History Graduate Admissions FAQs

British Customs House, Virginia. Photo Contributed by Greg O'Malley.

How do I apply?

UCSC’s online application, filing requirements and instructions, deadlines, and FAQs are available online

When is your application deadline?

The History Department’s application deadline is December 10. Please note that we do not accept late applications.

Do you accept applications for winter or spring quarters?

No, admission is for fall quarter only.

Is the GRE required?

As of Fall 2020, we are no longer requiring the GRE.

What is the minimum GPA requirement?

You must have at least a 3.0 grade point average in undergraduate work—both in the major, and overall—for admission to graduate standing.

How can I find out if my application is complete?

After you submit your application, you will receive an e-mail with your UCSC User ID and password. Use your ID and password to access the UCSC student portal at https://my.ucsc.edu. The Graduate Admissions office will begin posting application status information on the portal on December 15. 

How many students do you accept each year?

We usually make 18-20 offers of admission, but the number varies from year-to-year depending on the applicant pool.

I don't have a BA in history. Am I eligible to apply to your program?

A BA in history is preferred, but not required. The admissions committee will look at your transcripts for evidence that you have pursued hisotorical study. They will also rely on the judgment of your letter writers.

How can I tell if your program is the right one for me?

Carefully review our program information, course offerings, and faculty interests. It is imperative for graduate students to have a faculty adviser who shares their research interests. We encourage prospective students to contact one or more of our faculty before applying.

Can you send me a brochure?

We no longer produce a print brochure. For individuals who require accommodation due to a disability, we can provide an appropriate hard copy of our web information.

Can I submit extra materials?

Supplemental materials (other than the writing sample) are not required, nor will they increase your chances of being admitted to the program.

I no longer have an electronic copy of my writing sample. Can I send you the hard copy?

Yes, mail your hard copy to:

UC Santa Cruz
Graduate Application Processing
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

All paper documents will be scanned and saved digitally by the Graduate Admissions office. To assist them in processing your application, do not bind, glue or laminate your documents. Be sure to include your name, birth date, and the department to which you are applying on every document. Please note that hard copy materials will not be returned to you.

You require a writing sample of up to 30 pages, but my thesis is longer than that. Should I send the whole thing, or just a portion of it?

We prefer to receive a good portion of your work (30 pages or less).

Whom should I ask for letters of recommendation?

Your letters of recommendation should come from faculty at your previous institutions who know you well and can write about your strengths as a student. We do not recommend asking a supervisor, neighbor, friend, or community leader to write on your behalf.

If I’m accepted into the MA program, will I be able to transfer to the Ph.D. program?

Admission to the Ph.D. program is not automatic. You will need to go through the admissions process again. 

Do you offer any online courses?

No, all of our courses are offered on campus.

Do you offer evening courses?

Our schedule of classes varies from quarter-to-quarter. Most graduate courses meet one day a week for three hours.

What kind of financial support is available?

The History Department has been able to support its doctoral students with fellowships, teaching assistantships, or a combination of the two. Some fellowships are available to first-year and advanced students through campus wide competition. The department offers a limited number of small fellowships for research and travel.  In addition the History Department works with students on applying for external grants.

The History Department does not normally provide financial support to its M.A. students; however, you may apply for available teaching assistantships.

Are graduate students able to teach their own courses?

Students who are advanced to candidacy are eligible to teach summer session courses and/or a one-quarter teaching fellowship (pending funding).

I have an MA in history. Is any of my course work transferable? Do I have to complete the required courses in your program?

Students who have a master’s degree in history from another institution are expected to complete the requirements for the MA at UCSC. You may, in consultation with your UCSC faculty adviser, plan to use course work completed at another institution as part of your preparation for the qualifying exam. To request an exception from course work, you must submit to the Graduate Committee a written request (include name of the institution, course title and number), timetable for completion, letter of support from your faculty adviser, and course syllabi. The Graduate Committee must approve any requests for exception from course work.

Do you require a Masters degree to be admitted into your PhD program?


When will I find out if I’ve been admitted?

You will be notified by e-mail in March. Please do not contact the department; under no circumstances will this information be released over the phone, in person, or by proxy.