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Why UGA?

Research Strengths

Le Conte Hall
LeConte Hall is the home for the Department of History

While our graduate students explore diverse research and teaching interests, the program maintains particularly strong concentrations in social and cultural history, early American history, history of capitalism, African American history, history of the American South, Atlantic World and Transnational European history, Latin American history, gender history, and agricultural and environmental history.

Degree Programs

The University of Georgia program in history grants degrees at both the MA and PhD level. We offer terminal MA degrees in American history; individualized programs in other geographical areas are also available. MA degrees in History can lead to jobs in secondary teaching, tech, the public sector including museums and public history, business, publishing, or higher education administration. MA students at UGA who wish to pursue doctoral degrees also regularly gain admission to other programs. Other PhD programs that have recently admitted our MA graduates include Princeton, Rutgers, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Emory, Harvard, Indiana, Michigan, UNC-Chapel Hill, Northwestern, U. Penn, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Yale.

The PhD program, with its coursework, exams, guided dissertation research, and training in teaching aims to place graduates in both post-secondary faculty positions and in applied public history jobs. We offer PhD degrees in American and transnational history, and offer minor field concentrations in a variety of topics from world history to environmental history to gender studies. Our doctoral students pursue a wide range of topics in their dissertation research, and have recently published articles in top journals in the field.

Teaching and Internship Opportunities

The graduate program in history at UGA takes pride in training graduate students in both the MA and PhD programs to be effective teachers at the post-secondary level. All students on assistantships have opportunities to serve both as graders and as discussion section leaders. All graduate students who serve as teaching assistants are required to take GRSC 7770, a special seminar designed to prepare teaching assistants for assistantship assignments at UGA as well as for potential careers involving instruction at other institutions. Students receive training in leading discussions, dealing with classroom problems, self-evaluating their own strengths and weaknesses in the classroom, and applying various pedagogical and practical approaches.

Additionally, advanced teacher training is an integral part of the PhD program. In a specialized graduate course, HIST 8001: Teaching History in Colleges and Universities, doctoral students learn the skills necessary to succeed as post-secondary teachers. Topics include designing a course; designing a lecture sequence; preparing and delivering lectures; developing multimedia presentations; selecting readings and leading discussions; writing assignments; testing and evaluation; educational psychology; and teaching ethics. After careful preparation, PhD students customarily teach their own classes.

Our outstanding graduate student teachers regularly receive departmental and university teaching awards.

At the Center for Teaching and Learning, graduate students are provided with resources, including an orientation before fall classes.

In addition to teaching assistantships, the department partners with UGA Press and the Atlanta History Center to provide year-long internships in academic publishing and public history and museum studies, respectively. Students apply to these internships after being admitted to our programs, and they are awarded on a competitive basis.

Financial Support

We offer full funding for all our admitted MA and PhD students, for two and six years, respectively. Merit-based teaching and research assistantships provide a stipend and remission of all but nominal fees for both MA and PhD students. Enhancement grants are readily available to the most qualified applicants. Most of our graduate students have teaching assistantships with moderate work loads. Fellowships are available to exceptionally qualified applicants and finishing doctoral students. Many of our graduate students have won competitive grants for research from the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts. The department’s graduate student travel and research grants also support MA and PhD students in their conference and research travel.

Research Resources

The New Georgia Encyclopedia is edited in the department, and the Southern Historical Association maintains its secretary-treasurer's office here as well. UGA Libraries maintain excellent research facilities for historians. The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies maintains an impressive archival collection on Georgia and U.S. political history, while the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library contains approximately 120,000 rare books on a variety of subjects, and over 6 million individual items including family papers, diaries, letters, theatrical papers, corporate and organizational papers.

History in the Classic City

Beyond the classroom, UGA’s History students take an active role in the history of Athens and the University. They take advantage of the multiple opportunities in Athens and the surrounding area to get involved with the community, bringing history to life.  

Historic Athens is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Athens, Ga. Founded in 1967, it works to protect Athens’ historic buildings, neighborhoods, and heritage. Many of UGA’s graduate students and faculty are involved in their work, whether volunteering at events or directly in their headquarters.  

Celebrating history often requires a critical eye. In conjunction with the University’s 2021 Symposium on Recognition, Reconciliation, and Redress, History Professor Scott Nesbit created a short film and tour of the University’s involvement with slavery. Similarity, current PhD student, Maya Brooks, designed and led a tour celebrating the role of women at UGA in honors of Women’s History Month.  

In spring 2023, Professor James Brooks and a cohort of his public history students developed the exhibit Indigenizing Athens which presented the Muskogee and Cherokee history of the area. Throughout the process and implementation of the project, the group consulted closely with the Cherokee and Muskogee nations. The exhibit was featured at the National Council on Public History and is now on exhibit at the Athens Welcome Center.  

We hope that prospective students learn about about the University of Georgia as well as the community of Athens--justly known for its prominent live music scene, vibrant cultural and community life, and affordable college-town living. The city is an hour from Atlanta, from the mountains of North Georgia, and from major state parks at lakes Lanier and Hartwell. The UGA cinema series is one of the best in the country. The University offers housing for graduate students, both single and married. Moderately priced off campus housing is abundant.

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