Department of History

About the Graduate Programs

Brandeis graduate programs in History train students to research, write, and teach history at the highest level. Our MA and PhD degrees emphasize the need for broad perspectives on urgent problems, rooted in a thorough and in-depth knowledge of the past. Through courses, supervised research, and teaching fellowships, future historians prepare for the excitement and challenges of a career devoted to exploring and explaining the past.

Master of Arts (MA) Program

Designed to meet the varied academic and professional needs of graduate students, the MA program is especially well suited to those individuals interested in comparative and transnational history. In close consultation with their advisors, students will choose from a wide array of courses. Each will complete an individualized capstone project, with options for intensive research, experiential learning and integrated study.

Doctorate in History (PhD) Program

Our PhD program offers opportunities for students to study many areas of world history, building on the department's special strengths in American and European history. Students take a mix of thematic seminars covering broad historical questions as well as colloquia providing intensive study of regional and national histories. Students also engage in primary-source research from the time they arrive on campus, working independently with the help of faculty advisors.

Featured News

A color painting of the view of the Fort Zeelandia

The Brandeis History PhD program is the 8th most prestigious in North America according to a Feb. 2015 study in Science Advances. In an effort to quantify the influence of prestige in academic hiring decisions, the study authors developed a sophisticated prestige score based on both overall faculty production and placement quality, and Brandeis ranks near the top--in the company of an impressive cohort of universities (all much larger).

(Photo: Color painting of the view of Fort Zeelandia, featured on Professor Xing Hang's book "Conflict and Commerce in Maritime East Asia")