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Graduate Studies in History

The William P. Clements Department of History at Southern Methodist University offers innovative graduate study in transnational history. The courses of study explore the human historical experience in American, global, and comparative perspectives, with individualized specializations in transnational themes, such as borderlands, nationalism, democracy, gender, and capitalism. The department emphasizes advanced work on the southwestern United States, the West, Native Americans, ethnic Mexicans, U.S. presidents, and colonial history. But students may pursue other individualized specializations in coherent global fields of study, approved by the Graduate Committee and mentored by appropriate faculty.

The Department of History is home to two centers that sustain and enrich its core offerings through research colloquia, visiting postdoctoral fellows, and scholarly lectures. The Clements Center for Southwest Studies has long been the nation’s leading venue for research in the history of the Southwest in a transnational perspective. And since 2012, the Center for Presidential History promotes critical inquiry into the study of the rich history of U.S. politics and government in both domestic and foreign affairs.

SMU, a nationally ranked private university, is home to top flight research facilities, including the DeGolyer Library, which is devoted to the history of the Southwest, the history of business, and the history of science and technology; the Bridwell Library, which provides a wealth of resources for the study of religious history; and the George W. Bush Presidential Library, one of four presidential research libraries within easy reach of Dallas.

For students with interdisciplinary interests, the Underwood Law Library supports the study of legal history, including that of international law. The Women’s and Gender Studies Program offers a graduate certificate that can be earned together with the Ph.D. in history. Naturally, the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute especially addresses the needs of students with multidisciplinary and global interests.

 

We Offer two degrees

History M.A.

Admission Deadline

Priority deadline for fall admission is December 15.

Deadline for fall admission is May 1.

Admission Requirements

  • All applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (students from abroad must hold the equivalent degree), a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and at least 12 advanced credit hours in history courses.
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended (post high school; unofficial documents can be uploaded to your application).
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE Scores
  • Writing Sample: an essay, chapter, or some other substantial piece of historical writing that demonstrates your ability to think critically and use citations. 
  • On admission, students should have two years of college-level study in a language in addition to English.
  • International applicants must provide English Language Proficiency scores if their degree does not meet our waiver requirements. 

History PH.D.

Admission Deadline

Priority deadline for fall admission is December 15.

Deadline for fall admission is May 1.

Admission Requirements

  • All applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (students from abroad must hold the equivalent degree), a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and at least 12 advanced credit hours in history courses.
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended (post high school; unofficial documents can be uploaded to your application).
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE Scores
  • Writing Sample: an essay, chapter, or some other substantial piece of historical writing that demonstrates your ability to think critically and use citations. 
  • Applicants should possess a foundation in a language for research, normally Spanish, sufficient to pass an examination in translation to English in September of the first year of study.
  • International applicants must provide English Language Proficiency scores if their degree does not meet our waiver requirements. 
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