Visit the History website.

Main office:
616 Herter Hall


About the Department

Undergraduate Program

Graduate Program


About the Department


The History Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is dedicated to the idea that an understanding of the past is essential to a free and enlightened citizenry. Situated in the intellectually rich, scenic Pioneer Valley, the Department offers students the opportunity to study with a respected faculty engaged in exciting research.


The nationally-recognized Public History Program and the History Institute bring historical scholarship to the teachers and people of the Commonwealth, while the innovative University of Massachusetts/Five College Graduate Program enables graduate students to explore the resources and faculties of other colleges in the region. The Department also hosts the website of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

Undergraduate Program


The history department prides itself on its devotion to undergraduate teaching. History majors work closely with nationally recognized scholars to explore the past in all its aspects, while developing the ability to think critically and write and speak eloquently.

Each semester, the department offers a wide range of undergraduate courses. The requirements for the B.A. are flexible; department advisors can help students plan an effective curriculum. In addition, Commonwealth College students can follow a Departmental Honors track, culminating in researching and writing an Honors Thesis in history.

Through internships, independent research, and study abroad opportunities, history students can extend their learning beyond the classroom setting. The department sponsors a History Club and a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, and it awards prizes for outstanding undergraduate studies and writing.


Undergraduate Program Advisor:

Alice Nash
611 Herter Hall


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Graduate Program


The University of Massachusetts Amherst/ Five College Graduate Program in History represents an extraordinary collaboration between the faculties of five distinguished campuses -- Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst -- and offers qualified students exceptional resources to pursue advanced study in history. Our mission is to offer a small, high quality program with a low student-faculty ratio and ample opportunity for participation in seminars, lecture courses, and individual instruction.

M.A. and Ph.D. programs are available in a variety of fields, especially in the history of the United States, Latin America, and Europe; among these is the nationally known and highly respected program in Public History. We offer a variety of historiography courses in U.S., European, Latin American, and World History. Featured is the Introduction to History seminar taken by all new students during the fall semester. We also schedule a range of topical courses and research seminars. In recent years, these have explored social and cultural history, the history of work and labor, women's and gender history, public history, and the history of science and technology. Recent additions to the faculty have strengthened resources in the history of China, Pacific Empires, women's history, and the history of science.

The graduate program is highly selective. In recent years we have been able to admit only about 25% of M.A. applicants and an even smaller percentage of Ph.D. applicants. While most PhD applicants have MAs before they apply, in exceptional cases an applicant may be admitted directly into the doctoral program.


Graduate Program Director:

Marla Miller
Herter 704


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