The Graduate Program

Graduate Seminar

A History of Distinction

The Graduate Program in History at the University of Pennsylvania has a long tradition of distinction. Beginning as one of the first programs in the United States to offer doctoral study in history, (the first Ph.D. in History was conferred in 1891); the Department continues to pioneer new areas of scholarship. In the last twenty years, faculty members of the departments in American, European, and World History have assumed a leading role in their fields. Today, few departments in the country match Penn's Department of History in coverage and depth across the entire range of history from medieval times to the present.

Our distinguished faculty includes winners of the profession's most distinguished honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize; Guggenheim, MacArthur, Social Science Research Council, and Spencer Foundation Fellowships; and Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and American Council for Learned Societies grants; among many others. In addition, current faculty members have served as presidents of the Organization of American Historians, the Association for Asian Studies, the American Academy of Jewish Research, the Sixteenth-Century Studies Association, and the Urban History Association.

A Small, Selective Graduate Program

Penn admits a small number of graduate students every year, with generous fellowship support to support them through their studies and dissertation research. A hallmark of our program is our close mentorship of graduate students. Each graduate student meets regularly with his or her advisor and a committee of two or three other faculty members to discuss research, course work, and career goals.

We encourage graduate students to think deeply and broadly about history, methodology, and theory. In addition to the comprehensive training in history, we encourage our graduate students to take courses related to their intellectual interests in other departments, as far ranging as sociology, comparative literature, philosophy, folklore, political science, social welfare, education, and law. In addition, our graduate group draws from the talents of non-departmental historians and other scholars with strong historical interests across the entire university.

An Excellent Placement Record

Our program is small, but our placement record is excellent. The vast majority of our Ph.D. students have gone onto tenure-track position at major research universities and liberal arts colleges, throughout the United States and the world including:

Arizona State University

Ohio State University

University of Houston

Barnard College

Oxford University

Univ. of Illinois, Chicago

Bryn Mawr College

Princeton University

University of Maine

Carnegie-Mellon University

State Univ. of NY, Stony Brook

University of Maryland

Case-Western Reserve Univ.

Rice University

Univ. of Mass-Amherst

City University of New York

Rowan University

University of Miami

Columbia University

Rutgers University

University of Michigan

Cornell University

San Francisco State Univ.

University of Minnesota

Dartmouth College

Sarah Lawrence College

University of Penn

Franklin and Marshall College

Temple University

University of Pittsburgh

George Mason University

Tulane University

University of Tennessee

George Washington Univ.

Union College

Univ. of Texas, Austin

Georgetown University

University College, Galway

University of Toronto

Georgia Tech

University of Arizona

University of Utah

Haverford College

Univ. of California, Davis

University of Washington

Indiana University

Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles

U. of Wisconsin, Madison

Kenyon College

Univ. of Calif., Santa Cruz

U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Manhattan College

University of Chile

Vassar College

Mount Holyoke College

University of Delaware

Wheaton College

New York University

University of Denver

Yale University

Northwestern University

University of Georgia

York University (Canada)

Some of our graduates have gone onto distinguished careers at research institutions, public history programs, and museums, including the South Street Seaport Museum, the Smithsonian, and the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Penn History graduates have made important contributions to our historical understanding of the history of gender, labor, class, and ethnicity; the history of economic and demographic transitions; intellectual life and cultural studies; the social bases of political action; community formation and structure; cultural conflict and accommodation; urbanization; industrialization; and immigration.

Further Information

For further information about Penn's Graduate Program in History, you are invited to explore the program links or contact the current graduate chairperson.