History, PHD

At a Glance: program details

Cultivate a strong background in historical research methodology and scholarly analysis. Your skills in text analysis, research and writing acquired from systematic examination of many issues relevant to today's society prepare you to enter the competitive workforce.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD History

The PhD program in history offers outstanding opportunities for graduate study in North American, European, public and global-comparative history.

The School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies' world-class faculty members deliver courses and individualized mentoring in a wide range of historical topics, such as urban history, environment and sustainability studies, politics and policy, immigration, gender, race and ethnicity, and comparative history. In addition, doctoral history students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the numerous collaborative opportunities that exist throughout the university in ASU's many innovative schools and centers.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (16 credit hours)
HST 502 Public History Methodology (3)
HST 640 Historical Methods (3)
HST 641 North American History (3)
HST 643 Global History (3)
HST 644 Area Studies in History (3)
HST 682 Advanced Research Skill (1)

Electives and Research (44 credit hours)

Other Requirement (12 credit hours)
HST 591 Seminar (6)
HST 792 Research (6)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
HST 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
In general, all credit hours must be at the 500 level or above. Graduate credit may be awarded for 400-level courses; it must be approved in advance and documented in the student's file.

The doctoral program requires a minimum of 84 credit hours and may be completed in four to five years. Students with a master's degree may apply 30 credit hours toward the 84 required credit hours with approval of the academic unit and the Graduate College. If the student does not already have a master's degree in a related field, then the remaining 30 credit hours are made up of electives and research to reach the 84 credit hours required for the doctoral program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program. The most competitive applicants have a GPA of 3.30 or higher.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. writing sample
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency. The history program requires a TOEFL iBT score of at least 90. A student whose native language is not English also must submit a copy of an article or research paper in the student's native or principal research language in addition to the English writing sample required of all students.

Students are required to submit a minimum of three email addresses of faculty or others qualified to speak to the student's suitability for graduate study in history. Letters of reference should be submitted by the recommenders in addition to the electronic reference form they are asked to complete.

The statement of purpose is to be addressed to the history admission committee and should explain the applicant's scholarly background and training, career goals, the primary field the applicant wishes to pursue, the proposed research specialization, and why the applicant wants to pursue graduate study at ASU; it should be about 500 words in length.

The writing sample, either published or unpublished, may be an article, a research paper, or any other extended sample of expository skill, and it must be no longer than 35 pages in length. Longer writing samples should not be submitted without first consulting the graduate director. Documents and files should not be password protected. Acceptable file types are .rtf, .pdf and .doc.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
January 15th

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and complete applications for funding opportunities that can support their research
  • Demonstrate mastery of three domains of historical knowledge as well as display expertise in their proposed topic of study
  • Accomplish meaningful contributions to the profession through accepted publications and presentations

Career Opportunities

Graduates possess the foundational skills in research, writing, and communication and fundamental training needed for careers in research, archival work, higher education, teaching, public history, government service, and a host of other areas in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

They serve as first-rate historians, highly qualified instructors at two-year schools and universities, researchers and consultants for business and government, archivists, foreign service officers, management professionals, community organizers and public servants. Other career examples include:

  • archivist
  • diplomat
  • editorial and publishing professional
  • K-12 school teacher
  • museum director and staff
  • nonprofit director
  • university professor

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.