Ph.D. in United States History
The Application Process
Where do I get application information and program materials?
Please note: On the online application, under area of concentration PHD applicants should select "History" and not the other choices. By selecting "History" the PHD degree choice will become available.
What is required to apply for the Ph.D. program?
- Transcripts. All official undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required.
- GRE Scores. Only the standard GRE scores (not the subject area supplementary exams) are required. There is no "cut-off" score. The GRE scores will be considered within the context of the whole file. In terms of the various parts of the exam, more emphasis will be placed on the analytical, writing, and, especially, the verbal scores, than on the quantitative score. Scores older than five years will not be accepted.
- Letters of Recommendation. At least three letters should be submitted. To the extent possible, applicants should submit academic recommendations. It is strongly suggested that letters of recommendation address the applicant's potential for graduate work as well as his or her analytical and writing abilities.
- Writing Sample. All applicants for the Ph.D. program must submit a writing sample. Ideally, the writing sample should be selected so as to demonstrate the applicant's skill at historical research and analysis. Recommended length: twenty-five to thirty-five pages. Seminar papers and portions of a thesis (e.g., introduction, one chapter, and conclusion) are suitable writing samples. Please send your writing sample directly to Laurie O'Neill, our graduate secretary.
- Personal Statement. The personal statement should include the highlights of your educational background; your area(s) of scholarly interest; your career aspirations; and anything else you deem relevant about yourself. Finally, give your reasons for choosing the UNCG's Ph.D. program.
Where should I submit my application materials?
All materials except the writing sample should be submitted to the Graduate School via the online application. When your file is complete, the History Department's Graduate Committee will evaluate all applications and make recommendations to the Graduate School. To be admitted to the Ph.D. program, you must receive an official letter from the Graduate School.
When is the deadline for all application material?
After you have submitted your application, you can monitor whether your application is complete via your Graduate School application account.
Can I apply for the Ph.D. program without a history M.A.?
The Ph.D. program requires a M.A. in History. All students must complete the history M.A. before the fall semester in which they plan to enroll. Students with a B.A. may apply to UNCG's M.A. program with the intention of continuing on for the Ph.D; however, once the M.A. is completed, they must submit an application for admittance to the Ph.D. program. There is no separate "track" that leads automatically from the History M.A. into the Ph.D. program.
What about funding possibilities?
Qualified students may apply for Teaching Assistantships as well as in-state and out-of-state waivers. Assistantships and waivers are awarded for one year and renewable for a second year. Qualified advanced students will have an opportunity to teach their own courses after completing their tenure as teaching assistants and finishing their teaching seminar. Student working on their dissertation may compete for dissertation fellowships awarded by the Graduate School and the History Department.
Is there a residency requirement for the Ph.D.?
Yes, the Graduate School requires at least one year of residency (i.e., students must be registered full time for two consecutive semesters). Further, it is the expectation of the History Department that students in the Ph.D. program will complete the required course work in their major and minor in the two years between their entry into the program and their preliminary examinations.
How selective is the Ph.D program?
In order to devote a maximum of faculty time with each student, we have decided to keep our program small. We anticipate admitting between four and eight students per year. As a result, competition for places in our program will be keen.
Can I apply for the Ph.D. for admission in the spring semester?
No, applications will be accepted only for fall admission.
When will I hear about admission decisions?
During the last several years, there has been a huge increase in applications for our graduate programs. Since we try to keep our faculty-to-student ratio small, this means that the competition for places in our graduate programs have become intense.
The process of selecting incoming students often takes 4-6 weeks after the application deadline. Once your completed application is complete, it must then be reviewed by our Graduate Committee faculty members and decisions are made to accept, turn down, or place applicants on a wait list.
In general, the History Graduate Committee makes the first round of recommendations to the Graduate School concerning Ph.D. applications in late February. Most students who apply to the Ph.D. program by January 15 will hear from us by March 1. Applicants on the wait list will be informed and decisions will be made as we receive responses from the first round.
How can I arrange for a campus visit?
After you decide when you would like to visit UNCG's campus, you should contact by e-mail the professor(s) whose interest most closely resemble your own and arrange a mutually suitable time for a meeting. He or she can talk to you about how you might pursue your research interest. Once you have arranged this meeting, contact the Director of Graduate Studies (also by e-mail) and set up a second meeting. He or she can advise you about curricular matters and answer remaining questions about the Ph.D. program.
The Graduate School offers informational tours for prospective graduate students. Call 336-334-5596 for more information.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions offers information about campus tours, travel instructions, and parking information for all visitors on its web site. We look forward to your visit.