Prospective Applicant Frequently Asked Questions

Please Note:
The Application deadline for the graduate program is December 1 of each year.

 

  1. I want to apply! What is my first step?
    Your first step should be to go through our faculty directory and find one or two faculty whose research interests best align with yours, and reach out to them to introduce yourself and your research. This is a good way to determine if our program is the right fit for you, and what a potential advisor would want to see in a competitive application. You should also read through our Prospective Graduate Application Information page. 
     
  2. What are my chances of being admitted?
    Admission to our graduate program is based on merit and is extremely competitive. For the last three years, our department has received roughly 120 applications each year, and we offer admission to no more than 15-20 applicants. Admittees’ average undergraduate GPA is 3.7. At this time, we only offer admission to students whom we plan to nominate for a University Fellowship or Graduate Enrichment Fellowship (except for those funded by the military), which have undergraduate GPA minimums of 3.6 and 3.2 respectively.
     
  3. On what criteria are admission decisions based?
    Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their undergraduate and, when relevant, graduate GPAs, preparation in necessary languages, statements of purpose, letters of recommendation, and especially the quality of the sample of their scholarly work they submit in support of their applications. We stress this last in order to underscore how important it is to submit your best work, preferably a senior thesis or chapters from a Master’s thesis, although we realize these may not be completed by our application deadline. But because a research paper is our best indication of your potential to do graduate work in history, and because we weigh this very heavily in making decisions for admission and funding, you should send us whatever you think will best indicate to us your analytical, research, and writing abilities.
     
  4. Is there a Master's Degree only program?
    No, we do not offer a terminal MA program. Students who enter our doctoral program with only a BA will complete MA requirements and obtain a MA degree on their way to the PhD. At this time we do not offer admission to applicants who are only seeking a MA degree.
     
  5. Where can I find stipend information?
    The Graduate School’s webpages for Graduate Associates and Graduate Fellows include stipend information.
     
  6. What is included in an admitted student’s funding package?
    The funding package includes the monthly stipend, full graduate fee authorization (tuition fee, non-resident fee if applicable, and general fee), and an 85% healthcare subsidy. You would be responsible for paying student fees (COTA Bus Service Fee, Recreational Fee, Student Union Facility Fee) and the remaining healthcare fee.
     
  7. What is the length of the funding package?
    This is dependent on whether or not you enter the program with an MA, and whether or not you have been awarded a multi-year fellowship. Below are several scenarios that determine your funding length.
     
    1. Entering the program with an MA and with two or more years of fellowship: Six total years of funding (for example, 2 fellowship years and 4 GTA years);
     
    2. Entering the program with an MA and one fellowship year, or as a GTA: Four total years of funding (for example, 1 fellowship year and 3 GTA years; or all 4 years as a GTA);
     
    3. Entering the program without an MA and with two or more years of fellowship: Six total years of funding (for example, 2 fellowship years and 4 GTA years);
     
    4. Entering the program without an MA and with one fellowship year, or as a GTA: Five total years of funding (for example, 1 fellowship year and 4 GTA years; or all 5 years as a GTA).
     
  8. What is life like as a History graduate student?
    We recommend that you look through our graduate student directory, filtering by those in your field of interest, and reach out to one or two students to glean their experience as a graduate student within a particular field.
     
  9. How long does it take to complete the PhD?
    Our average time-to-degree is 5.7 years.
     
  10. What are my chances of getting a job after I receive my degree?
    Of those who have graduated from our program with their PhD within the last five years, 97.47% have found acceptable job placement. 74.68% have found ideal job placement, identified as a job where their doctoral degree is necessary and used, such as a tenure-track faculty position, non-academic careers such as policy work, defense analysis, research professionals, scholarly editing, museum research/administration, etc. 
     

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Graduate Studies Page | Prospective Graduate Students | Directions to Dulles Hall

 

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