Graduate Program

The Lehigh History graduate program offers training in preparation for a career in research and teaching as well as non-academic pursuits. The overarching theme of the program is Transnational History.* Courses related to this theme are offered by faculty members across the department, over a wide range of geographical regions and chronological periods. Coursework focuses on developing both the fundamentals of historiographical analysis and historical research methods. The MA is designed to be a generalist degree that can prepare students for a number of careers or for more advanced graduate work. Former graduates work in a variety of areas including secondary education, public history, library services, business and government positions. The program provides training for those seeking to teach Global, transnational US, Atlantic World, European, African, Middle Eastern or Latin American histories at the secondary or community college level, as well as for those who will continue on to more advanced graduate work and a career in research and college level teaching.

Admission to the PhD. program is not automatic for students who complete the MA at Lehigh. Prospective PhD. students are encouraged to identify specific fields of interest and faculty members with whom they would like to work. At the PhD. level, students may consider department strengths in the following areas:                      

  • African and Atlantic African-Diaspora History
  • Latin American and Caribbean History
  • British, French and Spanish Atlantic World Empires
  • Early Modern and Modern European Intellectual History
  • Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Refugee Studies
  • Ottoman Empire and Islamic World History
  • Colonial America and Early American Republic
  • Native American History
  • Gender History
  • 20th century US History                     
  • African-American History 

Students applying for the PhD. program should consult the list of faculty bios to learn more about these research specialties to help determine their compatibility with potential mentors. Not all fields may be accessible in a given year, given faculty leaves and mentoring duties. Applicants should contact faculty members directly if they have questions about the possibility of working on a related research field, or they may contact the Graduate Director, Prof. John Savage, at jms8@lehigh.edu with any questions about this process.

**Please note that due to a strong current cohort of PhD candidates, research opportunities in the areas of British Colonial America, Early US Republic, and Native American History are not available for the coming academic year.


Information for Applying to the History Department Graduate Program

The most important elements of the application file for the review process are:

--The personal statement which details the student’s interest in pursuing graduate study in History.
- The applicant's academic record, with special emphasis on their performance in history and related subjects. 

- Recommendation letters from two or three faculty mentors who can speak to the applicant's potential for graduate work in the discipline. One of these letters may come from a former employer or non-academic mentor if they can speak to related skill sets the applicant may possess. 

- GRE scores are required, though they are rarely the determining element in an application file. A strong performance on the Verbal section of the GRE is what is most important. 

- The ability to write clearly and intelligently as demonstrated by a relevant writing sample, perhaps drawn from a seminar or research paper completed for a recent course, or a chapter or section of a thesis. Please limit submissions to about twenty pages maximum (excluding notes and bibliography). **All materials are to be uploaded on the online application.


Financial Awards and Deadlines
A very small number of Fellowships which provide a stipend and cover tuition costs, funded by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Lehigh University President’s Office, are available to highly qualified incoming students. In addition, the department

has a limited number of full and half-year teaching assistantships, which provide a stipend in exchange for limited teaching responsibilities and cover tuition. We are also able to offer a limited number of partial tuition scholarships. All awards are based on merit and are highly competitive. More advanced doctoral candidates may be eligible for dissertation support from the following sources:

  • Department Dissertation Fellowship
  • Hoben Teaching Fellowship
  • Lehigh University Humanities Center
  • Lehigh Office of International Affairs
  • Lawrence Henry Gipson Center for 18th Century Studies

To be considered for financial support as an incoming student, all materials must be submitted by January 15. If you are not seeking financial aid, the deadline for applications for the summer or fall semester is April 15; the deadline for the spring term is November 1

For additional information on the graduate program or to schedule a campus visit, please contact the graduate program director, Professor John Savage, at jms8@lehigh.edu.

**What is Transnational History?

Transnational History has emerged in recent years as an umbrella term for a variety of approaches that seek to capture dynamic change over time in ways that go beyond traditional historiographies bounded by national frameworks. Transnational History aims to put national developments in broader regional and global context, and to explain them in terms of cross-national influences as well as local causes. Transnational History may also consider the dissemination, circulation, and evolution of ideas, people, commodities, material culture, and spiritual practices in relation to changing political and social dynamics and fluid cultural identities, including national, religious, racial and gender identities. As such, Transnational approaches have influenced cutting edge scholarship across many scholarly subfields and are reshaping the teaching of basic survey courses in US history, World history and beyond.