History & Culture.
The History and Culture graduate program specializes in cultural and intellectual history, with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary work. While its geographic focus remains European and American, the course of study emphasizes the production and dissemination of knowledge in global contexts. Students are trained to consider a range of intellectual and cultural problems of pressing contemporary relevance from multiple disciplinary perspectives.
The program emphasizes the training of teachers alongside scholars, and preparation for non-academic as well as academic careers. Through opportunities such as internships, seminars, and workshops, students can receive additional training in various areas, including, but not limited to, publishing, digital media, museum curation, and philanthropic organizations.
Historiography – exposes students to numerous historical approaches over a variety of subjects and time periods, with the goal of understanding the kinds of questions historians ask and the various methodologies they use to study that past, via historical works critical to our collective understanding, and historiographical conversations between and among historians.
Methodology – covers methodological and/or theoretical approaches within history or from another discipline, via theoretical texts as well as work by scholars who use that theory.
Extradisciplinarity – develops familiarity with the scholarly perspectives, literature, and methods of an extra-disciplinary field, beyond history.
Research – develops the methods of historical scholarship, such as archival work, primary source analysis, and thesis and argument development, resulting in the preparation of a publishable paper, and supported by working closely with faculty members with expertise in the subject matter.
Students in the Master of Arts complete 30 credit hours from History and Culture listings, as well as approved courses from other Caspersen programs. In consultation with an advisor, students may choose to write a master’s thesis based on scholarly primary research or may choose a non-thesis track.
Students work closely with a faculty mentor to produce a Master’s Thesis, drawing on primary source research and engaging with relevant secondary literature.
Students in the Doctor of Philosophy complete 54 credit hours from History and Culture listings, as well as approved courses from other Caspersen programs and write a dissertation based on significant and sustained scholarly primary research.
Students will gain a grounding in the history, methods and philosophy of historical writing and research.
Students complete capstones in three fields. In each of the capstone essays, the student will master, summarize and criticize a body of historical literature.
Students who specialize in Continental Europe must pass an examination in one foreign language. This is not required for students specializing in the United States, Britain, or Ireland.
Each student will select a dissertation committee consisting of three faculty, one of whom may be based at another university and create a ten-page prospectus with a detailed bibliography to be approved by the committee. Each dissertation will undergo an oral defense and must be unanimously approved by the dissertation committee plus an external reader from another university.
PhD Start Term: Fall
MA Start Terms: Fall, Spring
Deadline: February 1
Extended MA: Rolling after February 1
- For master's program, bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
- For doctoral program, master's degree from an accredited institution
- Completed application form
- Official transcripts from all higher education institutions
- GRE scores (optional)
- Personal statement
- Academic writing sample
- Two letters of recommendation
International applicants need to meet additional criteria. See our international admissions page for more information
Students in the MA and PhD programs may choose to undertake an internship in a professional context where history and culture provides additional expertise, such as museums and libraries or specialized publishers, foundations, or businesses.