PhD Program

Hallmarks of the Brown History doctoral program include an intimate setting, close collaboration with faculty, Brown's unique undergraduate population and open curriculum, world-class scholars working in every region of the globe, and the department's commitment to professionalization and teaching. The program centers on both cutting edge training and preparation for jobs in a variety of institutions, including research universities, teaching colleges, and sites of research, teaching, writing, and public engagement outside academia.

The History department trains PhD students in a wide range of fields, methodologies, and areas of the globe. The program fosters an intellectual community in which collaboration, intellectual breadth, and conversations across fields are prized. Additionally, PhD students take a sequence of professionalization courses that prepare them for the rigors of teaching, research, conference presentations, and professional writing.

Each year, Brown enrolls 10-12 PhD students, who function as a cohort during the first three years of the program. In the fourth year, students work in archival collections and in the field, wherever their research takes them. In the fifth year and beyond, based on that research, each student produces an original dissertation. Completion of the program typically takes 5-7 years, depending on the field, language requirements, and location of materials.

Some students also pursue proctorships (funded internships) inside and outside the university; training in higher education administration, and advanced university fellowships for teaching inside and outside of Brown. Others take advantage of interdisciplinary doctoral certificates and the Open Graduate Education Program, which grants the opportunity to pursue a master's in a second discipline.