Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in History at North Dakota State University.
Our program offers Ph.D., M.A., and M.S. degrees. Most graduate courses are held during the workday, but a number of courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening each semester to accommodate working professionals within driving distance of NDSU. Online courses are not offered.
Prior to formal application, we encourage prospective students to start an e-mail dialogue with one or two non-emeriti faculty members in your field of interest. You will need to have at least one faculty member who is interested in working with you before you apply.
You must apply electronically for graduate admission. The electronic application is available online at the NDSU Graduate School website: https://www.ndsu.edu/gradschool/prospective_students/.
We accept and evaluate applications for admission throughout the year. Admissions decisions are usually available about a month after all of your materials have been received by the Graduate School.
We wish you the best of luck as you start the application process!
Marcela Perett, PhD, Graduate Studies Coordinator
If you have any other questions, please contact Dr. Marcela Perett, Graduate Studies Coordinator. Email Dr. Perett.
We admit students year-round, for both fall and spring semesters.
The admissions committee considers the following factors when evaluating applications for admission:
- Three letters of recommendation from former or current professors.
- A statement of purpose.
- A writing sample.
- Foreign language training (for M.A. and Ph.D applicants)
- Undergraduate or M.A. grade point average.
- GRE scores (with an emphasis on the verbal score).
- Transcripts, both undergraduate and graduate (if applicable).
- TOEFL score (for non-native English speakers).
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
The faculty relies heavily on the comments and assessment of colleagues at NDSU and other academic institutions. A thoughtful and thorough assessment provides insight into the student's abilities, preparation and motivation. Several such evaluations combine to form a detailed picture of the student's background and potential. It is the applicant's responsibility to check with people who have written the letters of recommendation to make sure that they are submitted in a timely manner.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
A candidate's statement of purpose distinguishes him or her from other applicants. It indicates to faculty the student's interests, ability to state research goals concisely, and to some degree, the candidate's maturity and sophistication, both of which are significant for work at the graduate level. The admissions committee looks for students who show that they have already focused on a given field and have a reasonable awareness of what the department has to offer. It is helpful for candidates to list the names of faculty members with whom they would like to work.
Book reviews, senior thesis, and research papers are commonly submitted as writing samples. Or you could submit an excerpt of a longer paper (e.g. MA or senior thesis). You can include a brief explanation at the beginning of the sample if it is from a larger work.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE TRAINING
The importance of language training varies from field to field and from degree to degree. The M.S. requires no language training. M.A. students and Ph.D. students in the U.S. field could conceivably begin the program with minimal foreign language preparation. On the other hand, doctoral students in other fields should come to NDSU already having done significant work in their major language. Those without such training would have difficulty with their required course-work and research, both because of the difficulty of these languages and because these fields require proficiency in two or more foreign languages.
GRADE POINT AVERAGE
There is no minimum GPA required for admission, but we look carefully at your performance in history courses. In general, the stronger the GPA, the stronger the application.
GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION SCORES
The verbal and analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination are most important for admission to the history program. For non-native English speakers, the TOEFL exam is also required for a better assessment of the student's language capability.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHEN CAN I APPLY FOR ADMISSION?
We admit students year-round, for both fall and spring semesters.
DO I NEED TO HAVE MAJORED IN HISTORY AS AN UNDERGRADUATE IN ORDER TO APPLY?
No. But, applicants should be able to demonstrate that they have an academic background in the field that they are applying to. Foreign language preparation and training should also be demonstrated based on the requirements of the field.
WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED?
The Graduate School only releases fully complete applications to the department for review. They will be evaluated for admission once they are complete.
WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT DOES THE DEPARTMENT PROVIDE ITS GRADUATE STUDENTS?
We typically offer financial support to a limited number of admitted students in the form of both Teaching and Research Assistantships. These positions provide tuition waivers and a small stipend and are typically renewable for up to 2 years for masters students and 4 years for doctoral students, contingent on good academic progress though the program. Additionally, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences has generally been able to offer students various kinds of travel research support.
DO YOU ADMIT STUDENTS WITHOUT MASTERS DEGREES INTO THE PH.D. PROGRAM?
No. Only students with M.A.s in History or another very closely related field will be admitted into the Ph.D. program.
The department offers both the Master of Arts and the Master of Science degrees in history. The Master of Arts requires proficiency in at least one foreign language and the successful defense of a thesis. Those planning to continue graduate study in history at the doctoral level are strongly encouraged to pursue the MA. The Master of Science is designed for in-service professionals and has no language or thesis requirement; students pursuing the MS are generally not awarded assistantships or tuition waivers. Both degrees require a minimum of 30 credit hours with a minimum of 24 hours in history.
The department offers a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in History. The Ph.D. in History is a research degree. It requires the successful defense of a primary-source based dissertation that makes an original contribution to knowledge.