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History, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #13 (ARWU) Ithaca, NY, United States
Incoming Ph.D. students who hold a master's degree from another university must still complete the requirements listed above. No formal transfer credit is given, but the Special Committee normally takes previous graduate work in history into account, which may speed the student's progress toward the doctorate.
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  • To encourage flexibility, general requirements are kept to a minimum. These include: taking seven graduate-level seminars including History 7090, Introduction to the Graduate Study of History; demonstrating proficiency in two languages other than English (for Africanists, only one foreign language required); completing the Graduate School's residence requirement of 6 semesters of full-time study at a satisfactory level of accomplishment; teaching for at least one year (normally as a teaching assistant); passing the "Q" examination early in the second semester of study; complete one research paper by the end of the second year; the written and oral "Admission to Candidacy" examination after completion of formal study (the "A" exam); turn in an approved dissertation prospectus within three months of the "A" exam; and completing the doctoral dissertation and defending it in a final examination.
  • All incoming doctoral students take a proficiency examination in an appropriate foreign language at the beginning of the first term of residence. Those who do not pass the exam enroll in suitable language courses until proficiency is acquired. Proficiency in two foreign languages (or for Africanists, one language) must be demonstrated before a Ph.D. degree candidate is eligible to take the Admission to Candidacy examination. The Admission to Candidacy exam is partly oral and partly written and is usually taken in the third year of study.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Concentrations by Subject:

  • African history
  • American history
  • American studies (minor)
  • ancient Greek history
  • ancient history
  • ancient Roman history
  • early modern European history
  • English history
  • French history
  • German history
  • history of science
  • Korean history
  • Latin American history
  • medieval Chinese history
  • medieval history
  • modern Chinese history
  • modern European history
  • modern Japanese history
  • modern Middle Eastern history
  • premodern Islamic history
  • premodern Japanese history
  • Renaissance history
  • Russian history
  • south Asian history
  • Southeast Asian history

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

Requirements Summary:
  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • three recommendations
  • GRE general test
  • writing sample
  • In addition to the materials require by the Graduate school, the Field of History requires all applicants to submit a writing sample (an academic paper or essay -- try to limit length to around 50 pgs). All applicants must also submit GRE general test scores; the test should be taken before December. Applications will not be evaluated unless complete.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Ithaca

  • 1128 - 2460 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Admitted Ph.D. students are guaranteed five years of full funding from Cornell, which will cover tuition, living stipend and health insurance. This includes four summer living stipends.  Normally, during your first and final years of study you will receive a fellowship, with no teaching responsibilities. In other years, your financial aid package will require you to serve as a TA in a lecture course or to teach your own First-Year Writing Seminar. 

Many students are able to extend the period of time during which they are funded with internal or external grants.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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