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University of Massachusetts Amherst

History

Visit the History website.

Main office:
616 Herter Hall
413-545-1330

 

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.


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, 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:
611 Herter Hall
413-545-6777

 

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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. Students admitted to the PhD program receive four years of funding as teaching assistants in the classroom (and, more rarely, in departmental administrative positions); the most competitive applicants also receive summer fellowship funds.  Many students at the MA level also receive support in the form of teaching assistantships; the most competitive applicants to the Public History program also receive Charles K. Hyde scholarships, to support summer internships. The department also offers an array of funding for travel to conferences, research travel, language training and other skill building; please see the Graduate Program Handbook for details.

 

Graduate Program Director:
Herter 704
413-545-4256

 

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