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Prospective Students

Admission to the Ph.D. Program in History is quite competitive. All applicants to graduate school should carefully consider the concept of fit - applicants should familiarize themselves with our faculty members and recent course offerings. Please also read the PhD Program in History Student Handbook. Students applying must submit:

  1. completed application form
  2. three letters of recommendation from professors
  3. official transcripts from previous colleges
  4. scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Test (taken no more than 5 years ago)
  5. a writing sample (fifteen pages maximum)
  6. an applicant statement (two pages maximum)
  7. Language Evaluation Form, which is necessary if your major field requires more than one language.

Please do not send these items to the Ph.D. Program in History directly. They are processed by the Office of Admissions.

The program admits students for the Fall term only  Completed applications with all supporting materials, including test scores and recommendations, must be in the Office of Admissions at the Graduate Center by the listed deadline. The Program reviews completed applications beginning in February. The Office of Admissions notifies students when the Committee reaches a decision. These notifications begin in March and continue through April.

All applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty and students. The application is considered in its entirety, but the committee pays particular attention--in no particular order--to the student's record of academic achievement as reflected in the transcripts, the student's potential for graduate work as demonstrated by recommendations, the quality of the writing sample, the GRE scores, and the student's background and reasons for pursuing a Ph.D. at the Graduate Center, as expressed in the applicant statement. We admit students with or without master’s degrees, with no preference given to either group. Most applicants have majored in history as undergraduates, though this is not a requirement.

Fellowships and Financial Assistance

All admitted applicants are guaranteed a five-year fellowship package – either a Graduate Center Fellowship or a Tuition Fellowship. For more information, go to


Open Houses

We have concluded our Fall 2019 Open House season. Our Fall 2020 Open Houses will be announced in September 2020, and are likely to be in mid-October to early November. Please check this page, and write to if you have any questions. Thank you! 

Readmission Policy

Students who withdrew from the program within the last five years who would like to return must apply for readmission. Such applications are due on January 1 (for the Fall semester). Applications must include: 1) the Graduate Center application for readmission form, 2) a statement of purpose explaining why you now want to return, what you have been doing since leaving the program, your areas of interest and specialization, future career plans, and with whom you would like to study should you be readmitted; 3) a c.v.; 4) transcripts from any universities you might have attended since leaving the program; 5) three letters of recommendation, two of which must be from faculty currently teaching in the program. Note: Third-level students will not be readmitted without an approved dissertation proposal and letters of support from the first and second reader. If a dissertation is partially completed, then a copy of all completed work must accompany the application.
Students who withdrew from the program more than five years ago must apply as a new student. Please note that coursework from more than ten years ago will no longer be counted toward the degree.