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Graduate Program


Most applicants to the MA and PhD programs have the equivalent of an undergraduate major and/or an MA in history, but the department welcomes qualified students who previously have specialized in other related disciplines and show clear promise of excellent work in history.

The department does not set a minimum grade point average for admission. However, our experience shows that anyone with less than an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.5 in history courses rarely qualifies for admission.

Successful applicants are those whose interests appeal to current faculty. Applicants should indicate with whom they would like to work and the projects that they might want to undertake to fulfill their graduate program requirements. Students are not bound by their declaration and may change their topics after matriculation.

It is highly recommended that applicants contact their prospective advisor during the application process. Not all faculty accept students each year, please check their faculty page to verify if they are accepting new students.

Application Materials

Applicants must upload the following materials to our online application:

  • A statement of purpose (please state which faculty member with whom you would like to work)
  • BA and/or MA transcripts
  • At least three letters of recommendation, preferably from history faculty
  • GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical)
  • A writing sample from a history course (preferably one involving independent research) or an MA thesis

The deadline for  all application materials is January 15.

Recommenders will be prompted to upload their letter of recommendation directly and will not need to submit a physical copy. Students will only be required to submit official transcripts if they are offered admission. The University of Rochester provides equal opportunity in admissions and financial aid.

All portions of the application must be done online, we no longer accept physical application materials.