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College of Humanities & Sciences

Department of History

Applying

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The Department of History offers two graduate programs: the Certificate in Public History and the Masters of Arts (M.A.) degree.

Applications for both are made online; instructions and links can be found on the Graduate School admissions page. Questions about the status of your application can be addressed to the Office of Admissions, 408 W. Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Richmond, VA 23284-2526; the phone is (804) 828-6916, and the email address is vcu-grad@vcu.edu.

Application deadlines for receipt of all materials:

  • priority consideration for Fall admission - February 15
  • deadline for Fall admission - July 1
  • priority consideration for Spring admission - October 15
  • deadline for Spring admission - December 1

It is recommended that candidates apply early to ensure consideration for graduate teaching assistantships and for receipt of any applicable financial aid.

Applications for the Certificate in Public History consist of:

  1. a written statement of intent, indicating why the applicant wishes to pursue a graduate certificate in public history, what particular interests in this field the applicant may have, and professional goals;
  2. transcripts from all undergraduate institutions;
  3. three letters of reference from instructors or colleagues capable of speaking to the applicant's ability to conduct research, communicate effectively, contribute in a classroom, and progress through graduate school.

Note: Students in the certificate program may apply for admission into the Master of Arts in History program after having completed nine credit hours, with no more than three internship credits counting toward that total, in the graduate program. These applicants must provide letters of recommendation from at least two professors in the VCU History department, a writing sample, and have successfully completed the GRE exam. If accepted, students may transfer the certificate credits toward partial fulfillment of the master’s degree requirements. 

Applications for the Master of Arts in History consist of:

  1. a written statement of intent, indicating why the applicant wishes to pursue a graduate degree in history, what area of concentration (topic, time period, geographical location, etc.) the applicant wishes to study, and professional goals;
  2. transcripts from all undergraduate institutions;
  3. satisfactory completion of the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  4. three letters of reference from instructors or colleagues capable of speaking to the applicant's ability to conduct research, communicate effectively, contribute in a classroom, and progress through graduate school;
  5. a writing sample of roughly twenty pages demonstrating the ability to analyze and convey historical information effectively.

It is strongly encouraged that references use the online application to submit letters of recommendation; however, references may also email their letters to gradimag@vcu.edu, with the applicant's full name and the program to which they are applying in the subject line of the email.

Admission criteria:
Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a history major or substantial credits in subject areas containing historical content (such as literature, political theory, art history, etc.). Alternatively, applicants can substitute work experience, such as archival, museum, or preservation work, for the undergraduate major. Applicants' transcripts should show a grade point average indicative of the ability to pursue successfully a graduate degree.

If a personal interview is desirable, applicants should contact the department's Director of Graduate Studies, Emilie Raymond (eeraymond@vcu.edu).

Thank you for your interest in our programs.

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