Parts of the Application
- The application form
- Transcripts of the student's academic record
- Graduate Record Examination scores
- TOEFL scores, if you are not a native speaker of English
- Three letters of recommendation from college teachersAn example of the applicant's written work in history (ideally in the student's proposed area of specialization)
- The application form is to be completed on-line; letters of recommendation and the writing sample need only be submitted with the on-line application.
- Hard copies of official transcripts, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores should be sent to:
Department of History
One Brookings Drive
Busch Hall, room 113
Campus Box 1062
St. Louis, MO 63130
Frequently asked questions
What are the historical fields in which I can earn a doctoral degree at Washington University?
You may study in any field covered by an associate professor or full professor in the Department of History. Graduate students often take courses with junior faculty, but only tenured professors direct graduate research. The Department of History specializes in the following fields which draw on the collective expertise of its faculty: African History, American Civil Rights History; Central European Ideas, Culture and Society; East Asian History; Empire and Imperialism; Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Middle Eastern History; and the Early Modern World.
What are the strengths of the Department of History's graduate program?
Supported by a relatively small research focused department, the graduate program admits only a small number of graduate students each year. This low faculty to student ratio allows for a close working relationship between graduate students and their faculty advisors. The graduate program also encourages students to develop innovative and self-tailored programs of doctoral study that cross conventional historical fields and employ interdisciplinary methodologies. Finally, the Department of History and the Graduate School are committed to providing students with the resources and financial support to realize their ambitious research plans.
How can I tell if the program is right for me?
Prospective students should contact the history faculty members who best match their research interests. E-mail is the best way to initiate this dialogue. Please see a list of faculty under the People tab on this website.
Can I earn a terminal master's degree in history at Washington University?
Doctoral students earn a master's degree after passing their qualifying exams. As a rule, however, the graduate program does not offer a terminal master's degree.
How do I apply to the Department of History's doctoral program?
Applicants may obtain a paper application by contacting the Graduate School at 314-935-6880, or use the Graduate School's on-line application. Writing samples in pdf format can be emailed to department.
What is the most important part of the application?
The department's graduate admissions committee assigns the greatest weight to writing samples. Ideally, a writing sample of up to 100 pages, should demonstrate that a student is capable of using primary historical sources to develop a strong argumentative and analytical thesis.
Does the department have minimum GPA and GRE requirements for admission to the doctoral program?
The graduate program does not have minimum GPA and GRE requirements for its applicants. Nor does it compile the average GPA and GRE scores of its current graduate students. However, the graduate admissions committee expects successful applicants to have high test scores and grades. Students with slightly weaker grades and exam results may still be admitted to the program on the basis of exceptionally strong writing sample and letters of recommendation.
How does the Department of History award financial support to graduate students?
The department currently provides financial support to all students making satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. At present, the department funds most students for six years.
When are the applications due?
Doctoral students normally enter the program in the fall semester. Applications are due NO LATER THAN December 31.. While applications submitted after December 31 may be evaluated, such applicants cannot be considered for financial aid.