University of Florida

Department of History

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The Department of History at the University of Florida is a dynamic community of scholars engaged in individual and collaborative historical research in all eras and covering nearly all parts of the world.  With approximately 35 regular faculty members and a dozen historians in other departments and centers, we endeavor to train serious, sophisticated, and creative professional historians.  We are committed to high quality research and teaching that employs a range of methodologies, crosses disciplinary boundaries, and engages the broader public.

Why Choose UF?

Five factors you may wish to consider:

Our Faculty
Our Program
Our Resources
Our Students
Our Placement

Our Faculty:  Our history department faculty are both world class scholars and dedicated teachers.  In recent years our faculty have won prestigious fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others, and have received numerous book awards.   Yet alongside research, pedagogy is central to our mission as a department.  The commitment of our faculty to teaching and mentoring – at both the graduate and undergraduate level – has been honored by many college, university, and national awards for excellence.  Though part of a large public research university, we keep graduate seminars small and work closely with our students.  Indeed graduate education is a fundamental aspect of our work as historians.

Our Program: Our department offers both the PhD and MA degree in a variety of major and minor fields from antiquity to the modern era. We have well-established programs in African History; U.S. History; and Latin American and Caribbean History, which is regularly ranked among the top 10 programs in the country.  In European History, we have particular strength in central and eastern Europe and a thriving program in late antique and medieval history.  Reflective of our interdisciplinary emphasis, many history faculty are also affiliated with other departments and centers, and graduate students are required to do some course work outside of history.  Within the department faculty collaborate formally and informally across chronological, geographic, and methodological boundaries in clusters of interest like the Atlantic World, Gender and Sexuality, Legal History, World History, and Religion. Students interested in transnational and comparative work may also create their own dual major ( http://history.ufl.edu/graduate-studies/current-students/phd-program/) or work with faculty mentors to develop an innovative minor field that complements their dissertation topic and helps prepare them for a competitive job market in which both breadth and depth are critical.

Our Resources:  The University of Florida offers a diverse array of resources for graduate students in all fields of history:

  • Of particular interest to historians are several distinctive library and archival collections.  UF’s Latin America Collection ranks among the finest in the world, and the Caribbean collection is perhaps without equal.  The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program houses one of the most diverse and widely used oral history collections in the world.  And the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica collection boasts the foremost Jewish Studies research collection in the southeastern United States, with diversified holdings relevant to ancient, medieval and modern scholars and particular strength in Holocaust and Sephardic Studies.

Our Students: Our graduate students comprise a diverse, engaged, and friendly community of historians-in-training, supported by an active History Graduate Society.  They hail from across the country and around the globe, from large universities, both public and private, and from small liberal arts colleges. Representing diverse backgrounds and experiences, they are intellectually curious, highly motivated, passionate about the study of history, and reflective about its relevance in the public sphere.  Their experience in the classroom, first as teaching assistants and eventually as instructors of record, enables them to develop strong teaching portfolios while completing their graduate education.  Our students become excellent teachers and scholars in institutions throughout the world making meaningful contributions to the study of history and to society at large.  Our graduate community is also distinguished by its collegiality, both within and beyond the classroom.  Students regularly meet to discuss each other’s work, to support and mentor each other through the various stages of the program, and simply to socialize.  This supportive and nurturing community of students is one of the attractive features of graduate studies at UF.

Our Placement:  In the past 10 years alone we have placed our PhDs in tenure-track positions or multi-year lectureships in a range of research universities and liberal arts colleges including University of Kentucky, University of North Florida, University of Tennessee, University of Oregon, University of Alabama-Huntsville, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Marymount University, Edison State College, Sterling College, University of Montana Western, and Santa Fe College.  Other recent graduates have gotten employment as historians in the public or private sector—for example, as a researcher for a museum, an editor of a professional journal, and digital history director for a state humanities council.

Last but not least, UF is located in Gainesville, Florida, an affordable and pleasant place to live!

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