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Graduate Application Process


Online application - the updated online application will open on August 1, 2022 at .

The Vanderbilt History Department offers the PhD degree. Students normally earn the MA following two years of coursework, fulfillment of the research paper requirement, and satisfactory performance on language examinations. The department does not offer a free-standing terminal MA degree.

The application deadline for Fall 2023 admission is December 1, 2022. Applicants for whom the $95 application fee presents a financial hardship are encouraged to apply for a fee waiver from the Graduate School.  Information about how to apply for these waivers is posted here:   

Foreign applicants or applicants who do not qualify for a fee waiver from the Graduate School should feel free to contact  These applicants should explain briefly in their email why the fee presents a financial hardship.  These applicants’ requests for a fee waiver will be assessed and forwarded to the College of Arts & Science.  If a fee waiver is granted by the College of Arts & Science to one of these applicants, the applicant will be notified.

As part of the on-line application, candidates will provide:

*Statement of Purpose (Please be specific about your research goals and provide names of faculty members with whom you would like to work, and why. In addition, please explain how your interests and goals may connect with our Areas of Excellence initiative.)

*A minimum of three letters of recommendation (and no more than five).

*An unofficial, scanned College Transcript(s) and Graduate Transcript(s) if applicable. Admitted applicants will be instructed to submit official and final transcripts as a condition of enrollment at Vanderbilt.

*The GRE is not required

* Candidates are required to upload a writing sample  of no more than 25 pages as part of the online application process. The option to upload the writing sample is made available immediately after entering your test scores into the online application. Please note that until this writing sample has been uploaded, your application will be considered incomplete. Research papers and theses, especially those that explore a historical topic and show facility in using original and/or archival materials, are of most use to the admissions committee members in making their decisions.  Co-authored writing samples are not accepted.