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Ph.D. Program

The doctoral degree in history is the terminal degree in the discipline.  It begins with several years of course work, primarily reading colloquia and writing seminars where students sharpen the skills in critical reading/thinking, discussion, primary source analysis, and analytical writing that they began during their M.A. work.  Students select three fields in which to concentrate their studies, including a transnational field focused on a particular thematic area and encompassing two distinct time periods or parts of the world.  After completing their comprehensive exams in those three fields, students then devote their attentions to the dissertation, a significant piece of original scholarship with the potential for publication.  The Ph.D. is awarded only after completion of the written dissertation and its successful oral defense. 

Admission/Application Requirements

All applicants to the doctoral program in history are expected to hold an M.A. in history (preferably with a thesis) or a related discipline.

All applicants must submit the following before they can be considered for admission: a statement of professional intent indicating their intended area of study within the Department and anticipated career path; a substantial writing sample demonstrating their ability to conduct original historical research, such as a thesis chapter; complete academic transcripts from all colleges/universities attended; GRE scores (general test only); and three professional references.

Application Process

  1. Before beginning your application, make a request for information through the Graduate Studies Information Form.  Once you've completed this form, we'll send you descriptions of and details about the history department's programs.
  2. Next, complete an informational form for the History Department: The History Department Graduate Program Information Request.  This provides the Department with your basic contact information, your prospective field of study, and details about your application materials.  It does not begin the actual application process.  For that, see step 3 below.
  3. All formal applications for graduate study at Kent State University are initiated electronically.  Once you have completed steps 1 and 2 above, use this link to apply to Graduate Studies if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident:; or this link if you are an international student:  Select the degree program and concentration, if applicable, then follow the instructions from there.

All materials sent in paper form will be scanned for departmental review.  To ensure expeditious consideration of their files, applicants are advised to submit materials well in advance of the application deadlines or to send materials electronically whenever possible.  

Domestic student applications are processed through the Office of Graduate Studies and all required materials should be sent directly to this address:

Office of Graduate Studies
116 Cartwright Hall
Kent State University
PO Box 5190
Kent OH 44242-0001

International student applications are processed through the Office of International Affairs and all required materials should be sent directly to this address:

Office of International Affairs (OIA)
Van Campen Hall
Kent State University
PO Box 5190
Kent OH 44242-0001

Graduate Assistantship and Application Deadlines

Students interested in applying for a graduate assistantship in the Department of History, which provides tuition remission and a monthly stipend, should complete the application form found here ( ) and submit it with their applications.  Applicants wishing to be considered for a graduate appointment should have all of their materials in by 1 February.  Students not seeking appointments, merely admission, should have their applications complete no later than 6 weeks prior to the start of the term in which they would like to commence study.

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