Admissions and Aid

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. We will have an open house in October or November. Please write to in September for the exact date and time. We appreciate your interest!

Application Overview

Application Deadline: January 1

Applicants must submit:

  1. Completed Application Form  

  2. Three letters of recommendation from professors
  3. Transcripts from previous colleges (Note: applicants upload unofficial transcripts for application review purposes. Official transcripts are required only if the applicant is admitted.)
  4. If available, scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Test (taken no more than 5 years ago). This is OPTIONAL for the Fall 2023 entry point. 
  5. One writing sample (fifteen pages maximum)
  6. One applicant statement (two pages maximum)
  7. One resume or CV. Please include a section on your proficiency in foreign languages, if applicable. 

Please do not send these items to the Ph.D. Program in History directly. They are processed by the Office of Admissions. Visit also the Application and Deadlines and Requirements information.

Learn more or apply online

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 .Applicants without an MA who have fewer than 30 credits of undergraduate History work should consider first embarking on an MA in History.

Institutional Aid

Every applicant to The Graduate Center’s doctoral programs will automatically be considered for five-year institutional funding packages. The aid we offer — including fellowships, tuition awards, and assistantships — is based on merit. 

Learn more about institutional aid for doctoral students »

Federal Aid

Federal aid for doctoral students includes:

New York State also provides the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for eligible graduate students who are New York State residents.

Support for Underrepresented Groups

Additional funding may be available to incoming students from underrepresented populations through offerings from the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity, including several fellowships and the CUNY Pipeline Program for undergraduate CUNY students.

Learn more about funding opportunities from OEOD »

Tuition rates for doctoral programs at The Graduate Center are based on a student's “level,” which is determined by a combination of the number of graduate credits completed (including, in the case of transfer students, credits accepted by the student's degree program and the Registrar) and specific academic accomplishments. 

The fee structure is also affected by a student’s resident status.

See current doctoral tuition rates »

Student Activity Fee

Each student will be billed for a Graduate School student activities fee, a University student senate fee, a University consolidated services fee and a technology fee. These fees are not refundable.

Please also review the information regarding readmission on the Registrar's site.

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). Please not that there are no Spring admissions. 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) 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.Write to for more information. 
Students who left 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.

More Admissions Resources

Stay informed and up to date

Be prepared with all the latest essential information you need for a successful Graduate Center application.