Application Instructions

Deadlines and Fees

The History Department accepts applications for the fall semester only.

The deadline for applying to the Public History Ph.D. program is January 15. The department has two application deadlines for M.A. degree programs (History-M.A., Public History-M.A.). To be considered for funding, submit your application by January 15. To be considered for admission only, submit your application by April 1.

*International applicants: The deadline for applying to the Public History Ph.D. program or to be considered for funding for the M.A. degree programs (History-M.A., Public History-M.A.) is January 15. To be considered for admission only, submit your application by March 1. See the Graduate School’s website for more information about deadlines for international applicants.

The cost to apply is $75 for US citizens and $85 for international students. The Graduate School may, in exceptional circumstances, waive the fee required to accompany a prospective student's application. Approval of any request to waive the application fee will be based on financial need and underrepresented status or diversity within a particular graduate program. Please contact the Graduate School for further information.

Filling out the Application Form

All application materials, including personal statement, writing sample, letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and optional materials, must be submitted online, using the NC State Graduate School online application. Hard copies of application materials incorrectly mailed to the History Department will not be reviewed by the admissions committee. See the page on admission on the Graduate School web site for complete information, or contact the NC State Graduate School at (919) 515-2872. Specific instructions for the History Department are listed below. Otherwise follow the instructions on the online application system. Visit the Graduate School’s Frequently Asked Questions page or contact the Graduate Programs Assistant with questions about the admissions process.

History M.A. Applicants: Students in the M.A. program choose a historical field (called the “primary field”) in their first year of study and work closely with a faculty advisor, who oversees the thesis and course of study. Fields and faculty include: Africa, AgricultureAncientAsia, Digital HistoryEurope and Britain, Jewish HistoryLatin America, Medieval, Middle East, Migration and Immigration, Military, Native AmericanUnited States, Art History, Environmental, FoodBorderlandsLabor, Legal, Race and Ethnicity, Science and Technology, Southern, Women and Gender. On the Application and Test Information section, under Desired Program / Plan / Subplan, select History-MA.; under Department / Specialty / Concentration, specify your primary field; and under Faculty Advisor(s) / Mentor, identify potential faculty advisors, if any. If you are unsure of your primary field or potential faculty advisor, leave the questions blank.

Public History M.A. and Ph.D. Applicants: On the Application, under Desired Program / Plan / Subplan, select Public History-MA or Public History-PhD; under Department / Specialty / Concentration, specify your field: Archival and Records Management (transfer agreement with UNC Chapel Hill), Heritage Studies, Museum Studies, Public Memory, and/or Community History.

Funding: On the Application, be sure to indicate whether you are applying for admission only or admission with financial aid/assistantship. The admissions process is need-blind: indicating that you desire financial aid will not affect your chances of being admitted to the program

Letters of Recommendation: Submit the names and contact information for your recommenders through the online application. Your recommenders will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters online. Select three qualified recommenders, preferably faculty or supervisors who are able to speak to your reading, interpreting, and writing talents, as well as your general academic aptitude, and, if relevant, to your professional skills. Ask that they upload a letter along with the cover sheet, since those sheets have scoring grids but very little room for the more helpful extended comments about candidates. At least two of the three letters should be from academic professionals.

Uploaded Application Materials

TranscriptsUpload unofficial transcript(s) or request official transcript(s) for each post-secondary institution other than NC State attended. NC State undergraduates do not need to upload or request transcripts. If you are accepted into the program, you must submit official transcripts at that time.

Personal Statement: A personal statement or statement of purpose of approximately three double-spaced pages in length is required as a part of your application. All applicants should explain their goals in pursuing the graduate degree. History M.A. applicants are encouraged to identify potential advisors and historical fields in their statement.

Writing SampleA writing sample of about ten double-spaced pages is required as part of your application. The writing sample should demonstrate the ability to engage with historiography and to interpret primary sources. Upload the required writing sample in the spot for Other Documents on the Personal Statement/Resume/CV/Essay section.

Resumé or CV: A resumé or CV is optional though encouraged. Upload the optional resumé or CV in the spot for Resumé/CV on the Personal Statement / Resume / CV / Essay section.

English Proficiency Requirements for International Applicants

All non-US citizen applicants (i.e., non-resident aliens and permanent residents) must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State. TOEFL or IELTS scores no older than two years that meet the Graduate School's minimum score will fulfill this requirement. See the Graduate Student Handbook for other ways international applicants may meet the English proficiency requirement or contact the NC State Graduate School at (919) 515-2872. International applicants offered admissions to a program in History or Public History by the History Department will have additional application materials to submit to the Graduate School before the Graduate School will finalize admissions. The Graduate School will send these materials directly to the applicant upon admissions.


For questions about admissions requirements for the History M.A. program, contact the Director of Graduate Programs. To explore whether the Public History M.A. or the Public History Ph.D. is the right degree for you or for other questions about admissions requirements for the Public History program, contact the Director of Public History. To check the status of your application, contact the Graduate Programs Assistant.