
360 Arts & Sciences Hall
2700 Campus Way
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-2144

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Program Code: 15DOC-HIST-PHD