Applying to the Program
Graduate instruction in the Department of History is designed to train students both for productive scholarship and effective college or university teaching. Students take courses or seminars for two years, sit for general examination and, upon successful completion, write a dissertation of such scope that they can anticipate its completion within three additional years of graduate study. Students are required to pass two language exams by the end of their second year. The M.A. degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy. For more details about the program, please see the Graduate School Catalog.
Admission to the Department of History graduate program is highly competitive. While applicants come from various academic backgrounds and areas of interest, the most successful candidates are those whose combined educational backgrounds, experiences, and research goals best position them for success within the department. The department has a 5-year post-graduate placement rate of nearly 100% for those students who have chosen to continue as historians in professional and academic positions.
Prospective students should consider the research interests of current graduate students and faculty to determine whether the Princeton Department of History graduate program is well aligned with their graduate goals.
As part of the Princeton University Graduate School's application, Department of History applicants are required to submit a writing sample which should demonstrate the ability to do research using primary sources in the language of your field. This could be a term paper, essay, journal article, or short master's thesis, normally not more than 25-35 pages.
If you are interested in the history of science, medicine, or technology please note that the History of Science Program within the History Department has a separate admissions process. You can read more about the HOS program here: http://www.princeton.edu/hos/.
For more information about the program, please contact Kristy Novak, the Graduate Program Administrator.