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PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in History


What will I learn?

The Department of History offers broad training in history, in combination with depth in a research specialty. The Doctor of Philosophy is the degree objective for students, and the Master's degree an interim stage towards that goal. The program is designed to provide students with research training leading to the doctoral degree, pedagogical training and instructional opportunities in preparation for teaching at a range of post-secondary institutions, and a broader array of skills and professional development training to provide students with the versatility required to use their historical training in non-academic as well as academic settings. Students specializing in public historical studies receive training that prepares them for careers in the community at large, working in a variety of historical institutions (museums, preservation firms, oral history projects) or as private consultants. Graduates of our program are also prepared to teach public history at the college and university level, and often pursue careers combining opportunities in both academic and non-academic areas.

The Department offers doctoral study in sixteen general fields, from which students typically choose three areas of training (supplemented by a fourth field in an outside discipline):

  • Africa
  • Ancient History
  • Cold War Studies and International History
  • Comparative Gender History
  • Comparative Race and Ethnicity
  • Early Modern Europe
  • East Asia
  • History of Public Policy
  • History of Science
  • Latin America
  • Medieval Studies
  • Middle East
  • Modern Europe
  • Public History
  • United States
  • World History

Doctoral students may add an interdisciplinary emphasis in Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Black Studies, Environment and Society, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, Medieval Studies, and Technology and Society. In addition to formal course work, students are introduced to professional scholarship, resources, and activities through venues such as the Department's Center for Cold War and International Studies, the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy, the History of Science Colloquium, and the Medieval Studies Program.

Which department am I in?

College of Letters and Science

Study options

Full Time (5 years to advance to candidacy, 8 years to complete the Ph.D.)

Tuition fees
US$15,102.00 per year
Start date

Expected September 2023


College of Letters and Science

2217 Cheadle Hall, MC 2080,

University of California, Santa Barbara,



93106, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students applying to the graduate program must possess a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution or equivalent, have a strong background in women's, gender, or feminist studies, and evidence of potential for excellence in research, analysis, and oral and written communication. Candidates should have at least a 3.3 grade point average.

For international students

Applicants must meet general university requirements for admission to graduate standing and should have completed an undergraduate major in History or related fields (approximately 40 upper-division quarter units or approximately 24 upper-division semester units).

The minimum score for consideration is 550 when taking the paper-based TOEFL, or 80 when taking the internet-based test. UCSB also considers a minimal score of 7 on the IELTS.

Deadline: Fall Only: December 13

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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