About the Program
The Department of History offers a PhD program in History. The program prepares the student in four selected fields of study: Three fields of history (called the first, second, and third field) and one field in another discipline (called the outside field). Students indicate their choice of the first field at the time of application to the program, and they decide upon the second, third, and outside fields by the end of the first year of study.
The department represents a rich spectrum of research interests, collaborations, and approaches spanning 16 established fields of history: Africa, America Since 1607, Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantine, Early Modern Europe, East Asia-China, East Asia-Japan, Global, Jewish, Late Modern Europe, Latin America, Medieval, Middle East, Science, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The depth and breadth of our program and the strengths of our faculty members, students, and other professionals provide an especially stimulating and congenial setting for graduate training.
While pursuing a doctorate in history, you can also earn a concurrent PhD in Medieval Studies or a designated emphasis in areas such as African American Studies, Communication, Computation and Statistics, Critical Theory, Dutch Studies, Film Studies, Folklore, Global Metropolitan Studies, Jewish Studies, New Media, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality.
Admission to the University
Minimum Requirements for Admission
The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:
- A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
- A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
- If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
- Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.
Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree
The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.
Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.
Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.
The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:
- Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
- Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.
Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.
Required Documents for Applications
- Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
- Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
- Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
- courses in English as a Second Language,
- courses conducted in a language other than English,
- courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
- courses of a non-academic nature.
If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.
Where to Apply
Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
PhD Program Requirements at a Glance
Students should make progress toward completing graduate coursework and language requirements as outlined in the program guide, Higher Degrees (see history.berkeley.edu). Students must pass a third semester examination concentrating on their first field by the end of their third semester. Before taking the doctoral qualifying examination, students must satisfy all course and language requirements. Students must take the PhD qualifying examination no later than the end of the spring semester of the third year, for students in a six-year field, and by the end of the spring semester of the fourth year, for students in a seven-year field. Advancement to doctoral candidacy immediately follows the qualifying exam upon approval of a dissertation committee and written dissertation prospectus. After advancing, students will continue to be enrolled and submit annual progress reports. Final completion of the PhD requires submission and approval of the dissertation.
Program Fields of Concentration
The program prepares the student in three selected fields of study: two fields of history (called the first field and the second field) and one field in another discipline (called the third or outside field). Students indicate their choice of the first field at the time of application to the program and they decide upon the second and outside fields by the end of the first year of study. Students are bound by normative time requirements of the first field. The graduate advisers committee must formally approve the selection of these fields, normally by the end of the first year.
2. America Since 1607
3. Ancient Greece and Rome2
6. Early Modern Europe
7. East Asia–China
8. East Asia–Japan
9. History of Science
10. Jewish History
11. Late Modern Europe
12. Latin America
14. Middle East
15. South Asia
16. Southeast Asia
PhD Coursework Requirements
Students complete a minimum of 34 course units, not including language, and maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (3.5 or above in history graduate courses). Courses that are being applied to the program must be taken for a letter grade. The program of study must conform to the following guidelines:
A. 12 to 16 units in the first field: two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s (both must be completed by the end of the first year) and two 285s (one should be completed by the end of the first year if possible).
Students in the fields of East Asia–China and East Asia–Japan have one additional required 4 unit seminar. Students in East Asia–China must take a reading seminar (280) or a survey seminar (275) in Japanese history. Students in East Asia–Japan must take a reading or survey seminar in Chinese history. Exceptions require approval of the graduate advisers committee.
Students in the field of History of Science must take, in addition to other required coursework, the historical colloquium (290) in each semester of their first two years. The 290 is worth 1 unit and is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.
B. 8 to 12 units in the second field: two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s or one 285 and either one 275 or one 280. Students with equal first and second fields must take a minimum of two graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s in each field and at least one 285 in each field. Students choosing this option must meet the language requirement in each field.
C. 3 to 4 units in the third field: one graded course in a field and department other than history.
D. 4 units of methodology: Historical Method and Theory (283). Students are strongly encouraged to take this course in their first or second year.
E. 2 units of pedagogy: Teaching History Pedagogy Seminar (formerly 300, now 375). A pedagogy course is required of all first-time graduate student instructors (GSIs). Students are strongly encouraged to take the Department of History’s 375, which is offered in the fall semester only.
PhD Foreign Language Requirements
The language requirements for the PhD vary by field between one and four. Students whose field requires two or more languages are advised to come to the program with significant preparation in the languages most critical to the field (e.g., students in medieval history should have intermediate Latin at the time of application). Students should attempt to complete one foreign language applicable to the selected field by the end of the first year. Please see history.berkeley.edu for a list of language requirements by field and for options for fulfilling the language requirements. Students must satisfy all language requirements before taking the doctoral qualifying examination. Faculty in the field can help students make a plan for completing the requirements.
|Seminars Available - all fields 1|
|These are the graduate seminars. Topics and offerings vary by semester.|
|HISTORY 200X||Special Topics: Short Course||1-2|
|HISTORY C231||Japanese Studies: Past, Present... and Future?||2|
|HISTORY C250||Topics in Science and Technology Studies||3|
|HISTORY C251||Science and Technology Studies Research Seminar||3|
|HISTORY 275A||Core Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Ancient||4|
|HISTORY 275B||Core Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Europe||4|
|HISTORY 275C||Course Not Available||4|
|HISTORY 275D||Core Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: United States||4|
|HISTORY 275E||Core Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Latin America||4|
|HISTORY 275F||Core Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Asia||4|
|HISTORY 275S||Core Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: History of Science||4|
|HISTORY 280A||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Ancient||4|
|HISTORY 280B||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Europe||4|
|HISTORY 280C||Course Not Available||4|
|HISTORY 280D||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: United States||4|
|HISTORY 280E||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Latin America||4|
|HISTORY 280F||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Asia||4|
|HISTORY 280G||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Asia (For Ph.D. Candidates)||4|
|HISTORY 280H||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Africa||4|
|HISTORY 280N||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Canada||4|
|HISTORY 280S||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: History of Science||4|
|HISTORY 280U||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Studies in Comparative History||4|
|HISTORY 285A||Research Seminars: Ancient||4|
|HISTORY 285B||Research Seminars: Europe||4|
|HISTORY 285C||Course Not Available||4|
|HISTORY 285D||Research Seminars: United States||4|
|HISTORY 285E||Research Seminars: Latin America||4|
|HISTORY 285F||Research Seminars: Asia||4|
|HISTORY 285H||Research Seminars: Africa||4|
|HISTORY 285L||Research Seminars: Legal History||4|
|HISTORY 285S||Research Seminars: History of Science||4|
|HISTORY 285U||Research Seminars: Studies in Comparative History||4|
|HISTORY 281||Paleography and Other Auxiliary Sciences||4|
|HISTORY 283||Historical Method and Theory||4|
|HISTORY 290||Historical Colloquium||1|
|HISTORY 375||Teaching History at the University||2|
|Independent Study Units:|
|HISTORY 296||Directed Dissertation Research||3-12|
|HISTORY 299||Directed Reading||1-4|
|HISTORY 601||Individual Study for Master's Students||1-8|
|HISTORY 602||Individual Study for Doctoral Students||1-8|
Africa; American Since 1607; Ancient Greece and Rome; Britain; Byzantine; Early Modern Europe; East Asia-China; East Asia-Japan; History of Science; Jewish History; Late Modern Europe; Latin America; Medieval; Middle East; South Asia; Southeast Asia.
In the third semester, all students are examined for general command of the history and scholarship in their first field. Students taking the exam will be expected to display, at minimum, textbook-level knowledge of their fields and/or a thorough mastery of the materials covered in the courses they have taken at Berkeley. A minimum program of three seminars or its equivalent (275s, 280s, and/or 285s), two of which must be in the first field, is a prerequisite to the examination. Examinations may be oral or written or both (depending on the field) and are graded pass/fail.
MA students in Ancient Greece and Rome define their field as either Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome; PhD students define their field as Ancient Greece and Rome or Rome and Late Antiquity.
Faculty and Instructors
+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Stephan H. Astourian, Associate Adjunct Professor. Armenia, Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Modern Turkey, Diasporas.
Janaki Bakhle, Associate Professor.
Andrew E. Barshay, Professor. Social thought, modernism, social sciences in modern Japan, marxism, Japanese history, Japanese-Russian relations.
Mark Brilliant, Associate Professor. 20th century US history, with a focus on political economy, civil rights, education, law, and the west.
Cathryn Carson, Professor. History of physics, science and society, history of universities, German history, intellectual history, ethnography, data science, nuclear waste.
Margaret Chowning, Professor. Mexico, history, gender, women, Latin America.
John Connelly, Professor.
Thomas Dandelet, Professor. Renaissance Italy and Europe, Spanish Empire, early modern Mediterranean.
Brian Delay, Associate Professor. US, the Americas, International History, nineteenth century, Native American history, American West, Borderlands.
Nicholas Dirks, Professor. History and anthropology of South Asia, social and cultural theory, history of imperialism, historiography, cultural studies, globalization.
Sandra Eder, Assistant Professor. Gender, sexuality, medicine, science, US History 20th century, popular culture.
John M. Efron, Professor. Cultural and social history of German Jewry.
+ Robin L. Einhorn, Professor. Taxation, United States political history, urban history, nineteenth century.
Susanna Elm, Professor. History of the Later Roman Empire, pagan - Christian interactions, ancient medicine, slavery and the evolution of Christianity, leadership and empire, reception of antiquity.
Victoria Frede-Montemayor, Associate Professor. Enlightenment, Russian intellectual history, sentimentalism, eighteenth and nineteenth century, anti-religious thought, romanticism, history of friendship.
Bruce Hall, Associate Professor.
David Henkin, Professor. History, US History, urban history, cultural history, History of Time.
Rebecca Herman, Assistant Professor.
Carla Hesse, Professor. France, modern Europe, history of women.
Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, Associate Professor. Modern German and European History, Conceptual History, Transnational History, urban studies.
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, Assistant Professor.
Abhishek Kaicker, Assistant Professor. South Asia, Mughal, early modern, cities, history, Persian.
Tabitha Kanogo, Professor. Colonialism, nationalism, women and gender, childhood and youth.
Geoffrey Koziol, Professor. Medieval history, History of Medieval Christianity, Medieval Political Institutions.
Thomas W. Laqueur, Professor. Medicine, religion, body, human rights.
Emily Mackil, Associate Professor.
Waldo E. Martin, Professor. African American History ; Modern American Culture.
Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
Massimo Mazzotti, Professor. History of science, History of Mathematics, social theory, science and society, STS.
Rebecca McLennan, Associate Professor. North America: 1763-present, law and society, crime and punishment, prisons, society and culture, capitalism, global foodways.
Maureen Miller, Professor. Medieval history.
+ Carlos F. Norena, Associate Professor. Roman history.
Michael Nylan, Professor. Gender, history, East Asian studies, early China, the fifth century BC to the fifth century AD, with an emphasis on the sociopolitical context, aesthetic theories and material culture, belief.
Vanessa Ogle, Associate Professor.
Dylan Penningroth, Professor.
Mark A. Peterson, Professor. US/North America, Atlantic World, early modern history, religion, political economy.
Christine Philliou, Associate Professor.
Isabel Richter, Assistant Adjunct Professor.
Caitlin C. Rosenthal, Assistant Professor. American history, capitalism, economic history, slavery.
Peter Sahlins, Professor. Early modern France, animal-human relations, immigration, citizenship and nationality in pre-modern Europe.
Daniel Sargent, Associate Professor. American history, International History, Contemporary History.
Elena A. Schneider, Assistant Professor. Cuba and the Caribbean; colonial Latin America; The Atlantic World, 1400-1888.
Ethan H. Shagan, Professor. British history, early modern European history, history of religion.
Jonathan Sheehan, Professor. Religion, Christianity, Europe, secularism, Secularization.
Yuri Slezkine, Professor. Russia, Late Modern Europe.
Nicolas Tackett, Associate Professor. Ethnicity, elites, China, cities, national identity, social networks, medieval history, death ritual, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Liao Dynasty.
James Vernon, Professor. Britain, its Empire and World, 1750 to present.
Wen-Hsin Yeh, Professor. History, East Asian studies, Qing and Modern China.
Peter B. Zinoman, Professor. Vietnam, Vietnam War, Vietnamese literature, Southeast Asian history, communism, nationalism, colonialism.
Diliana Angelova, Associate Professor. Gender, early Christian art, Byzantine art, late antique art, the Virgin Mary, early Christian empresses, imperial iconography, power and material culture, the empress Helena, the relic of the True Cross, urban development of Constantinople, textiles, ivories, mythology in Byzantine art, myth and genre in Archaic and Classical Greek art, romantic love in ancient and medieval art.
Rodolfo J. Alaniz, Lecturer.
David S. Boyk, Lecturer.
Robert N. Chester, Lecturer.
Michael Dean, Lecturer.
Nils Gilman, Lecturer.
Robert L. Harkins, Lecturer.
Tyler C. Lange, Lecturer.
Andrej Milivojevic, Lecturer.
Sarah Selvidge, Lecturer.
Christopher W. Shaw, Lecturer.
Lynsay Skiba, Lecturer.
Stacey Van Vleet, Lecturer.
David Wetzel, Lecturer.
Gene Zubovich, Lecturer.
Richard M. Abrams, Professor Emeritus. Politics, recent US history: business foreign relations, etc.
Anthony Adamthwaite, Professor Emeritus.
Margaret Lavinia Anderson, Professor Emeritus. Germany 1860-1945, Kulturkampf, the Center Party (Zentrum), 19th century European Catholicism, the 19th century European Religious Revival, Democratisation more generally and comparatively, comparative elections and electoral politics, European (and esp. German) Relations with the late Ottoman Empire, Armenian Genocide.
Robert M. Berdahl, Professor Emeritus.
Mary Elizabeth Berry, Professor Emeritus. Late medieval and early modern Japan.
Thomas A. Brady, Professor Emeritus.
Richard Candida Smith, Professor Emeritus. Identity, memory, narrative, 19th and 20th century US cultural and intellectual history, cultural interaction and exchange with France and Latin America, oral history and personal testimony as historical sources.
Jan De Vries, Professor Emeritus. Economics, demography, history.
Paula S. Fass, Professor Emeritus. History of childhood, social and cultural history of the United States, immigration and ethnicity, history of education, child abduction.
+ Erich S. Gruen, Professor Emeritus. Classics, Greek and Roman history, Jews in the Greco-Roman world.
Samuel Haber, Professor Emeritus.
John L. Heilbron, Professor Emeritus. History of the physical sciences, biography.
Richard Herr, Professor Emeritus.
David Hollinger, Professor Emeritus. US history.
Eugene F. Irschick, Professor Emeritus.
David G. Johnson, Professor Emeritus. History, East Asian studies, city-god cults of T'ang and Sung China, ritual and sculpture in Chinese religion.
Kerwin L. Klein, Professor Emeritus.
Ira M. Lapidus, Professor Emeritus.
John Lesch, Professor Emeritus.
Linda Lewin, Professor Emeritus. Race, social history of 19th andamp;amp; 20th century Brazil--family andamp;amp; kinship; illegitimacy andamp;amp; inheritance rights; banditry (emergence of cangaco); slavery, andamp;amp; color; oral poetic tradition in NE region (repentistas, desafio); cotton production in 19th-century NE Brazil.
+ Leon F. Litwack, Professor Emeritus.
Thomas R. Metcalf, Professor Emeritus.
+ Robert L. Middlekauff, Professor Emeritus.
Sheldon Rothblatt, Professor Emeritus.
Mary P. Ryan, Professor Emeritus.
Irwin Scheiner, Professor Emeritus.
Charles G. Sellers, Professor Emeritus.
John M. Smith, Professor Emeritus.
Randolph R. Starn, Professor Emeritus.
William B. Taylor, Professor Emeritus.
Department of History
3229 Dwinelle Hall
Peter Zinoman, PhD
3303 Dwinelle Hall
Graduate Student Affairs Officer
3310 Dwinelle Hall
Graduate Admissions & Placement Officer
Erin Leigh Inama
3312 Dwinelle Hall