How to Apply
Applicants to the graduate program should use the online application, which is available on the Graduate School site.
Feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Sarah Phillips, at email@example.com, with additional questions.
Prospective students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents can apply for fee waivers for the PhD application or MA application at the Graduate School’s website. Please do not submit the application until you have received a decision regarding your fee waiver application.
We are particularly eager to recruit students from underrepresented groups (URGs). Students from these backgrounds, and from low-income backgrounds, are encouraged to apply for application fee waivers from the Graduate School, and there are additional financial aid packages available.
Owing to the impact of COVID-19, we will not be requiring the GRE for PhD or MA admissions for Fall 2022.
When considering applications to our MA and PhD program in History, our department takes a holistic, comprehensive approach, considering not only applicants’ cumulative GPAs but also personal statements, writing samples, and letters of recommendation among other criteria. We understand that applicants’ grades for Spring 2020 may have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, or that their transcripts may contain pass/fail credits rather than letter grades. Applicants will not be held at a disadvantage for COVID-related difficulties they experienced in Spring 2020.
The department accepts applications for September admission only. The deadline for all Fall 2022 applications is December 15, 2021.
- Online Application Form
- All relevant transcripts – unofficial copies (official transcripts are only needed for students who have accepted an admission offer)
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal statement/statement of purpose
- Writing sample (not more than 40 pages)
- Statement on foreign language competence (a list of courses or other training you have completed in languages and an assessment of your reading ability in each language–terms such as “beginning”,”intermediate,” “advanced,” “fluent” are acceptable); this statement should be added to the Graduate School’s online application under Department-Requested Document.
- Do not send any admissions materials to the History Department. Send supplementary application materials to:
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112
Boston, MA 02215
- A $95 application fee must be paid in order for your application to be considered complete. This fee is non-refundable. Information on fee waivers for MA and PhD applicants is available on the Graduate School website.
All applicants accepted to the PhD program receive full fellowship funding for 5 years, including summer support. MA students are not eligible for financial aid. After one year of full-time coursework, PhD students serve as Teaching Fellows. To conduct research abroad, students may apply to the Graduate School for short-term and long-term research grants. The department also offers small travel grants to conduct research and attend conferences. PhD students in their fifth year with an approved Dissertation Prospectus qualify for a non-service fellowship to support full-time work on their dissertation.
The Admissions Process
The departmental Graduate Studies Committee consists of three faculty members. This committee reads and makes recommendations to the Graduate School on all applications. The process begins in January and continues until all applications received by deadline have been considered. Applications are not considered until they are complete, that is, have the requisite letters of recommendation, and relevant transcripts. After waiting for any missing credentials to arrive, the department will send a notice that an application is incomplete; it is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure all materials are submitted. Application decisions are made by the end of February. Accepted students have until April 15 to make a decision.
Please also scroll down this page for our answers to some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about graduate admissions.
Boston University PhD profile pages offer statistical portraits across key metrics, which we hope will provide prospective Department of History PhD students a clear sense of our program. We aim to give prospective students a sense of the probability that they will be admitted, how long it is likely to take them to complete the program if they matriculate, what jobs might await them upon receipt of their PhD and so forth.
The profile showcases a brief description of the program, and five-year (or more) trend data on: applications and offers, selectivity, entering cohort size, sex and ethnicity demographics, attrition rate, cumulative completion rate, median time to degree, and five-and ten-year out graduate employment outcomes.