Prospective Students

Why Study History at the UW?

The University of Washington History Department currently enrolls more than 70 scholars pursuing MA and PhD degrees in a wide range of fields.  Ours is in the top third of History PhD programs nationwide, and benefits from a large and vibrant university community and a location in beautiful Seattle.   Our graduate students and faculty are award-winning scholars and teachers, active in the historical profession nationally and globally, and engaged in digital scholarship, public and applied history, and interdisciplinary collaborations.  

As you consider the UW, we encourage you to contact prospective faculty advisors to tell them about your interest and learn if they will be taking on new graduate students.  A full list of faculty and their divisions can be found here.  In your application, you also will need to propose fields of study (two at the MA level, and four for the PhD).  A list of fields offered by our faculty can be found here. 

Your application for admission is also your application for funding.  Our students customarily receive financial support from the History Department or other units (including tuition, insurance, nine-month stipend) that takes the form of a combination of fellowships and service appointments (teaching, research, and staff assistantships).  Overall, the level of multi-year funding in our program is high.  In addition, students are eligible and encouraged to apply for outside sources of funding, and in the past have had an excellent track record of winning competitive university and national fellowships.  Prospective students working in foreign area studies also are encouraged to apply for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships from the University of Washington.

Applying to the Program


The History Department admits new students each Autumn.   The admissions process is managed online through the UW Graduate School

The UW History Department will not be admitting graduate students with primary fields in ancient history (Greece, Rome, Late Antiquity) or medieval European history for Autumn 2015. 

Applicants with a BA only, or an MA in a field other than History, must apply for admission into our MA program.  Applicants who will have completed an MA in History are eligible to apply for our PhD program.  If you will have a completed MA in a closely related field, you may note on your application that you would like to be considered for admission into the PhD program.  

Please note that the University of Washington History Department does not have a terminal MA program; it is expected that all admitted graduate students intend to continue on to the PhD.

Further information about application criteria, required materials, and other FAQs about the process can be found here.