Skip to Content

Admissions FAQ

Don’t see your question here? Contact us.

Do I need a prior degree in history to apply?

While a prior degree in history is not required, it is expected that all applicants will have substantial undergraduate coursework in history. If your background doesn’t take the form of a history BA, be sure that your experience in history is visible in your transcripts, your writing samples, and your statement of purpose.

[back to top]

What is the minimum recommended GPA?

Most successful applicants to the UO graduate program in history have outstanding undergraduate records, but occasionally students take longer to reach their potential. Applicants whose grades in undergraduate history courses were not mostly in the A range (3.5 GPA or higher) may need to explain why their performance at the graduate level can be expected to exceed their undergraduate performance in history.

[back to top]

Is the GRE required, optional, or not considered at all?

In 2022, the history faculty voted to remove the GRE requirement in order to make admissions accessible to a wide range of students. To ensure that all applicants are judged by the same criteria, the department’s application process does not include the opportunity to submit GRE scores, not even optionally.

[back to top]

Do I need a foreign language?

Once in the history graduate program, all students are required to demonstrate—or acquire—mastery of at least one foreign language. The amount of language preparation that students should list on their applications varies according to the field (U.S., European, Asian, etc.) and degree (MA, PhD). The Graduate Committee will be looking for appropriate linguistic background and skill, so be sure that your application lists your language training. It is rare for a student to be admitted in a field involving foreign language research without basic competency in that language. For information about the expectations of specific fields, you may wish to contact either the director of graduate studies or a potential faculty advisor in that field.

[back to top]

How many people apply and are accepted into the program?

Generally speaking, the history department receives 80–100 applications and admits 10–15 students to the program each admission cycle.

[back to top]

Should I apply to the MA program or the PhD program?

Applicants with bachelor’s degrees are encouraged to apply to the MA program.

Applicants with master’s degrees should apply directly to the PhD program. In unusual cases, such as those of applicants who have an MA in a field other than history, contact the director of graduate studies before submitting your application.

Applicants intending to take a terminal master’s degree, or to apply to another PhD program after completing the MA at Oregon, should apply to the MA program.

[back to top]

Does the department offer a direct BA to PhD option?

Yes. Applicants may apply directly to the PhD program. However, because of limited funding, we only offer admission directly to the PhD program to a few such applicants. On the other hand, if your record is especially strong and you indicate that your ultimate goal is a PhD, we may admit you into our PhD program, even if you apply only to the MA program. You, of course, are under no obligation to continue your studies beyond the MA.

Applicants with bachelor’s degrees who apply directly to the PhD program will automatically be considered for admission to the MA program should they not be admitted to the PhD program. Applying to the PhD program will not hinder an applicant’s chances of being accepted into the MA program.

Students who apply to the PhD program but who are admitted to the MA program remain eligible to apply to the PhD program in subsequent admissions cycles without paying an additional application fee.

[back to top]