Graduate Program FAQ

Additional information about the Graduate Program in History, including degree requirements, application deadlines, and the criteria for financial aid, are available in the University Graduate Catalog and the History Department's Graduate Student Handbook. For all other inquiries, please contact the History Graduate Assistant, Sto Austin.

Graduate Catalog

Graduate Student Handbook


The Ph.D. in history is limited to students working in American/U.S. history and comparative topics with an American dimension. Candidates for the M.A. can (and do) study any subject for which there is a faculty member with the necessary expertise. We encourage prospective students to check the research and teaching interests of the History faculty before applying to the program. Applicants are also free to contact individual faculty members with questions about the feasibility of their desired course of study.

The Graduate School distributes and processes applications to the History Graduate Program. People interested in applying to the program should contact the Graduate School for an application.


Deadline for all Ph.D. applications: January 15
Deadline for M.A. applicants requesting aid: January 15
Deadline for all other M.A. applicants: February 1

There is no rule requiring candidates for the M.A. in museum studies to concentrate in American (or New England) history. However, because museum professionals in the area teach the four required "practical" courses and because the program is designed to take advantage of northern New England's many resources in public history, students tend to work on topics with a regional dimension.

The department does not require applicants to have been history majors, and many students in our program studied something else as undergraduates. At the same time, the department's Graduate Committee does not generally accept applications for either degree from people who have not done some coursework in history. Prospective applicants lacking the necessary academic background can sometimes enhance their chances of admission by taking graduate courses through the University's Division of Continuing Education or through a comparable adult education program at another university.

Division of Continuing Education

History graduate students are allowed to count up to three graduate courses (for a maximum of 12 credits) taken through DCE before they matriculate as full or part-time students. This option only applies to courses taken at UNH and does not cover graduate courses taken at another institution.

Ph.D. candidates who have an M.A. in history from another institution do not need to fulfill UNH's 10-course (30-credit) requirement for the M.A. before advancing to candidacy. However, they are expected to take the five graduate colloquia and seminars required of all pre-certified Ph.D. candidates, to fulfill the foreign language requirement, and to complete four fields. For more on the Ph.D. requirements, please see the Graduate Handbook and Graduate School Catalog.

History Graduate Handbook

Graduate School Catalog

Visit Business Services for up-to-date information on tuition and fees.

Business Services

tuition and fees

The department offers merit-based teaching assistantships and tuition fellowships. In making awards of financial aid, the Graduate Committee gives priority to students in the Ph.D. program; however, the department is sometimes able to offer aid to masters candidates. Students admitted without aid are permitted to apply for aid in subsequent years. All aid offers are contingent on the recipient making satisfactory progress. The department's aid packages are for a maximum of four years, with the possibility of a fifth year in the form of a competitive dissertation fellowship from the University. (Additional information is available in the History Graduate Handbook and the Graduate Catalog.)

History Graduate Handbook

Graduate Catalog

We expect students in the masters program to be able to complete their degrees in two years. The expected length of time for passing the Ph.D. qualifying exams is also two years, followed by another two years for researching and writing the dissertation. Doctoral candidates who receive a University dissertation fellowship can sometimes extend their course of study by an additional year. The Graduate School has time limits within which all degrees must be completed. Students should consult the Graduate Catalog for specific information.

Graduate Catalog

The Graduate Committee occasionally feels an applicant is promising but lacks the preparation necessary to enter the Ph.D. program. In such cases, the committee will offer admission to the M.A. but not the Ph.D. As indicated below, students admitted on such terms are free to apply later for the Ph.D. program, though such applications are evaluated on a competitive basis. Applicants who already have an M.A. in history from another institution are not ordinarily admitted to the M.A. program at UNH.

Students currently enrolled at UNH in the M.A. program in history are permitted to apply to change their degree status to the Ph.D. Although the decision is merit-based and there is no guarantee that such an application will be successful, the Graduate Committee occasionally admits students to the doctoral program on this basis.

Although the exact date varies, we generally notify applicants for admission with aid of both admission and aid decisions in April. Admission letters typically precede notifications of aid by several weeks.

The History Department offers a number of graduate courses that are also for undergraduate history majors. These courses typically carry a 600/800 designation, with the latter number being reserved for the graduate component. Graduate students in such courses are expected to do an additional assignment, usually in the form of a substantial research paper or historiographical essay. Each semester, the History Department also offers a number of colloquia and seminars that are only for graduate students. Such courses carry a 900 designation. The departments graduate courses are listed in the Graduate Catalog. Current and prospective students can also check the department Newsletter for detailed descriptions of courses currently being offered.

Graduate Catalog

Some graduate courses meet during the evening, but most are taught during regular business hours. It is rare for graduate courses to be taught over the summer, and there are no weekend courses.