University of Pittsburgh

Graduate Program

About the Program

The Department of History is committed to training area specialists with a global perspective. Our students learn how to research, interpret and teach the histories and historiographies of particular places from comparative, cross-cultural, transnational and global perspectives. To foster the awareness of transregional and transcontinental connections between historical processes the department's area specialists in U.S., Latin American, Asian, African, and European history have organized themselves into four thematic groups to offer graduate students seminars on Atlantic History; Power and Inequality; Texts and Contexts; and World History.

While building sound regional expertise through seminars and directed studies, our students receive systematic transnational and transregional training through seminars in these thematic fields. Students might choose to focus on one of them, or study several in conjunction. In either case, our graduates distinguish themselves as area specialists who understand the potentially global connections of all human interaction, and who are trained to think, research, and teach across regional boundaries.

Our highly selective graduate program provides excellent opportunities of professional development. Our program is known for the careful mentoring of students, a spirit of collaboration among faculty and students, seminars and workshops geared towards careers both inside and outside of academia, an emphasis on graduate student self-governance and consultation in almost all departmental activities, and last but not least generous funding through a variety of teaching and research fellowships. We take great pride in our graduates and a placement rate that ranks among the highest of comparable schools.

Click here for a table showing graduate seminars that meet Regional and Thematic distribution requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for frequently asked questions regarding the graduate program and the application processs.

Graduate Handbook

The MA and PhD programs in the Department of History are situated within the more general regulations established by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Arts and Sciences. For a detailed description of the departmental regulations regarding the graduate program, please see the Graduate Program Handbook.

Current Graduate Program Handbook (October, 2015)

Old Graduate Program Handbook (May, 2014)


MA and PhD recipients face a number of alternatives when they look for employment. In addition to academic jobs, historians may choose to work for historical commissions, state and federal institutions, foundations, and archives. Our graduates are teaching in colleges and universities, working at historical museums and research institutes. The graduate program regularly schedules sessions on strategies for seeking information about jobs and how to go about applying for a job.

Placement statistics are available here.

A list of all recent PhDs and their current job placement is available here.


The department only accepts fall admissions. The application deadline for admission in the fall semester is January 15th.

To apply, prospective students must submit an electronic application. For details, please see the application instructions. About one week after the submission of the application, you can check the status of your application via the applyyourself application system. Due to the high volume of applications, please refrain from calling or emailing regarding the status of your application.

Admissions statistics are available here.

Financial Aid

A limited number of teaching assistantships and nonteaching fellowships are available. In addition, history students are eligible for fellowships for East Asia, Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe, and West Europe offered through the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). For more detailed information on funding sources available to history graduate students, visit our pages on departmental and nondepartmental awards.

For more information on tuition and fees please visit


Graduate students are not permitted to hold more than the equivalent of one full appointment within the University at a time. Normally, graduate students will find this to be a full-time demand, but in rare exceptions, additional appointments must be approved by the department chair and the dean. Due to immigration regulations, graduate students on J-1 or F-1 visas may be employed to work no more than 20 hours per week on campus when school is in session during the fall and spring term, and thus those on full-time appointments are not eligible for overload appointments during these terms.

Graduate Students with Children

Consistent with the University of Pittsburgh's efforts to strive to be inclusive and to support academic-personal life balance, the University believes it is important to provide accommodation for graduate students who become new parents, so that they may contribute to their family responsibilities while continuing to make progress towards their degrees.

For further information, please see the "Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Guidelines" and the "Request for Parental Accommodation Form" at

More information

For more information about the graduate program please contact:

Gregor Thum
Graduate Director


Lizzy Stoyle
Graduate Administrator