Degree Type


The Ph.D. program offers courses to help students advance their critical reading, research and writing skills as they increase familiarity with different approaches to the past, build comparative understanding of major historical developments and gain competence in the literature and sources of their fields of specialization.

The Brown Department of History has decided to suspend doctoral graduate admissions in History and Ancient History for the fall of 2020 for an entering class of 2021. Due to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19, our faculty members plan to focus their energy and resources on supporting graduate students currently in the program at Brown so that they can be safe, healthy, and productive. We look forward to resuming our admissions process and reviewing applications in the fall of 2021.

Students are encouraged to adopt a thematic approach to research backed by theoretically sophisticated comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Teaching is an indispensable part of graduate training, and each of our graduate students works as a teaching assistant for a minimum of four semesters. Brown University's summer school offers advanced students an opportunity to develop and teach their own courses.

The department tries to admit students with diverse backgrounds and academic interests who can work harmoniously together. The department's low graduate student-faculty ratio combines with the relatively small size of each cohort to create a vibrant academic environment for students and faculty.

Additional Resources

Exchange program with the University of Florence (Italy), John Hay Library (rare books and manuscript collections), John Carter Brown Library (materials relating to pre–1800 Europe and Western Hemisphere), Rockefeller Library (microfilm collections, textbooks, monographs and periodicals).

Admission Requirements

  • Writing Sample: Strongly Recommended
  • GRE General: Not required
  • GRE Subject: Not required

Application Deadline: December 15

Ph.D. Completion Requirements

Two years of course work; foreign language proficiency in specific fields; preliminary field examination; satisfactory performance as a teaching assistant; dissertation, and oral defense.

Department of History
Brown University
Box N
[email protected]

Visit the Department of History


Department Chair: Ethan M Pollock

Director of Graduate Studies: Linford D Fisher

Director of Graduate Advising: Faiz Ahmed