The Department of History is among the largest departments at the University of Washington, with 42 faculty members (six holding joint appointments with the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies) and a further 15 with adjunct status. The Department prides itself on the caliber of its teaching, and the number of history majors has risen sharply in recent years, to nearly 700. Approximately 100 students are actively enrolled in the Department of History's Graduate Program at the present time.
Graduate students pursue M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in fields ranging from ancient to modern times and touching on nearly all parts of the world including U.S., Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Russia. There are fifteen major divisions of study and numerous areas of specialization within these divisions. Graduate students can take courses in a host of affiliated programs and can develop secondary fields of study at the PhD level with faculty in a variety of disciplines outside of history as well. The Department is embracing a more interdisciplinary and comparative approach to historical studies, and graduate students can now pursue supporting fields in comparative gender, comparative colonialisms, comparative ethnicity and nationalism, and historiography. The Department encourages its students to work with faculty in a variety of fields and various methodologies in order to gain broad knowledge and a comparative perspective before embarking upon specialized research. The History Department has strong ties to many other units including the Jackson School of International Studies, American Indian Studies, American Ethnic Studies, Women Studies, Philosophy, Astronomy, Classics, English, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Program on the Environment, Comparative History of Ideas, Program on Africa, and Asian Languages and Literature.
The University of Washington and the Department of History have a variety of resources to support faculty and graduate student research in every major area of study. The University's library system ranks among the top ten largest in North America, with over five million volumes as well as extensive microfilm holdings and electronic resources. In addition to the large collections in the Suzzallo and Allen Libraries, researchers can also access materials held in specialized collections devoted to East Asia, Near East, Slavic and East Europe and Southeast Asia, as well as the Manuscripts Division and Special Collections with holdings in Pacific Northwest and University history.
The History Department sponsors the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest and partners with the Political Science Department as co-sponsors of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. Both Centers support graduate students through research assistantships and other funding, sponsor professional conferences and undertake public programs.
The Department of History requires students to have completed an M.A. in History to be eligible to apply for our Ph.D. program. Students holding a B.A. in History must apply for our M.A. program. Upon successful completion of the M.A. degree students are eligible to apply for promotion to the Ph.D. program. The History Department admits new students for Autumn Quarter only. We do not defer offers of admission to a later quarter or a subsequent year. Information and the materials needed to apply for admission to our graduate programs, may be found online.
If you require information about our program not found on this site, please contact the History Graduate Office.