University of California, Berkeley

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, Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantine, Early Modern Europe, East Asia: China, East Asia: Japan, Global, Jewish, Late Modern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Medieval Europe, Middle East, North America, 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.

Visit Department Website


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:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant has completed a basic degree 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
  4. 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 the 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. Unofficial transcripts must contain specific information including the name of the applicant, name of the school, all courses, grades, units, & degree conferral (if applicable). 
  2. 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, by the recommender, not the Graduate Admissions.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants who have completed a basic degree from a country or political entity in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to institutions 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.

Applicants who have previously applied to Berkeley must also submit new test scores that meet the current minimum requirement 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 for Graduate Organizations. Official IELTS score reports must be sent electronically from the testing center to University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall, Rm 318 MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years prior to beginning the graduate program at UC Berkeley. Note: score reports can not expire before the month of June.


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 History Graduate Program Guide. Students must pass a third-semester examination concentrating on their first field2 prior to the start of their fourth 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 four selected fields of study: three fields of History (called the first, second, and third field) and one field in another discipline (called the fourth 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, third, and outside fields by the end of the second 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 second year.


1. Africa

2. Ancient Greece and Rome

3. Byzantine

4. Early Modern Europe

5. East Asia: China

6. East Asia: Japan

7. Global

8. Jewish History

9. Late Modern Europe

10. Latin America and the Caribbean

11. Medieval Europe

12. Middle East

13. North America

14. Science

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. 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 the approval of the graduate advisor 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. 4 units in the second (thematic) and 4 units in the third (limited regional/temporal) fields: graduate seminars in any combination of 275s and 280s.  

C. 3 to 4 units in the fourth/outside field: one graduate-level graded course in a field and department other than history.

D. 4 units of methodology: Historical Method and Theory (283).  Students are required to take this in their first semester.

E. 2 units of pedagogy: Teaching History Pedagogy Seminar (375).  A pedagogy course is required of all first-time graduate student instructors (GSIs). Students are required to take the Department of History’s 375 during their second semester.

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 200XSpecial Topics: Short Course1-2
HISTORY C231Japanese Studies: Past, Present... and Future?2
HISTORY C250Topics in Science and Technology Studies3
HISTORY C251Science and Technology Studies Research Seminar3
HISTORY 275ACore Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Ancient4
HISTORY 275BCore Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Europe4
HISTORY 275DCore Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: United States4
HISTORY 275ECore Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Latin America4
HISTORY 275FCore Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: Asia4
HISTORY 275SCore Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: History of Science4
HISTORY 280AAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Ancient4
HISTORY 280BAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Europe4
HISTORY 280DAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: United States4
HISTORY 280EAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Latin America4
HISTORY 280FAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Asia4
HISTORY 280GAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Asia (For Ph.D. Candidates)4
HISTORY 280HAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Africa4
HISTORY 280NAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Canada4
HISTORY 280SAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: History of Science4
HISTORY 280UAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: Studies in Comparative History4
HISTORY 285AResearch Seminars: Ancient4
HISTORY 285BResearch Seminars: Europe4
HISTORY 285DResearch Seminars: United States4
HISTORY 285EResearch Seminars: Latin America4
HISTORY 285FResearch Seminars: Asia4
HISTORY 285HResearch Seminars: Africa4
HISTORY 285LResearch Seminars: Legal History4
HISTORY 285SResearch Seminars: History of Science4
HISTORY 285UResearch Seminars: Studies in Comparative History4
HISTORY 281Paleography and Other Auxiliary Sciences4
HISTORY 283Historical Method and Theory4
HISTORY 290Historical Colloquium1
HISTORY 375Teaching History at the University2
Independent Study Units:
HISTORY 296Directed Dissertation Research3-12
HISTORY 299Directed Reading1-4
HISTORY 601Individual Study for Master's Students1-8
HISTORY 602Individual Study for Doctoral Students1-8

Africa; Ancient Greece and Rome; Byzantine; Early Modern Europe; East Asia-China; East Asia-Japan; Global; Jewish History; Late Modern Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; Medieval Europe; Middle East; North America; Science; 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.


Diliana Angelova, Associate Professor. Early Christian and Byzantine Art, women, gender, material culture, history of ideas, 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, and romantic love in ancient and medieval art .
Research Profile

Stephan H. Astourian, Associate Adjunct Professor. Armenia, Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Modern Turkey, Diasporas .
Research Profile

Janaki Bakhle, Associate Professor. Intellectual history of religion, politics and modern India, South Asia.
Research Profile

Andrew E. Barshay, Professor. Social thought, modernism, social sciences in modern Japan, marxism, Japanese history, Japanese-Russian relations.
Research Profile

Mark Brilliant, Associate Professor. 20th century US history, with a focus on political economy, civil rights, education, law, and the west.
Research Profile

Cathryn Carson, Professor. History of physics, science and society, history of universities, German history, intellectual history, ethnography, data science, nuclear waste.
Research Profile

Margaret Chowning, Professor. Mexico, history, gender, women, Latin America.
Research Profile

John Connelly, Professor. Modern East and Central European political and social history, comparative education, history of nationalism and racism, history of Catholicism, Late Modern Europe.
Research Profile

Thomas Dandelet, Professor. Renaissance Italy and Europe, Spanish Empire, early modern Mediterranean.
Research Profile

Brian DeLay, Professor. US, the Americas, International History, nineteenth century, Native American history, American West, Borderlands.
Research Profile

Nicholas Dirks, Professor. History and anthropology of South Asia, social and cultural theory, history of imperialism, historiography, cultural studies, globalization.
Research Profile

Sandra Eder, Assistant Professor. Gender, sexuality, medicine, science, US History 20th century, popular culture.
Research Profile

John M. Efron, Professor. Cultural and social history of German Jewry.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Puck Engman, Assistant Professor. History of socialism; Social revolution; Law and State; Historical justice, East Asian studies.
Research Profile

Victoria Frede-Montemayor, Associate Professor. Enlightenment, Russian intellectual history, sentimentalism, eighteenth and nineteenth century, anti-religious thought, romanticism, history of friendship.
Research Profile

Bruce Hall, Associate Professor. Africa.
Research Profile

David Henkin, Professor. History, US History, urban history, cultural history, History of Time.
Research Profile

Rebecca Herman, Assistant Professor. Latin American history in a global context.
Research Profile

Carla Hesse, Professor. France, modern Europe, history of women.
Research Profile

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, Associate Professor. Modern German and European History, Conceptual History, Transnational History, urban studies.
Research Profile

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, Associate Professor. US women’s history and African-American history.
Research Profile

Abhishek Kaicker, Associate Professor. South Asia, Mughal, early modern, cities, history, Persian.
Research Profile

Tabitha Kanogo, Professor. Colonialism, nationalism, women and gender, childhood and youth.
Research Profile

Ethan Katz, Associate Professor. Jewish history, modern France, empire, Jewish-Muslim relations, secularism.
Research Profile

Geoffrey Koziol, Professor. Medieval history, History of Medieval Christianity, Medieval Political Institutions.
Research Profile

Emily Mackil, Professor. Ancient Greek history.
Research Profile

Waldo E. Martin, Professor. African American History , Modern American Culture.
Research Profile

Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
Research Profile

Massimo Mazzotti, Professor. History of science, History of Mathematics, social theory, science and society, STS .
Research Profile

Rebecca McLennan, Professor. North America: 1763-present, law and society, crime and punishment, prisons, society and culture, capitalism, global foodways .
Research Profile

Maureen Miller, Professor. Medieval history.
Research Profile

Carlos F. Norena, Associate Professor. Roman history.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Vanessa Ogle, Associate Professor. Late Modern Europe, Western Europe.
Research Profile

Dylan Penningroth, Professor. African American history and in U S socio-legal history.
Research Profile

Bernadette Perez, Assistant Professor. U.S. History, American West, Latinx History, Indigenous History, Relational Race Studies, Agricultural and Environmental History, Migration, Labor, Capitalism, Transnational History, U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
Research Profile

Christine Philliou, Professor. Middle East, Ottoman Empire political and social history, Turkey and Greece as parts of the post-Ottoman world.
Research Profile

Isabel Richter, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Modern German history (18th – 20th centuries), yransnational youth cultures in the 20th century, history of death in modern Europe, cultural anthropology, material and visual history in the 19th and 20th centuries, national socialism, gender history and interdisciplinary gender studies.
Research Profile

Caitlin C. Rosenthal, Associate Professor. American history, capitalism, economic history, slavery.
Research Profile

Daniel Sargent, Associate Professor. American history, International History, Contemporary History.
Research Profile

Elena A. Schneider, Associate Professor. Cuba and the Caribbean, colonial Latin America, The Atlantic World, 1400-1888.
Research Profile

Ethan H. Shagan, Professor. British history, early modern European history, history of religion.
Research Profile

Jonathan Sheehan, Professor. Religion, Christianity, Europe, secularism, Secularization.
Research Profile

Ronit Stahl, Associate Professor. Modern America.
Research Profile

Nicolas Tackett, Professor. Ethnicity, elites, China, cities, national identity, social networks, medieval history, death ritual, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Liao Dynasty.
Research Profile

Stacey Van Vleet, Assistant Professor. History of Tibet and Inner Asia; Sino-Tibetan relations; history of science, technology, and medicine; history of religion and secularism; race and ethnicity.
Research Profile

James Vernon, Professor. Britain, its Empire and World, 1750 to present.
Research Profile

Wen-Hsin Yeh, Professor. History, East Asian studies, Qing and Modern China.
Research Profile

Peter B. Zinoman, Professor. Vietnam, Vietnam War, Vietnamese literature, Southeast Asian history, communism, nationalism, colonialism.
Research Profile


Christopher Bonura, Lecturer.

Lewis Bremner, Lecturer.

Ari Edmundson, Lecturer.

Christoph Hermann, Lecturer. Economic history and history of economic and social thought.
Research Profile

Daniel Kelly, Lecturer.
Research Profile

Andrej Milivojevic, Lecturer.

Hakeem Naim, Lecturer.
Research Profile

Isabel Richter, Lecturer. Modern German history (18th – 20th centuries), Transnational youth cultures in the 20th century, History of death in modern Europe, Cultural anthropology, Material and visual history in the 19th and 20th centuries, National Socialism, Gender history and interdisciplinary Gender Studies.
Research Profile

Elizabeth Schwall, Lecturer.

Ashton Wesner, Lecturer.

David Wetzel, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Richard M. Abrams, Professor Emeritus. Politics, recent US history: business foreign relations, etc .
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Mary Elizabeth Berry, Professor Emeritus. Late medieval and early modern Japan.
Research Profile

Thomas A. Brady, Professor Emeritus.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Jan De Vries, Professor. Economics, demography, history.
Research Profile

* Robin L. Einhorn, Professor Emeritus. Taxation, United States political history, urban history, nineteenth century.
Research Profile

Paula S. Fass, Professor Emeritus. History of childhood, social and cultural history of the United States, immigration and ethnicity, history of education, child abduction.
Research Profile

John L. Heilbron, Professor Emeritus. History of the physical sciences, biography.
Research Profile

Richard Herr, Professor Emeritus.

David Hollinger, Professor Emeritus. US history.
Research Profile

Eugene F. Irschick, Professor Emeritus.

Martin Jay, Professor Emeritus. Late Modern Europe.
Research Profile

David G. Johnson, Professor Emeritus. History, East Asian studies, city-god cults of T'ang and Sung China, ritual and sculpture in Chinese religion.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Thomas R. Metcalf, Professor Emeritus.

Mark Peterson, Professor Emeritus. North America.
Research Profile

Sheldon Rothblatt, Professor Emeritus.

Mary P. Ryan, Professor Emeritus.

Peter Sahlins, Professor Emeritus. Early modern France, animal-human relations, immigration, citizenship and nationality in pre-modern Europe .
Research Profile

Yuri Slezkine, Professor Emeritus. Russia, Late Modern Europe.
Research Profile

Randolph R. Starn, Professor Emeritus.

William B. Taylor, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of History

3229 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-1971

Fax: 510-643-5323


Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Cathryn Carson, PhD

3303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-3402


Graduate Student Affairs Officer

3310 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-2034


Graduate Admissions & Career Development Advisor

Erin Leigh Inama

3312 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-2378


Back to Top