Note to Applicants

Thank you for your interest in the Graduate Program in History at the University of California, Irvine. Although the University was only founded in 1965, the Department of History has achieved a high standard of excellence in teaching and historical research. We, as a Department, emphasize graduate training in regional areas, world and transnational history, and thematic specialties such as gender and sexuality, medicine and science, slavery, race, and diaspora, empire and colonialism, and history of the environment. Whatever the student’s chosen emphasis, the History Graduate Program encourages students to think how the discipline of History contributes to debates about global and local transformation.

We are delighted to hear that you are considering our program here at UCI. Best of luck to all.

More Information

For more specific questions regarding our program, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator, Samantha Engler, at (949)824-4626 or

Farm Workers Picking Oranges

Prospective Graduate Students

The Fall 2022 application is open now at:
Applications will be due December 7, 2021.

To apply, please visit to begin the online application. The online application is run centrally by UCI Graduate Division. Should you have any issues with the online application, contact their office by emailing

Application materials:
The Department of History requires the submission of the following materials in order to complete your application to the MA or PhD program. All materials must be received by the application deadline, including letters of recommendation.

Additional information for the application requirements can be found here:
Information for International Students can be found here:

1. No GRE score required (Electronic Submission)
  • Beginning with the admission cycle for Fall 2021 admission, a GRE score will no longer be required to apply to the UCI History Graduate Program.
2. Transcripts (Electronic Submission)
For application review purposes only, scan and upload copies of transcripts for all institutions attended since high school. In the online application, you will be prompted to upload your scanned documents. Please upload both the front and back sides of the transcript. Uploaded transcripts should be recent and include the following: your name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits and grading legend. UCI reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found. Official transcripts will be requested if and when you are admitted and decide to attend UCI. Do not send official transcripts until this time, unless you are requested to do so.

3. One copy of TOEFL or IELTS scores (Electronic Submission)4. Three Letters of Recommendation (Electronic submission)5. One Writing Sample (Electronic submission)
  • Please upload your writing sample to your online application.
  • Length: A minimum of ten pages to a maximum of thirty pages. Any submission longer than the maximum will not be reviewed past the maximum page limit.
  • You may submit two pieces of work as long as it does not exceed the page limit.
  • In the event you have a longer piece of work to submit, such as a Master's thesis or Undergraduate research paper, please submit a chapter or section of the work within the page restriction.
  • Demonstration of work: In addition to demonstrating your writing ability, the selection should show your ability to work with primary source materials, and/or deal with historiographical debates.
6. Personal History Statement and Statement of Purpose (Electronic submission)

Application FAQ's (click a question for the answer)

• How much is the application fee?

For the application process of 2021-2022, the non-refundable application fee will be as follows: Domestic Applicants (US Citizens/US Permanent Residents) $120; International Applicants: $140. For further details about the application fee, please visit Graduate Division Website

• Can I apply for an application extension?

Due to the high volume of applications and fairness to all applicants, the Department will not accept any applications past the deadline. Please be aware of the different submission deadlines for the PhD program and the MA program.

• Does the application for the MA differ from the PhD?

The application online is for both the MA and PhD programs. All applicants will need to submit the application along with the supplemental application materials.

• How is my application reviewed?

All applications are reviewed by the Departmental Admissions Committee. The Committee carefully examines each individual’s total dossier. Though it is desirable that an applicant have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in History, the Department also considers students who have previously specialized in other subject areas and who have strong writing and analytical skills.

• What score do I need to achieve for the GRE?

A GRE score is not required for application to the UCI History Graduate Programs (beginning in the admissions cycle for Fall 2021).

• Can I submit my letters of recommendation by mail?

No. Letters must be uploaded digitally; paper LORs will not be accepted.

• Do I need to submit my supplemental application materials to the Department in person?

All materials can be submitted through the online application system. 

• Should I already have an advisor in mind during my application?

No. Applicants do not need to have an advisor during the application process; however, it is in your best interest to speak with faculty members that you are interested in working with in person or by phone.

• Is there a word-limit for the personal statement and statement of purpose portions of the application?

Yes. There is a 1200 word-limit for each of these categories.

• When are admission decisions made?


Program FAQ's (click a question for the answer)

• What's the funding package?

History admits all students with five-year funding package, supporting summer archival trips and facilitating intensive work towards the Ph.D.

• What is the time to degree?

For the MA program, time to degree is one year to complete all coursework and the thesis. For the PhD program, time to degree is seven years for domestic students and six years for international students to complete all coursework and the dissertation.

• Can I take the coursework on a part-time status?

MA students may apply to be part-time status as to continue your work life. Most courses begin at 4pm to accommodate such a schedule. For PhD students, the PhD program is a full-time commitment as most students are working as teaching assistance as to supplement their degree funding. Exceptions can be requested to the Dean of Graduate Division, however, approvals of such request are extremely rare and would not support maintaining teaching assistant positions.

• I already received my MA in History from another institution. Does this reduce my time to degree?

No. All incoming students, whether they have a MA or not, are still required to take all the necessary coursework; however, students with a MA are allowed to petition the Graduate Program Committee (GPC) for exemption from the First Year Proseminar/Research Seminar (History 202/203). The MA thesis or equivalent should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies with an exemption request one month prior to the beginning of instruction for consideration.

• What is the typical first year MA course workload?

Full-time MA students should take a total of nine courses in one year for degree completion:
-One complete three course colloquia series
-One Proseminar/Research Seminar series (History 202/203)
-Two related courses (such as two courses from another colloquia, a series of courses approved by their advisor and Graduate Director, or History & Theory (History 200A/200B).)
-One directed reading course (History 291) related to oral examination or thesis preparation
-One elective

• What is the typical first year PhD course workload?

The Schedule of Classes (SOC) for first year PhD students looks as follows:

Fall Quarter:
History 200A-History & Theory
History 202-First Year Proseminar
First Field Colloquium

Winter Quarter:
History 200B History & Theory (cont’d)
History 203-First Year Research Seminar
First Field (cont’d)

Spring Quarter:
Elective or Second Field Collquium
Second Field Colloquium
First Field Colloquium

• What are fields?

A field delineates a broad historiography knowledge of the chronologic and geographic area in which the dissertation will be situated. PhD students are required to complete course work in a first field and a second field.

A first field is the major chronologic and/or geographic field in which you situate yourself and in which you are competent to teach. A second field can consist of the above, as well as a thematic field, such as an emphasis in the history of gender and sexuality, Asian American studies, and visual studies which will involve course work and interaction with these outside departments.

Current fields of study include: Early Modern European History (220 series), Modern European History (230 series), World History (240 series), Latin American History (250 series), American History (260 series), Chinese History (274 series), and Middle Eastern and North African History (275 series). Please note many of the colloquium series are offered every other year.
First and second fields are satisfied through the completion of a colloquia series.

• What is a Proseminar (202A) and Research Seminar (202B)?

The Proseminar/Research Seminars (History 202A/202B) are designed to give students historiographic and research expertise in a particular topical area. Together, they fulfill the first year research paper requirement. The Proseminar generally emphasizes the historiography of a particular topic, while the Research Seminar focuses on individual student research. This work is typically a twenty-five page paper based on primary research. The subject of focus of the Proseminar and the Research Seminar are the same.

Requests for deviations to this course work due to individual circumstances must be made by petition to the Graduate Program Committee (GPC).

• What are electives?

Electives are courses that are not used to fulfill other requirements such as the first or second field series. All courses except for History 200 can be taken as electives. Graduate level courses in other departments also count as electives.

Special Topics courses (History 290) are specifically electives within the Department. These courses vary in content from year to year. Recent offerings include: Gendered Narratives, Histories of Migration, Cold War Culture, Intro to Digital Humanities, and Latin America Export Economy.

• What are Directed Readings (291)?

Directed Readings are individual reading courses that students arrange with faculty members. A Directed Reading Contract Form must be completed by the student and the faculty member along with a plan of study or reading list.

These courses can cover an area not currently taught in a regularly scheduled course or can focus on a student’s particular interests. These courses often count as electives, but upon petition to the Graduate Program Director, they may be part of a first or second field.