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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. 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 2022 entry point, due to the pandemic.
  5. a writing sample (fifteen pages maximum)
  6. an applicant statement (two pages maximum)
  7. a 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.

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. 

Fellowships and Financial Assistance

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

Open House

Our final virtual Fall 2021 Open House will be on:Wednesday, November 3 from noon-1:30. The GC does not allow visitors at this time. Please RSVP to You will be sent the Zoom invitation the day before. Thank you for your interest!

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). 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) 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.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.