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. 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 that you received a degree from, 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 Jennifer Desloover at

Please send transcripts to:
Jennifer Desloover
506 E. Circle Dr. Rm. 256
Old Horticulture Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

Starting Spring 2019, Michigan State University requires admitted Chinese students who earned bachelor’s degrees in mainland China to submit a degree conferral verification report from the CDGDC and a transcript verification report from CHESICC. Both of these reports must be made available electronically to MSU’s Office of Admissions. Failure to comply with this policy could compromise the student’s continuing enrollment at MSU. 

(4) 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 Please follow closely the other requirements on the Graduate School’s page for international students.

(5) 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.

  • Please note: GRE scores are no longer required as part of the History Department application.
  • At least three letters of recommendation from professors with whom you have studied. Letters of recommendation need to be submitted through the application portal.
  • One writing sample that indicates your abilities 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 1  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, Jennifer Desloover,, 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, Karrin Hanshew, is also available to answer questions. Email