Program Description

We have a large and vibrant department with over forty faculty members who challenge the traditional boundaries of the historical discipline. In our teaching and writing, we recognize that new insights can be gained from trans-regional and interdisciplinary approaches to the past. Through our close partnership with H-Net and MATRIX—MSU’s digital humanities center—and in History’s newly launched Lab for Education in and Advancement of Digital Research (LEADR), we explore new ways to produce and disseminate scholarship.

Graduate students enter the program with a focus on one of the following primary fields of study:

Students’ primary field are complemented by two secondary fields of their choosing. Secondary fields can be drawn from the list of primary fields or from a number of transnational, trans-regional, and/or interdisciplinary thematic areas. When defining their secondary fields, students are encouraged to work with faculty outside of their primary field and may even choose to work with faculty in a different discipline. Secondary fields include but are not limited to:

  • Atlantic World
  • Communist and Socialist Studies
  • Comparative Black
  • Comparative Islam
  • Early Modern World
  • Intellectual History
  • International Labor and Working Class
  • Mediterranean World
  • Migration
  • History of Religion
  • Sports
  • Urban History

Graduate students entering our program join faculty members as full participants of an active intellectual community. Through regular course work and workshops they are given opportunities to present their own research and to draft publishable papers. Like faculty, graduate students have their own research agendas, teach undergraduates, and participate in outreach programs.

On a competitive basis, the department offers its graduate students generous, five-year funding packages that include a stipend, tuition, and nine credits per semester. In addition, our students often receive internal and external awards for dissertation research, language study, conferences, and dissertation writing.

Our Ph.D. students graduate are well prepared for what lies ahead, and our placement record bears this out. In recent years, we have placed near the top of a list of our peer-institutions for graduate student job placements in tenure system appointments.