History Department

Graduate Study in History

Almost all graduate schools feature programs in various fields of History. While some will permit you to earn a Master's degree alone, increasingly they focus on developing PhD's -- the terminal degree that permits a scholar to gain a tenure-track academic position.

As compared to your college experience, graduate study tends to involve much more emphasis on historiography and research: expect smaller classes and almost no lectures, but more independent work and higher expectations for the quality of research, analysis, and writing. Most programs require PhD candidates to demonstrate reading proficiency in one or two additional languages (to permit you to conduct original research and to stay abreast of literature in your field). The final component of the doctoral program is the writing of a book-length dissertation or doctoral thesis that makes an original contribution to the literature in a particular field.

If you are interested in continuing your historical studies, honing your scholarly skills, and preparing for a career teaching and researching history, check out the resources below. They may help you choose graduate programs, write a strong application, and even secure financial aid.

Online Directories of Graduate Programs

Other Online Resources

  • U.S. News America's Best Graduate Schools

    • Homepage: links to directories, articles on admissions and financial aid, many other resources
    • Grad School Forum: ask/answer questions about all things grad school-related
  • About.com

    • Articles, columns, FAQs, and other resources on grad school admissions/funding

From Bethel's Office of Career Services


Bethel's Career Services library includes several books on graduate education, the admissions process, looking for scholarships and grants, etc.

  • Donald Asher, Graduate Admissions Essays
  • Laurie Blum, Free Money for Graduate School
  • Council of Graduate Studies, Graduate School and You
  • Richard J. Stelzer, How to Write a Winning Personal Statement...
  • Newsweek/Kaplan, How to Get Into Graduate School
  • TIME/Princeton Review, The Best Graduate School for You
  • Brochures on graduate education, being a Christian in graduate school, funding, and other issues
  • Bulletins from the GRE and other admissions tests