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Programs Heading link

The Department of History at UIC offers four graduate tracks: (1) a stand-alone MA; (2) an MAT for those seeking to be certified to teach at a secondary-school level; (3) an MA/Ph.D. track for those eager to pursue the doctoral degree but who do not yet have an MA (applicants to this program should check “Ph.D.” in Box 20C in the Graduate Application); and (4) a stand-alone PhD track for those who already possess an MA in history or a related field. The degree requirements for each vary, but the application process is similar, with differing deadlines being one key difference.

Deadlines Heading link

For those applying for the MA/Ph.D. or the stand-alone Ph.D.: December 1
For those applying for the stand-alone MA: February 15
For those applying for the MAT: February 15

Applying Heading link

All application materials must be uploaded at the Graduate Admissions website:

Apply Now

The process of applying is relatively painless:

  1. NOTE: The GRE is no longer required for students applying for admission to any graduate program in the Department of History. Applicants need not include GRE scores, as the Department will no longer take them into consideration for admission.
  2. Please be ready to upload unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work (students will be required to submit official transcripts if accepted into the program for which they have applied).
  3. Personal Statement (Statement of Purpose)
    • Two to three-page description of your reasons for pursuing graduate work in history, your scholarly interests (what areas of study you plan to specialize in and what topics you would like to pursue), and your abilities and preparation for graduate study.
    • Please note that the UIC Department of History offers two departmental concentrations, WRGUW (Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World) and Encounters (Encounters, Ethnographies, and Empires). These are open to students in the doctoral-track MA program and the Ph.D. program.
    • So that we can process and evaluate your application correctly, if you are applying specifically to one of our graduate concentrations please put this information at the beginning of your Personal Statement. For instance, in the first sentence of your Personal Statement, please state, “I am applying to (Encounters / WRGUW / another interdisciplinary program / a specific field / etc.).”
    • If you do not wish to apply to a specific concentration, please omit this sentence.
  4. Writing sample
    • The writing sample should reflect your best work and should ideally be a paper of original research based on historical documents. Writing samples should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins, approximately 20-25 pages.
  5. The names and email addresses of three people willing to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.  Once you submit your application, UIC will request a recommendation from the people on your list. Please note:
    • At least two letters should be from faculty members in history or related fields
    • Letters should come from professors who are familiar with your work and who are able to comment on your potential for graduate study in history.
  6. Financial aid application if applying for aid.

Admission Requirements Heading link

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

Undergraduate Degree:

Applicants to the MA and MAT programs are expected to have earned a bachelor’s degree in history or at least 16 undergraduate credit hours, or the equivalent, in history or a related field. Applicants to the Ph.D. program are expected to have earned an MA in history or a comparable postgraduate degree.

Grade Point Average:

Applicants should have earned at least 3.00 (A=4.00) for the final 60 semesters (90 quarter hours of undergraduate study. A GPA of 3.50 (A=4.00) is recommended.

Foreign Language:

Applicants should have at least two years of undergraduate training in a foreign language or equivalent language experience.

GRE Scores:

The GRE is no longer required for students applying for admission to any graduate program in the Department of History. Applicants need not include GRE scores, as the Department will no longer take them into consideration for admission. If you have any questions about the GRE test scores please feel free to email the Director of Graduate Studies.

TOEFL Score:

A score of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) is the minimum recommended.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System):

A score of 6.5 is the minimum recommended.

Admission Policies Heading link

Terms of Acceptance

Most applicants to the graduate programs are admitted as regular students on full standing. Some, however, may be admitted on limited status. These students must meet certain conditions that the Director of Graduate Studies specifies in the letter of admission. Failure to meet these conditions within the stated period of time will result in dismissal from the program.

Full-Time Status

The Graduate College requires that master’s degree students graduate within five years of entry into the program. Full-time students who are not serving as teaching assistants are expected to earn at least 12 and not more than 16 credit hours each semester they are enrolled. TAs may take between 9 and 12 credit hours per semester. Part-time students may enroll for fewer than 12 credit hours. With the approval of their faculty adviser and the Graduate Advisory Committee, students may enroll for a limited number of credit hours in courses offered by other departments.

Non-Degree Students

Non-degree students must obtain the permission of the instructor before registering for a history graduate course.

Students admitted into one of the history graduate programs may petition to transfer up to 8 credit hours of non-degree work. Students should petition to transfer these credits as soon as possible following admission to a graduate program

The graduate programs in history are administered by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Graduate Advisory Committee, the Department Chair, the Director of WRGUW, the Director of Encounters, the Director of History Education, and the Graduate History Faculty.

The Graduate Secretary provides staff support.

Graduate Advising

Students entering one of the History Department graduate programs will be assigned an adviser by the Director of Graduate Studies. MAT students are ordinarily advised by the Director of the Teaching of History Program. Other students are assigned advisers in their fields of interest. Students have the right to change advisers for any reason and members of the Graduate Faculty have the right to decline to work with particular students. Should a student or faculty member desire a change, it is his or her responsibility to inform the Director of Graduate Studies in writing of the decision. Students who wish to change advisers must secure the written consent of the new faculty member with whom they wish to work.

Faculty advisers serve several important functions. They help students plan a program of study and they oversee preparation for major and minor field examinations. In the case of Ph.D. candidates, advisers select the dissertation committee in conjunction with the student and supervise the research and writing of the dissertation. Advisers may require students to enroll in specific courses, prepare specific major or minor fields, or meet additional requirements, including the mastery of additional languages or research skills.