Apply

If you are seeking admission for to the PhD program in the Department of History, you should:

(1) Submit an application, following instructions on the Graduate School’s page. The department’s doctoral code is 7611, master’s degree code is 7609 we are listed under the College of Social Science. For online applications, please submit payment online with a credit card.

(2) Specify the primary field of study in history for which you are applying.

(3) Request that the registrar of each college or university you have attended send one copy of your official transcript directly to the Department of History. Transcripts for coursework completed at Michigan State University need not be requested. Transcripts uploaded through the portal by the applicant ARE NOT OFFICIAL, transcripts that are uploaded to the portal will be deleted and your application will not be reviewed until the official transcripts are received. International applicants must submit transcripts in both the native language and English directly from the institutions they attended. International applicants must also submit an official copy of their diploma (in both English and the native language).

Electronic transcripts are permitted if they are sent from directly from the university using valid e-transcript service (parchment, credential solutions, etc.). Please send e-transcripts directly to Elyse Hansen at hanse119@msu.edu.

Please send transcripts to:
Elyse Hansen
506 E. Circle Dr. Rm. 256
Old Horticulture Bldg
East Lansing, MI 48824

Attention Chinese Graduate Applicants: MSU requires that all admitted Chinese graduate students arrange for verification of their final bachelor’s degree transcripts (大学成绩单) and bachelor degree (本科学位证书) from China through the CDGDC. Students will receive detailed information on obtaining this verification upon admission to MSU. Failure to comply with this policy could compromise the student’s continuing enrollment at MSU. 

(4) Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores should be sent directly to MSU when you provided the correct codes: 1465 (Michigan St University); Dept Code: 2701 (American History); 2702 (European History); 2703 (History of Science); 2799 (History-Other).

(5) International students: If your first language is not English, you must complete the TOEFL or another designated exam and have scores submitted to MSU (TOEFL MSU code: 1465). For more, see the Graduate School’s information for international students pages. Information about the test is also available at  http://www.toefl.org. Please follow closely the other requirements on the Graduate School’s page for international students.

If you are going to apply for the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program you MUST notify the graduate secretary, Elyse Hansen hanse119@msu.edu, so you application can be reviewed without payment. For more information about the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program go to http://mcfscholars.isp.msu.edu/apply/grad.htm.

(6) Submit the following materials online via the application portal. NOTE: Once you either save or complete your application you will receive an email asking you to sign in to our application portal. There you will get directions on how to upload recommendation letters and the additional application materials. Uploading them online is the preferred method, but if you have problems uploading the documents you may send them to the History Department ATTN: Admissions.

  • At least three letters of recommendation from professors with whom you have studied. The preferred way to submit letters of recommendation is through the application portal. If you cannot do so, please use our recommendation forms and have them mailed to History. The forms can be downloaded.
  • One or more writing samples that indicate your ability in research and writing.
  • A personal statement (500-1000 words). The statement should tell us about your background—challenges you have overcome and accomplishments. It should also help us understand why you wish to pursue a PhD in history and how you see your own role in the profession.
  • An academic statement (500-1000 words). The statement should make clear the primary field of study to which you are applying, and the faculty member or members you think you might study with and why.

All materials should be received by December 15  for consideration for admittance the following fall term. The graduate committee reviews materials in January.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with questions. Email the graduate secretary, Elyse Hansen, hanse119@msu.edu, or call (517) 355-7500, 8:00-5:00, Monday through Friday. You are invited to contact directly faculty with whom you wish to study. The graduate director in history, Michael Stamm, is also available to answer questions. Email stamm@msu.edu.