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Graduate Students

Many Roads to Michigan

Driven to Tell his Family’s Story

Challenging Gaps in U.S. History

Activist-Scholar, Scholar-Activist

The Questions are Bigger than Liberia

Research, Public Service, and Teaching

Bringing History to the People

University of Michigan History Graduate Program

The History Department is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the recruitment and retention of graduate students. Our doctoral students come from many different personal and intellectual backgrounds. Some have taken time to pursue careers between the BA and starting the PhD while others enter the program straight from an undergraduate or MA program. We appreciate that our students come from different regions of the country and all over the world. Our top students enter the program with degrees from small state schools as well as Ivy League institutions. 

Our program is dedicated to fostering rigorous and collaborative academic and professional environments in which diverse student perspectives are encouraged. We strive to maintain an academic culture in which our students, faculty, and staff participate actively in all aspects of department life. Graduate students play an important role by teaching, serving on departmental committees, and organizing conferences and workshops. Their input on new faculty hires and decisions that chart the future of the department is also highly valued. 

A diversity of approaches and perspectives is the key to the intellectual energy of our department and one of the reasons Michigan ranks among the world's top ten history programs. We especially encourage students of underrepresented backgrounds to apply to our PhD program.

Please note: We do not offer a stand-alone Masters; our program is designed for students who wish to pursue a PhD. 

Intellectual Communities

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.

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.

Provide students with team-based experience in addition to the usual graduate training in individual research, writing, and teaching. These labs will address challenges in the real world and include internships and collaboration with institutional partners like museums, think-tanks, nonprofits, and media companies. 

Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops
RIWs are organized by graduate students to discuss new literature across fields, host speakers, and put together conferences on topics of interest across departments. They give students and faculty with common interests in different units a chance to share their work. 

Joint Programs & Certificates

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 and Gender Studies, and the Interdepartmental Program in Ancient History (IPAH).

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.

Other Academic Resources

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.

Affiliated Programs