Why Choose UA?

two students working together in class

Research Strengths

Our graduate students explore diverse research and teaching interests but our program maintains particularly strong concentrations in American, European, and Latin American History, the History of the United States South, Gender and Women’s History, the History of Race, Military and Naval History, and Religious History. The Department of History offers a vibrant intellectual community in which to engage in graduate work.

Degree Programs

The UA Department of History grants degrees at the both the MA and PhD level. We offer terminal MA degrees that can lead to a variety of career paths. MA students at UA who wish to pursue doctoral degrees also regularly gain admission to some of the top programs in the country. Other PhD programs that have recently admitted our MA graduates include University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt, University of Connecticut, New York University, Penn State University, Emory, University of Florida, University of Arizona, University of Loyola-Chicago, University of Tennessee, and Louisiana State University.

The PhD program, with its coursework, comprehensive exams, dissertation research, and training in teaching aims to place graduates in post-secondary faculty positions. We offer PhD fields in European History, American History, Latin American History, the History of the United States South, Gender and Women’s History, Military and Naval History, the History of Race, and Religious History. Recent doctoral candidates have pursued research topics in a wide variety of areas and have a successful track record of publishing in local and national journals in their fields.

Teaching Opportunities

The Department of History at UA takes pride in training graduate students to be effective teachers at the post-secondary level. Both MA and PhD students are eligible for funding as Teaching Assistants and all graduate students who serve in this role take a special seminar designed to prepare TAs for the classroom at UA. Students are trained in leading discussions, dealing with classroom problems effectively, grading assignments, preparing a lecture, self-evaluation, and pedagogical and practical approaches for post-secondary education.

Financial Support

There are many different forms of financial support available to MA and PhD students. Merit-based teaching, research, and writing center assistantships provide a stipend, and also include tuition remission and the coverage of fees. A limited number of fellowships are available to exceptionally qualified applicants and finishing doctoral students. Many of our graduate students have won competitive grants for research and writing provided by the Graduate School. The Department of History’s Graduate Student Travel grants and additional funding from the University’s Graduate School also support MA and PhD students in their conference and research travel.

Other Department Resources

Southern Historian

The Southern Historian is a graduate journal published annually at The University of Alabama under the direction of the Department of History. It is a non-profit journal that highlights the best in graduate research on southern history and culture. Each issue is written and edited by PhD candidates who receive a stipend, tuition remission, and the coverage of fees.

Summersell Center for the Study of the South

As a department, we have created the Summersell Center for the Study of the South. The Center supports wide-ranging examination of the region through sponsorship of conferences, lectures, films, publications and the use of the scholarly resources available at The University of Alabama and nearby states. The Center aims to be a focal point for the university’s outstanding faculty in multiple disciplines who study the South and encourages stronger connections among academics, students, and the general public.

Bankhead Lectures

The Bankhead Endowment Lectures annually bring a number of high profile historians to The University of Alabama for lectures and consortiums with faculty and graduate students.

Public History Initiative

The Summersell Center for the Study of the South’s Public History Initiative offers students hands-on, practical experience working in public history, as well as paid internships.

European and American History Workshops

The European and American History Workshops meet on Friday afternoons throughout the academic year and provide a forum for graduate students and faculty to present pre-circulated work-in-progress including book or dissertation chapters, seminar papers, conference papers or research grant proposals.

Graduate History Association

The Graduate History Association promotes a social as well as professional set of activities throughout the year including workshops on grant and curriculum vitae writing, manuscript submission, and the job market. Every fall the GHA also hosts its annual Graduate Student History Conference on Power and Struggle attracting prominent keynote speakers and graduate student presenters from both national and international institutions.