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Graduate Studies Programs

About the Ph.D. Program 

Our distinguished faculty provides an exceptional diversity of historical fields for MA and PhD students. More than 200 graduate students from around the world share your intellectual interests and employ innovative combinations of approaches to bring new understandings of our world to light. Students and faculty interests transcend the department’s programs and extend into interdisciplinary activities, all of which profit from Ohio State’s internationally renowned research facilities and faculty.

Ohio State’s graduate programs in history admit applicants spanning interests from the arts and humanities to social sciences. The program attracts students from both public and private colleges and universities from around the country and overseas, while also drawing professional applicants with life and work experiences. The flexible nature of the program allows students to tailor their course of study to suit their unique background and future career goals. 

The design of our Ph.D. program aims to prepare the very best candidates for successful careers in research and teaching at the university level.  Being a top-tier department in an eminent public university, we seek to advance the highest standard of our discipline.  Admission is highly selective.  All doctoral students are admitted into one of the Department’s Principal Fields of Study and must fulfill the specific requirements of that field.

Once admitted, graduate students in consultation with their advisers may use a Thematic Constellation to organize a Major or Minor Field of Study.  These cross-cutting constellations are framed around the thematic questions, such as the workings of the state, the construction of identity, and the environmental circumstances of human life. The thematic framing of these constellations promises to enhance our connections with scholars and students working throughout the university. Graduate Students are encouraged to incorporate these constellations into their candidacy exams, using them as secondary or minor fields. 


Doctoral students admitted are routinely supported through the first five or six years of study with Graduate Associateships.  Entering doctoral students and those needing a year of dissertation research/writing also compete for an array of prestigious fellowships: 

  • University Fellowships and Presidential Dissertation Fellowships. 
  • Foreign Language Area Studies Scholarships available from area studies centers. 
  • Department awards given annually to support summer research, travel to collections and related activities. 
  • Department and College funding for travel to present papers at conferences and workshops. 
  • Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays and similar nationally competitive fellowships. In addition, the Office of Sponsored Research provides extensive support in graduate student efforts to obtain outside funding from both public and private sources.

About the M.A. Programs

The Department welcomes applications for an MA in History that stands alone from its PhD program. The program is ideally suited for students interested in historical scholarship and research as well as applied skills. Some may pursue the MA as a terminal degree, for careers in high school teaching, government service, libraries and archives, and private employment. Others later apply to our PhD program or to doctoral study at another institution. 

Once admitted to our Ph.D. program, students can obtain our MA in History en route to their PhD, usually in the second-year curriculum. Normally this requirement holds for a student entering the PhD program without an MA or an MA in a field other than History. The integrated MA streamlines coursework to enable efficient progress toward the PhD.

The Department offers a combined (accelerated) BA/MA program for our undergraduate majors with outstanding academic records to encourage them to start graduate study before completing their undergraduate degree. Enrolling in the combined BA/MA program can shorten the total time to get both bachelor's and master's degrees. Undergraduate majors in History apply for admission to the program after they have met certain requirements in their undergraduate studies at OSU.


Of those who have graduated from our program with their PhD within the last five years, 97.47% have found acceptable job placement, identified as a job where their doctoral degree is used and may be necessary. 74.68% have found ideal job placement, identified as a permanent job where their doctoral degree is required, such as a tenure-track faculty position or non-academic careers such as policy work, defense analysis, research professionals, scholarly editing, museum research/administration, etc.

In the following video, two Ph.D. history alumni, Prof. Ayşe Baltacıoğlu-Brammer (Ph.D. ’16), New York University and Prof. Michael Beshay (Ph.D. ’20), Pennsylvania State University, who landed tenure-track jobs speak on the successful navigation of the academic job market and the transition to a faculty member, with practical survival skills and tips!

Title IX Statement

Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories (e.g., race). If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed or assaulted, you may find the appropriate resources at http://titleix.osu.edu or by contacting the Ohio State Title IX Coordinator at titleix@osu.edu

Columbus, Ohio 

The campus sits within the nation’s 14th largest city (population of 900,000, geographic size of 223 square miles) and Ohio’s capital, which has been recognized as an emerging hub for high-tech companies, and a center for the arts, education and health care. 

Venture off campus into Columbus and your next adventure begins. You’ll step into the largest and fastest-growing city in Ohio, where historic neighborhoods intersect with vibrant fashion, music and entertainment scenes. It’s a center for technology, health care, global enterprises and business incubators, with a diversity of lifestyles and opportunities.