Theoretically sophisticated comparative and interdisciplinary approaches are a hallmark of the PhD program at the University of Chicago. The Department of History offers a comprehensive range of fields of study. In addition, we strongly encourage students to take courses outside of History and to compose one of their three oral fields in a comparative discipline. A rich series of interdisciplinary workshops and special conferences bring together students and faculty from throughout the university for intellectual exchange.
The department's distinguished faculty works in close concert with students in the graduate seminars, colloquia, and tutorials that form the core of advanced training at Chicago. It is here, in intense interaction with faculty and fellow students, that individual interests and the professional skills of the historian are honed. As in any history program, a student is expected to learn to read critically, to search out and analyze primary materials with skill, and to write with rigor. At Chicago we also expect students, through their own creativity, to produce work that significantly advances the frontiers of their chosen field.
History students enjoy access to multiple sources of support for research and professional development within both the Department and the wider University community. The Department itself supports graduate student research and conference travel, sponsors workshops on professional issues, and maintains a strong placement program. It also coordinates with our vibrant graduate student body, which participates in departmental committees and supports an active graduate student professional and social organization. Making History Work, sponsored by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, offers optional enrichment programs for graduate students designed to broaden their familiarity with and access to multiple possible careers. The University offers academic, funding and career resources for graduate students through UChicagoGRAD. It is our belief that these initiatives, which will give interested students exposure to a range of digital, quantitative, administrative, and presentation skills, will be useful both to the majority who become university faculty – improving their ability to wok within the university as an institution, to communicate their findings to the broader public, and so on – and to those who may at some point choose a different career path.