History, PhD

Explore many thematic concentrations relevant to today's society, such as urban history, environment and sustainability studies, politics and policy, immigration, gender, race and ethnicity, and comparative history in this PhD program. Be prepared to enter the competitive workforce with established skills in text analysis, research and writing.


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. Moreover, 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.

Students pursuing the doctorate cultivate a strong background in the historical research methodology and scholarly analysis needed to develop expertise in a chosen historical subject area and receive preparation for competitive careers. By emphasizing foundational skills in research, writing and communication, the doctoral program in history prepares students for diverse career opportunities, including leading academic institutions, private industry and the public sector.

At a Glance

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Degree Requirements

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 for 400-level courses 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 will have a GPA of 3.30 or higher.

All applicants must submit:

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

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The history program requires a TOEFL score of at least 600 (PBT) or 90 (iBT). 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 from 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.

GRE scores should be no more than five years old. Official scores should be sent by the ETS to ASU using the university code 4007; the department code may be left blank or entered as 0000.

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 (about 500 words in length).

The writing sample may be an article (published or unpublished), a research paper, or any other extended sample of expository skill 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.