History Graduate Admission for Fall 2021, (last updated Fall 2020)

The History Department has moved to a new model of admission in which it will be rotating fields in its admission process. We are especially interested in applicants who contribute to the department’s commitment to diversity and in applicants who are pursuing transnational and transregional approaches. Please contact prospective mentors before submitting an application.

This year, we will be admitting students in the following fields (to begin in the program in the Fall of 2021):

Any questions, please contact Rhiannon Parisse (rparisse@ucsb.edu)


Applicants to the graduate program in History are expected to show high potential for engaging in advanced historical research and analysis. Applicants must meet general university requirements for admission to graduate standing and should have completed an undergraduate major in History or related fields (approximately 40 upper-division quarter units or approximately 24 upper-division semester units). History is a discipline that benefits from training in other fields, so applicants who do not meet these requirements are still encouraged to apply, but are also strongly urged to contact faculty in their proposed field of study for advice. If admitted, applicants who were not History majors may be required to do some additional course work, which must be completed in the first year and does not count in satisfaction of graduate degree unit or course requirements.


All departmental requirements can be viewed on the “History section” of the UCSB online catalog.

In addition to departmental requirements, applicants for admission and candidates for degrees must fulfill University requirements described in the Graduate Education section of the UCSB online catalog.

GRE and Grade Point Average (GPA)

The GRE general test (verbal, quantitative and analytical) is required for graduate admission at UCSB.  These scores are but one set of indicators within a holistic review process that takes into account an applicant’s academic record, capacity for historical analysis as demonstrated in a writing sample and letters of recommendation, awareness of and fit with faculty and departmental research and training fields, and related qualitative criteria. Admission is not guaranteed on the basis of high GRE scores; neither do lower scores necessarily disqualify an applicant.  The Graduate Division of the University requires applicants to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the junior and senior years. The average GPA of students admitted to the Graduate History Program is 3.55 for the junior and senior years.

Statement of Purpose:

Please be specific in your statement of purpose. We need to know the fields in which you wish to work. BEFORE submitting your application, we strongly encourage you to contact one or more faculty members with whom you would like to work. Discuss your research interests with faculty members. Please include the names of faculty who might serve as a mentor in your statement of purpose. No student will be admitted unless the appropriate professor consents to mentor that student through his/her course of study at UCSB.


Check out our application FAQs page!

You can also contact the History Graduate Program Assistant:
Rhiannon Parisse, rparisse@ucsb.edu, (805) 893-2224.

Page last modified: November 16, 2020