PhD Application Information and Requirements

Georgetown has a highly selective History doctoral program: we accept only 10 percent of those who apply, and incoming classes average about 8-12 students.

General questions about the application process can be referred to Alison Games, Interim Director of Doctoral Studies (Spring 2024), or Carolina Madinaveitia, Graduate Programs Manager.

We strongly encourage applicants to contact their prospective mentor and other faculty members with whom they wish to pursue their doctoral degree, as well as current students in the program, prior to submitting an application, in order to verify whether Georgetown History is a good fit.

**Please note the Department will not be accepting PhD applications in the subfield of African History until further notice. Please contact Profs. Meredith McKittrick or Kate De Luna if you have any questions.

Applications for matriculation in the Fall semester are due December 1.

The PhD program does not have rolling admissions, and does not accept students for matriculation in the Spring semester.

All applicants to the PhD program should have strong analytical, language, and writing skills. An undergraduate GPA above 3.3 is expected, and above 3.5 is encouraged.

All applications must be filed through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, rather than the History Department. Visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions website for the online application and additional information.

Please indicate on the application if you are applying for a joint program; joint program applicants must submit materials for both programs, and must be accepted by both programs in order to matriculate. 

Applications for PhD admission include:

  • a 500-word, double spaced statement of purpose;
  • a substantive sample of work (research papers preferred, maximum of 50 pages; if you are excerpting a larger work, please provide a cover page explaining the selection and larger context);
  • unofficial transcripts from any and all college and universities attended (see note below on unofficial transcripts);
  • GRE General Test scores (optional);
  • TOEFL/IELTS where applicable (see note below on language proficiency);
  • and three letters of recommendation. 

A Note on LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education where English is the primary language of instruction.  All other applicants must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. International students who have been conferred degrees from accredited institutions where English is the primary language of instruction do not need to request a waiver of IELTS/TOEFL as part of the English proficiency confirmation process.

A Note on UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS: Per the Graduate School Admissions team, “an acceptable transcript upload is a copy of an official transcript produced by the institution. (We consider these uploaded transcripts to be “unofficial” as they are submitted by the applicant). This includes:
-Scanned copies of paper transcripts issued by the institution to the student
-Electronic transcripts issued by the institution to the student (not a download from your institution’s web portal)
-We do not accept screenshots or photos, and we do not accept downloads of the “student’s view” from your institution’s website.”

A Note on SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION MATERIALS: Applicants can submit their statement of purpose, writing sample, unofficial transcripts, and letters of recommendation via the online portal.  GRE and/or IELTS/TOEFL scores should be submitted directly to the Graduate School and not the History Department.  Please use code 5244 for submission of GRE and TOEFL scores. All materials must be submitted directly to the Graduate School, not the History Department. Submitting materials to the History Department directly slows down the processing of your application.

Visit the Graduate School Catalogue as well as our PhD Admissions FAQ for additional information on applying to the History PhD.