Graduates of Michigan’s doctoral program have become outstanding scholars and teachers at top universities and colleges around the world. They make innovative contributions to the study of history as researchers, public historians, and independent scholars. Read alum stories here.
A diversity of approaches and perspectives is the key to the intellectual energy of our faculty and students, and one of the reasons Michigan ranks among the top ten history programs in the world.
U-M History faculty and graduate students regularly win prestigious research, teaching, writing, and publication awards; and our graduates are highly successful in achieving their career goals, whether in academic or non-academic fields. These outward marks of achievement reflect the commitment, creativity, and excellence of the congenial community of faculty and students that comprise our graduate program.
Faculty and students practice their commitment to interdisciplinary and comparative study by actively participating in a wide variety of intellectual activities, both within the department and beyond.
The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies provides a setting for faculty, graduate students and visitors to explore a range of emergent approaches to historical study and thought that define the leading edge of the discipline. The institute hosts seminars, colloquia, lectures and workshops aimed at graduate students and faculty.
In addition, many members of our faculty hold joint academic appointments in other departments and colleges; this interconnectedness to other parts of the university contributes to the intellectual, pedagogical, and institutional vibrancy of the department.
Flexible Program Design
In addition to offering the PhD in several geographically defined and transnational fields of historical study, the department offers structured joint degree programs in History and Women’s Studies, and the Interdepartmental Program in Greek and Roman History (IPGRH).
Students may also initiate a custom program through the graduate school’s Student Initiated Degree Program. In recent years, History graduate students have pursued concurrent PhDs in Sociology and Comparative Literature, and pursued a joint PhD/JD through the Program in Race, Law, and History.
Michigan offers graduate certificates in several cognate fields, including Museum Studies, a range of Area Studies fields, Medieval and Early Modern Studies and Science, Technology, and Society, among others.
Department faculty and students also interact substantively with the joint Anthropology and History program, which awards its own degrees.
Excellent Financial Support
Students should have the financial support they need to focus on their studies, instead of worrying about making ends meet. Every student admitted to the program receives a guaranteed package of funding that provides tuition, a monthly stipend, and health and dental insurance for six years.
In addition, they receive four years of summer research funding and up to $10K additional support for research, study, and travel. The department helps support student travel to present work at academic conferences up to twice a year, and students on the job market can apply for financial support to offset the cost of job interviewing and preparation.
Most students are expected to perform six semesters of supervised teaching or research assistantship during their time at Michigan, beginning in their second year. Rackham Graduate School provides additional assistance to students.
Students are also encouraged to apply for funding from outside sources. Such awards provide financial assistance and also act as formal recognition of the students’ accomplishments and promise as researchers and teachers. To reward our students who secure external funding, the program provides health insurance and “tops up” fellowships to a level equal to what would have been received from the department for the period of time covered by the grant, if necessary.
History graduate students have been successful securing grants from several prestigious external organizations, including the Fulbright Foundation, Javits Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Mellon Foundation, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) to name just a few.
Student Leadership Opportunities
History graduate students enjoy a robust and diverse variety of student-initiated activities, both on campus and off. On campus, Rackham’s graduate student-led interdisciplinary workshops are designed to encourage exchange and collaboration among students and faculty who share intellectual interests but not academic affiliations. History graduate students are involved in a wide variety of these workshops as coordinators and active participants.
An Amazing Place to Be ...
In addition to our faculty and students, the extraordinary resources of the University of Michigan are another key to the quality of graduate study here.
Our 30 libraries (including the nationally renowned William L. Clements Library, the Hatcher Graduate Library, the Bentley Historical Library, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library), 7 museums (including the U-M Museum of Art and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology), the area studies centers that comprise the International Institute, and the substantial resources of the Rackham Graduate School all provide a unique setting in which students can develop as scholars, researchers and teachers.
The city of Ann Arbor is a small but cosmopolitan place with a rich variety of restaurants, clubs, museums, galleries, and cultural opportunities. Although it offers the variety of a metropolis many times its size, this city of 150,000 residents is child-friendly, mostly traffic free, and consistently ranks among the country’s very best places to study, work, and live.