Prepare for Graduate School
- Review basic questions about whether graduate school is right for you.
- See "Exploring" at the Smith Career Center
- Develop your foreign language skills.
- Take HIS 350 Historical Methods as early as possible.
- Take an independent reading or research course (HIS 405 or 406).
- Write research papers based on primary sources.
- Wolunteer or apply for relevant internships or jobs at museums, libraries, archives and historical societies.
Investigate Your Options
- Discuss the application process with your professors.
- Visit the Smith Career Center and review its graduate school information.
- Ask about national grants and scholarships.
- Ask about graduate and professional school fairs.
- Find out about graduate programs online. (See the list of Online Resources below.)
- Look at a range of programs across the country.
- Make a short list of your top choices.
- Note general application requirements, deadlines and fees.
- Search for specific research and teaching assistantship applications.
- Visit prospective campuses and departments.
Prepare Your Applications Early
- Budget for test and application fees and postage expenses.
- Take the GRE test. Prepare by finding practice exams and reviewing books about the exam.
- Write a CV (and get advice about revising it).
- Write a statement of purpose (and get advice about revising it).
- Select one or more of your history papers as writing samples (and get advice about revising them).
- Ask for letters of recommendation (preferably a month in advance of the due date).
- Get your transcripts and other required materials.
- Mail the applications. Give yourself a deadline at least a week before the due date.
Online Resources for Graduate Programs in History
- Graduate School Info, Smith Career Center, BU
- Applying to Grad School
- Getting into Graduate School
- Peterson's Guide
- An Online Guide to Graduate Schools
Specific Advice about History Programs
- Graduate School from Start to Finish, AHA
- Programs in Public History
- Resources for Graduate Students, AHA
- John King and Andrew McMichael, Inscribing Your Future: The Trials and Tribulations of Applying to Graduate School
- Danielle L. McGuire, "Nancy Hewitt’s Bicycle (or How to Select a Graduate Program in Your Sleep)"
- The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century