The Penn State Department of History has reinvented itself during the past decade. Today’s department is a dynamic one ranked among the top 35 history graduate programs in the nation. Our dedicated faculty have received multiple scholarly honors, including Guggenheims, Fulbrights and ACLS awards. In order to forge an intellectual community in which graduate students are valued participants, we offer small seminars with close interaction between faculty and students and provide many opportunities for mentoring and intellectual and professional development.
We also state openly what few other departments dare: the realities of the job market in higher education are extremely grim. Because of this, we believe that the traditional model of graduate education, in which departments accept large numbers of graduate students with little concern for their fate after graduation is outmoded and irresponsible. As a result our department has made the difficult decision to narrow our admissions to focus on only four areas of departmental strength: 19th-century US, Latin America, Early Modern Global and China. We offer coursework in five other fields and strongly encourage our students to enroll in the dual-title degree programs which strengthens the already interdisciplinary nature of our department. Above all, we seek intellectually curious, highly motivated students whose interests suggest a good fit with our departmental strengths.
We offer FULL funding for all students admitted to our program Every student admitted to the Department of History's graduate program is guaranteed funding for four years. Students who remain in good standing receive support as teaching assistants, editorial assistants, research assistants, or research fellows. In addition we offer generous summer funding and annual awards to support exceptional research and teaching.
We offer dual-title degrees that broadens the scope and marketability of a doctorate in history. Currently the Department of History is partnered with Women's Studies and Asian Studies to offer students interdisciplinary experience while maintaining a firm grounding in the field of History. The dual-title degrees encourage innovative scholarship unbounded by traditional disciplinary boundaries and greatly distinguish our students regardless of where they seek employment.
We have an excellent placement record.
Some 50 students have received their PhD from our department since 2000. Recent graduates (those who have graduated within the last three years) are tenure-track professors at Colorado State, Butler, Kansas State and SUNY New Paltz. Penn State PhDs in history also teach at such institutions as Iowa State University, University of Oklahoma, Michigan State, Lawrence University, George Mason University, University of West Florida, Texas Tech University, and SUNY-Geneseo.
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