Three students studying in the UAlbany Dewey Library.

Doctor of Philosophy


Program of Study

As a research-intensive program, the history PhD at UAlbany culminates in a dissertation. You will complete core coursework, including a teaching practicum and a colloquium on the theory and practice of history. The research tool requirement of the PhD is your opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in quantitative methods, foreign languages or multimedia approaches to research and publishing.

Choose one of five concentrations: cultural history, gender history, social and economic history, public history or international, global and comparative history. Your specialization will determine your course selections and give you deep background in an area of professional interest, with guidance from highly active research faculty.

Core Requirements

  • Teaching Practicum
  • Colloquium on the Theory and Practice of History
  • Dissertation Prospectus Workshop 
  • Courses as advised, including two history research seminars, one of which must also be in the student’s area of geographic specialization, and two reading seminars in the major field, and one history reading seminar appropriate to the required minor field.

Cognate Discipline

Demonstrated competence in the content and research methods of at least one cognate discipline.

Research Tool Requirement

Demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language, or in quantitative methods, or in multimedia methods in historical research and publishing.

Comprehensive Doctoral Qualifying Examination

An exam in a major thematic concentration with one or more geographic specializations, in a minor thematic concentration, and in a cognate discipline.

Full Time Study in Residence

Dissertation and Oral dissertation defense

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Alexander Dawson at 518-442-5300 or [email protected].

Career Outcomes

A PhD in History opens the door to careers in academia, government, business and the nonprofit sector. Some common job titles include:

  • Professor
  • Education administrator
  • Consultant
  • Policy analyst
  • Program director
  • Collection curator
  • Museum director
  • Librarian
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Admissions Requirements

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: January 15
  • Spring: Not Available
  • Summer: Not Available

 No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: January 15
  • Spring: Not Available
  • Summer: Not Available
Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Writing Sample​​​​​
Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

  • Identify and interpret significant and innovative works of historical scholarship in at least one geographic or thematic area of concentration
  • Distinguish between the research questions, methodology, and research contributions in scholarly works of history
  • Engage in primary source research wherein s/he identifies and interprets original evidence, develops original arguments, and demonstrates competence in critical analysis.
  • Demonstrate in written work the ability to use original source materials and secondary works of scholarship in a manner consistent with the historical profession
  • Engage in extended and substantial original research that advances historical knowledge and makes an original contribution to the historical field, as determined by self-reported conference participation, publications, and grants.