University of Rochester

Graduate Application Information

Graduate education is a long, intellectually rewarding but often economically frustrating process. All applicants should be familiar with the academic employment outcome before undertaking graduate study. The outcomes for past University graduates may be found here.

Most applicants to the PhD program have the equivalent of an undergraduate major or an MA in history, but the department welcomes qualified students who previously have specialized in other related disciplines and show clear promise of excellent work in history. The department does not set a minimum grade point average for admission. However, our experience shows that anyone with less than an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.5 in history courses rarely qualifies for admission.

Successful applicants are those whose interests appeal to current faculty. Applicants should indicate with whom they would like to work and the projects that they might want to undertake for their dissertation. Students are not bound by their declaration and may change their topics after matriculation. It is highly recommended that applicants contact their prospective advisor during the application process.  Not all faculty accept students each year, please check their faculty page to verify if they are accepting new students.

Those who choose to apply must upload the following materials to the Department of History via the online application, found here:

  • A Statement of Purpose (please state which faculty member with whom you would like to work)
  • BA and/or MA transcripts
  • At least three letters of recommendation, preferably from history faculty
  • GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical)
  • A writing sample from a history course (preferably one involving independent research) or an MA thesis

Recommenders will be prompted to upload their letter of recommendation directly and will not need to submit a physical copy.  The deadline for receipt of all application materials is January 15.  Only if you are offered admission must you submit official copies of your transcripts.  The University of Rochester provides equal opportunity in admissions and financial aid.

All portions of the application must be done online, we no longer accept physical application materials.