Prepare for Graduate School

Prepare Yourself

  • 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