GMU’s History and Art History Department placed 44th in the latest US News and World Report ranking of the Best History Graduate programs in the country. This represents a jump of over twenty spots since the last ranking two years ago. This was by far the highest ranking among all programs in Mason’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and was the third highest ranking university-wide (after the Law School and the Schar School of Policy and Government, both of which ranked #41 in their respective categories).
The department supports a robust History graduate program, with over one hundred students currently pursuing the Master’s degree and over sixty students in the doctoral program. Areas of specialization include American History, Modern European History, World History, Public History, and Digital History.
The faculty’s superb research profile has been the basis for the department’s growing national and international reputation. As a combined History and Art History program, faculty members have written numerous scholarly books, published by esteemed presses such as Knopf, Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Duke, Cornell, UNC, and others. Faculty members have recently been awarded a number of highly competitive research awards and fellowships, including two Kluge Fellowships at the Library of Congress, two Smithsonian fellowships, and nine year-long research fellowships for university teachers from the National Endowment for the Humanities—the most given to any single humanities department in the country during the past decade. In addition, three faculty members have served as presidents of their national scholarly organizations.
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media has also contributed significantly to the department’s enhanced reputation as well as to the training of graduate students. Over the past ten years, RRCHNM has received almost $27 million dollars in grants to support more than 145 different projects. Funders include the US Department of Education, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Library of Congress. The Center’s projects significantly enrich the graduate program, introducing students to the development of digital skills, the management of grant-funded research, the opportunity to work collaboratively, and the ability to design and code websites for a wide variety of audiences.
Responding to the news of the US News ranking, Brian Platt, Chair of the History and Art History Department, commented, saying, “This ranking is amazing, especially if you consider the stature of the schools ranked above us—all of which are Ivy League schools, elite flagship state universities, or old, well-heeled private universities. In fact, lots of flagship state schools and rich private universities are now well below us in the rankings. We’re an upstart. It’s rewarding to find out that our colleagues at other universities think so highly of us.”
March 28, 2017