Each year, we admit 6 to 8 students into the PhD Program and additional students into the Masters Program. Applications for admission are handled through the Graduate School. Prospective students must apply online.
If you have any questions about the process, see FAQ below, and feel free to call or email us with further questions: the Graduate School (631-632-4723), the History Department Graduate Coordinator (631-632-7490), or our Director of Graduate Studies.
Completed PhD program applications for admission and financial assistance, along with all required supporting material, must be postmarked/submitted/received by January 9. Students are admitted in the Spring for study beginning in the Fall. The majority of our doctoral students pursue their studies full-time, but occasionally students are admitted on a part-time basis. MA application materials are due April 1.
Successful applicants typically have a strong record of undergraduate achievement, familiarity with historical approaches and scholarship, and excellent writing, research, and analytical skills. Prior specialization in History is not required. Admissions decisions are based primarily upon assement of the applicant's potential for scholarly achievement in the discipline of History and our faculty's ability to support them in their intended field of study.
To apply, you will need to submit the following:
—Completed Graduate School Online Application Form.
—Statement of Purpose (uploaded with application), (3-4 pages) describing the intended field(s) of study, the insights or experiences motivating the decision to specialize in this area, and the kinds of questions which the applicant hopes to explore; this statement should be as specific as possible about intended research topics and subject area(s) and indicate relevant faculty with whom they envision working. Applicants are encouraged to contact these professors before submitting the application.
—Writing sample (uploaded with application) that illustrates the applicant's writing skills and capacity for research, analysis, and creative thought. The sample should be 12-20 pages, with proper citations and bibliography.
—Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) Letters of Recommendation are required for PhD applicants; Two (2) Letters of Recommendation are required for MA applicants. When you submit your application, your recommenders will automatically be sent a link to submit their letters electronically to the Graduate School. Letters should describe the applicant's achievements and potential for intellectual growth.
—Two sets of Official Transcripts should be sent directly from the Registrar's Office of your school(s) to the History Department. We require 2 official copies in English from each institution of higher learning listed on your application. Photocopies are not acceptable. If your school does not offer English transcripts, we will need an official (notarized) translation. Some overseas documents must be evaluated by World Educational Services.
—GRE scores must be submitted directly from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The History subject test is not required. It is advisable, especially for
financial aid applicants, to take the GRE no later than October to insure that the
review of application materials is not delayed. GRE scores must be sent electronically
from Educational Testing Services (ETS) directly to the Graduate School. Our institution code is 2548.
—TOFEL/IELTS If your native or primary language is not English, English proficiency must be established based on the results of your TOEFL or IELTS examinations. See Graduate School for language test requirements. Test scores must be sent electronically from Educational Testing Services (ETS) directly to the Graduate School. Our institution code is 2548.
For more information, see FAQ below.
All full-time PhD applicants are automatically considered for financial assistance from the History Department, in the form of a teaching assistantship or a graduate assistantship. They also receive full tuition waivers, as long as they maintain their full-time status. There are no special forms to fill out for Departmental support
The History Department does not fund MA students. Typically, MA students seek financial assistance through Stony Brook University's Financial Aid Department.
Additional support is avilable to eligible PhD students in the form of fellowships. The History Department can nominate eligible students for Presidential Fellowships, created by the university president and used to recruit promising new doctoral students. The Department also awards several endowed fellowships generously created by private donors and foundations, such as the Evan Frankel Foundation Fellowship and the Gardiner Graduate Fellowship. The Gardiner Fellowship is awarded each year to a graduate student researching Early American history, with preference for aspects of local and regional history in which the Gardiner family played an important role.
Entering PhD students in history may also be nominated by the admissions committee
to compete for university-sponsored awards, namely Graduate Council Fellowships and Turner Fellowships. If you wish to be considered for either of these financial opportunities, please
indicate that on your application. Students wishing to be considered for these awards
must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents. Turner Fellows must self-identify as
a member of an underrepsented groups (such as African American, Native American, Hispanic,
etc.) on their application.
U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents are also eligible for other forms of financial aid, which are applied for via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Most residents of New York are also eligible for the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
When is the application deadline?
PhD applications must be submitted and all supplemental materials received by January 9 for Fall admission.
MA applications must be submitted and all supplemental materials received by April 1 for Fall admission.
How should I submit my application?
Your application must be submitted online through the Graduate School.
What if I have a technical problem with my online application?
Please click the help link on the login page. If you require further assistance, contact the Graduate School at GradAdmissions@stonybrook.edu. The History Department does not have access to the application system. We recommend that you apply in sufficient time to avoid any last-minute technical difficulties.
Where do I submit my supporting materials?
—Statement of Purpose should be uploaded with your application.
—Writing sample should be uploaded with your application.
—Letters of recommendation: When you submit your application, your recommenders will automatically be sent a link to submit their letters electronically to the Graduate School.
—Official Transcripts should be sent directly from the Registrar's Office of your school(s) to the History Department. We require 2 official copies of each transcript. Photocopies are not acceptable. We will need transcripts, in English, with the degree posted for every school you attended. If your school does not offer English transcripts, we will need an official (notarized) translation. Some overseas documents must be evaluated by World Educational Services.
—GRE scores. The Graduate School requires that students contact Educational Testing Services (ETS) and have them send official score reports directly to Stony Brook University. Our
institution code is 2548.
—TOEFL or IELTS examination score. The Graduate School requires that students contact Educational Testing Services (ETS) and have them send official score reports directly to Stony Brook University. Our institution code is 2548. See Graduate School for language test requirements.
What should I include in my Statement of Purpose?
Your Statement of Purpose (3-4 pages) describing the intended field(s) of study, the insights or experiences motivating the decision to specialize in this area, and the kinds of questions which the applicant hopes to explore; this statement should be as specific as possible about intended research topics and subject area(s) and indicate relevant faculty with whom they envision working. Applicants are encouraged to contact these professors before submitting the application.
What sort of Writing Sample should I send?
An appropriate writing sample would be an undergraduate seminar paper or an excerpt from a BA or MA thesis. It should demonstrate the student's capacity for research, analysis, creative thought, and excellent writing. A paper based on original research (using primary sources) with a strong historical argument is preferable. The writing sample should be 12-20 pages, with proper citations and bibliography. Please do not exceed 25 pages.
What if I don't have any papers in English?
The requirement still applies, meaning you must translate your paper(s) into English.
Why do you require two originals of official documents?
One set of originals is for the Graduate School and the other is for the History Department.
How do I know if you received my application?
You may re-visit the application portal to see whether or not all supporting materials have been received.
Who has to take the TOEFL or IELTS language exam?
If your native or primary language is not English, you must take either the TOEFL or the IELTS. No waivers are available for this requirement. "Native or primary speakers of English" are defined as those who have been raised or educated in an English-speaking environment. "Native or primary speakers" may speak a language other than English at home but speak English exclusively outside the home in social and/or educational contexts. Intentional misrepresentation of ones' native/primary language is academic dishonesty, and grounds for dismissal from the University. See Graduate School for minimum required scores on the TOEFL or IELTS.
All doctoral (PhD) students who are not native/primary speakers of English must also take a speak test upon arrival at the University. Depending on the result of this test, some students may be required to take ESL classes.
Who has to take the GRE?
All applicants to our graduate programs must take the GRE. Our institution code for the GRE is 2548.
What if I haven’t taken the TOEFL or GRE exam yet?
We need to have the results in our office no later than January 15. If your score is not received on time, it could jeopardize your admission to the program.
What if my application is incomplete?
If your application is incomplete, the History Department will not review your file. It is therefore crucial that all required supporting documents are received by the deadline.
How does the Department make admissions decisions?
Admissions decisions are based primarily upon assessment of the student's academic records, potential for scholarly achievement, and the ability of our to support the student's intended field of study.
When does the Department decide?
We send out admissions decision letters in March. Please refrain from calling for
status updates. If you have not heard from us by April 15, please contact us.
Is the Department on social media?
Yes. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.