Admissions FAQ

When is your application deadline? The priority deadline for applications is December 1 for admission the following year, beginning in the fall semester. Any applications submitted after this date will not be prioritized for funding, and once we have admitted a full cohort of MA and PhD students, we will no longer accept new applications.

When will a decision be made on admissions? We begin evaluating applications in December, and the admissions committee meets early in the spring semester to decide on who to admit. The Graduate Coordinator will typically begin contacting admitted applicants, and notifying any waitlisted applicants, by late February. If you have not heard from us by mid-March, please feel free to contact us.

Do you admit students for the spring semester? No, at this time we are only admitting students for a fall start date. Our process for evaluating applications is lengthy and rigorous and involves the entire department so we only undertake it once per year.

Do you allow transfer credits from other graduate programs? Potentially. We allow up to 12 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions pending the approval of the Graduate Director. Students must provide transcripts and syllabi related to these classes for them to potentially be approved.

Do you admit international students? Yes, we will evaluate all applications, regardless of a student’s country of origin. International students have additional university-level admissions requirements, which can be found here.

What funding opportunities are available for history graduate students and how do I apply for them? See our Funding page for more information on what funding is available for graduate students.

What major fields/concentrations does the department offer? Beginning Fall 2023, the graduate program will offer three concentrations in the History of the Americas (which comprises US, Latin America, the Caribbean/Atlantic World), World History to 1500, and World History since 1500. Students are able to minor in fields such as Gender & Sexuality, Race & Ethnicity, Imperialism, and Material Culture. For more information on the degree requirements for each concentration, please visit the History MA catalog and History PhD catalog.

You should also consult our History Department Faculty pages, which describe our faculty’s research and teaching interests to see how they might align with your own potential research interests, concentrations, and minor fields. Don’t hesitate to contact professors with whom you might like to work before you submit your application; some faculty may not be accepting students and many faculty may be reluctant to accept students with whom they have had no previous communication. Please note that only certain faculty members (tenured and tenure-track professors) are permitted to be MA and PhD advisors and committee members:

Am I required to know a foreign language? It depends. Starting in Fall 2022, there will no longer be a universal foreign language requirement for both our MA and PhD. Some fields, however, do require significant language skills, since their main primary and/or secondary source bases will be in foreign languages. All students should consult with their advisors after admission to determine if they need to obtain or demonstrate foreign language proficiency to complete their degrees. Additionally, MA students who wish to go on for a PhD should consult with their advisor and the main faculty in their concentration to determine if they should be focusing their time and effort on language training in addition to their regular History coursework. Although USF has limited opportunities for language training, there are numerous external grants and training programs across the world that can help you gain skills in a wide variety of languages.

If you are applying for our PhD program and wish to work in a field that requires analysis of foreign language sources, we do expect you to have already attained a significant degree of fluency in at least one (and ideally all) of the necessary languages, as four years is a very short time to complete all of the requirements for the PhD, and languages take time to learn well.

Do you accept part-time students in the graduate program? Yes, we do accept part-time students in both the MA and PhD programs, although they will not be eligible for department funding.

Do you require the GRE for admission? No, the USF History Graduate Program does not require the GRE. Please see our page on Application Requirements for more details on what is included in our application.