The PhD in history prepares students for careers in college teaching, digital media, publishing, educational administration, public history, and historical research. Students gain expertise in conventional historical methods and web-based technologies. Major fields include U.S. history, European history, and world history; minor fields are chosen by the student and may include such areas as public history, constitutional studies, and new media and information technology.
Depending on career goals and interests, students can also focus their degrees in one of four areas:
College and university teaching: This emphasis is for students who are seeking a career in teaching or research at the community college, college, or university level.
New media and information technology: Although all students in the program take some courses in new media, students in this emphasis seek careers specifically in new media (publishing, education, or a college or university history department where they would serve as the department’s lead person in new media and information technology). This emphasis requires more advanced work in new media than any other.
Public and applied history: This emphasis prepares students for work in applied areas of history, such as museums, archives, federal government work, preservation, and editing, or helps students already working in those areas to advance. In some cases, students will do advanced course work in their field of work; in other cases, they will acquire knowledge or skills that will foster their professional work (such as nonprofit management).
Professional development: This emphasis responds to the needs of students who have already launched a career and want a doctoral degree to further career goals or fulfill personal intellectual goals. Candidates who need flexible scheduling will be advised on a case-by-case basis.
No, only in the fall semester.
Yes, full-time students are eligible for graduate teaching and research assistantships. The assistantships pay your tuition (whether you are in-state or out-of-state) and also pay you a stipend, which in 2021-2022 is at least $19,000 for the year.
Yes, occasionally a graduate course is offered at the Mason Square campus, but most are offered only at the Fairfax campus.
A statement of the purpose for pursuing graduate study in your chosen major should include academic objectives, professional and research interests, and career goals. Also, you should indicate any relevant qualifications such as collegiate, professional, research, and community activities and any other substantial accomplishments that are not mentioned on the application form. Most important of all, however, your statement should spell out which particular area in which you wish to pursue dissertation research (U.S. military history, early modern French history, early American history, for example). You should indicate as clearly as you can any specific topics you have in mind for dissertation research, as well as indicate which faculty members in our department might be best suited to supervise a dissertation in your chosen area of interest.
To schedule a campus tour, please see the following: https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/apply-now/visit-mason
Yes. To make an appointment with the Graduate Director, Dr. Suzanne Smith, write to email@example.com.
In the Mason Pond Parking Deck on campus.
In Horizon Hall, Room 3179.
Contact Graduate Coordinator, Lea Burgess, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Students for whom a reading knowledge of particular foreign languages is necessary for their dissertation research are expected to be proficient in those languages. This would include virtually all students studying European or world history. Students whose dissertation research is conducted entirely from materials in English do not have a foreign language requirement. Please note, however, that even some areas in U.S. history -- borderlands, Native American history, and immigration history, for just the most obvious examples -- may require extensive foreign language skills.
GRE scores are optional (verbal and writing scores are the only parts we consider).
Yes, unless you have a Graduate Teaching or Graduate Research Assistantship.
This depends entirely on your own individual progress. According to statistics kept by the American Historical Association, it can take anywhere from six to nine years to complete a doctoral dissertation in history. George Mason University allows students six years to advance to candidacy and nine years to complete the dissertation from the time of first enrollment as a degree-seeking student.
The maximum number of MA credits that may be counted toward the PhD requirements is 30. Please consult with the graduate director, however, who must approve all such credits. And in cases where the coursework is not listed on the transcript as History (American Studies or Military Studies, for example), you will normally need to provide a course syllabus before any evaluation can be made. Ultimately, however, the number of MA credits actually applied to your PhD requirements will also depend on how you define your major and minor fields. If all your MA coursework was in European history, for example, and your major and minor fields in the PhD program are in American history, then none of that MA coursework will count toward your PhD requirements. Dr. Smith will not make any such decisions until after students have been admitted to the program.