The Catholic University of America


Undergraduate admissions

A history major provides an excellent preparation for a variety of careers including law, teaching, business and marketing, journalism and government.  At the following links, you can:

Graduate admissions

Admission into the graduate program is highly competitive.  The department typically enrolls 7-8 new graduate students a year and has 40-45 active M.A. and Ph.D. students at any one time.

Graduate applicants should:

  • Complete and submit the standard graduate application form along with application fee.  The application form should clearly indicate the degree program and concentration for which you are applying.
  • Arrange for an official transcript of undergraduate grades (and graduate grades, if any) to be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Room 110 McMahon Hall. It is not necessary for an applicant to have been a History major at the undergraduate level, but ordinarily the Department would expect a minimum of 18 undergraduate semester credits in history and 12 in other areas of the social sciences or humanities.
  • Take the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination--the Department does not require the History examination--and arrange to have the scores sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions, 110 McMahon Hall.
  • Arrange for the forwarding of at least three letters of recommendation--preferably by professors from the applicant's previous academic program--attesting to the applicant's ability to perform graduate-level work.
  • Send a sample of writing, which should be a research paper on an academic subject (preferably History). The writing sample for a Ph.D. applicant should be either a seminar paper incorporating original, primary-source-based research, or else an M.A. thesis.

All these materials should be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Room 110 McMahon Hall, rather than to the History Department.

Although applications will be accepted at any time throughout the year, most applicants apply for entry in the fall semester (and applicants should note that scholarships are granted only upon fall entry).

Ph.D. applicants - Although the History Department does not require that students hold an M.A. (from CUA or elsewhere) prior to admission to the Ph.D. program, please be aware that successful Ph.D. applicants are expected to demonstrate especially high levels of aptitude and preparation.  Ph.D. applicants are urged to contact either the director of graduate studies and/or faculty in their proposed area of study to discuss the suitability of their interests.

Medieval history applicants - Applicants in medieval history must show evidence of having completed a course comparable to Intermediate Latin (Latin 519), as taught in the Department of Greek and Latin. This requirement must be completed before commencing studies in the History Department.  The Department of Greek and Latin offers an intensive summer program in which the Latin requirement may be fulfilled by taking Latin 509 and Latin 516-517.  Ph.D. students are expected to take Latin 561, "Introduction to Medieval Latin Studies," during the course of their studies at CUA.

Joint degree applicants - Applicants to the M.A./M.S.L.S. and M.A./J.D. should note that they must submit separate applications to both the History Department and to the other school of the university involved (the School of Library and Information Science or the Columbus School of Law). Intending applicants should contact the History Department with any questions.

Graduate financial aid

The University awards a limited number of fellowships (which cover tuition and provide stipendiary support) and scholarships (which entail remission of half or all of tuition) to qualified entering graduate students. These awards are highly competitive, and are awarded by nomination of the Department.

The History Department also offers a number of teaching assistantships (also awarded on a highly competitive basis), most of them to assist faculty by leading discussion sections of our gateway (200-level) undergraduate courses.  All these assistantships come with cash stipends. CUA is an equal opportunity educational institution.

There is no separate application for merit-based financial aid (fellowships, scholarships and teaching assistantships): all eligible applicants whose files are complete by February 1 will automatically be considered.