The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Graduate Program Applications

The goal of our graduate program is to offer a small, high quality program with a favorable student-faculty ratio and ample opportunity for participation in seminars, lecture courses, and individual instruction. We offer fields leading to the master's degree in both geographically and topically defined areas and fields leading to the doctorate in the history of the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Our graduate program is selective. In recent years, owing to a rise in the number of applicants and a decrease in the size of the program, we have only been able to admit approximately 20 applicants.

Please note the following change in admission requirements: Applicants to the Ph.D. program are not required to have a Master's degree. Students may enter the Ph.D. program with only a Bachelor's degree; of course students who do have Master's degrees are also encouraged to apply. Completion of the M.A. degree in our department will not facilitate admission to Ph.D. candidacy; our own M.A. recipients are assessed on the same basis as outside applicants to the doctoral program.


The deadline for application to the graduate programs (M.A. and Ph.D.) is January 2, for admission the following Fall Semester (the department admits new students for Fall only). Applications must be made directly to the Graduate School. Details about the application process, and online application forms, are available through the Graduate School Web site. Applications are sent directly to the Graduate School, but admissions decisions are made by the History Department's Graduate Studies Committee.

Complete applications must include the following: (1) application form, (2) application fee, (3) personal statement, (4) transcripts, (5) at least two letters of recommendation, and (6) writing sample. Massachusetts residents must also submit a residency statement to qualify for in-state tuition. Some US permanent residents and international applicants must submit TOEFL scores.

Writing sample

Applicants to the graduate program should submit a writing sample of up to 30 pages. Samples should be submitted directly to the Graduate School with the application.

Please e-mail a pdf to Graduate Admissions:

Personal Statement

Most Personal Statements run about 2 pages, single-spaced.  The purpose of this element of the application is to enable the admissions committee to assess the degree to which the applicant's intellectual aims and career objectives fit with the interests and strengths of our faculty and program.  For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) linked below.

Financial Aid

All students admitted to the PhD program are offered financial support (usually in the form of a teaching assistantship) students with an MA are offered three full years of financial support, which currently provide a stipend of $23,050.80 (as of 2020) for the academic year. A fourth year of support is available in a student's final year of dissertation work. Students admitted to the PhD program without an MA are offered four full years of financial support with a fifth year of support in the student's final year of dissertation work. 

The History Department is prepared to offer financial aid to a few highly qualified incoming M.A. graduate students each year. Such positions are not a form of financial aid but rather are awarded based on academic promise. Such aid ordinarily takes the form of renewable teaching assistantships, which provide a stipend for the semester plus a waiver of tuition, course fee and health fee for either the full year or the semester depending on the form of assistantship. In addition, small research grants are available for advanced graduate research.

For more applicant information, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Or contact the History Department: 
Graduate Program
Department of History, Herter Hall
University of Massachusetts
161 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9312

Phone: (413) 545-6757; Fax: (413) 545-6137