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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
Specific Advice about History Programs
Information about Tests
Personal Statements and Essays
Rankings of Graduate Programs in History (Treat with Caution!)