Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Graduate Studies in History

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SMU's Clements Department of History offers an innovative Ph.D. Program that explores American historical experiences in global and comparative perspectives. It also focuses on advanced- level work on the American Southwest and Mexico. It is built around a field in American history, a second in the history of the Southwest and Mexico, and a third in Global and Comparative history (a total of 51 credit hours plus 3 hours dissertation credit). Students take an oral examination on these three fields in the middle of the third year and give a formal defense upon completion of the dissertation. The program is enhanced by several unique University resources including the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, which promotes research related to the American Southwest, and the DeGolyer Library, which is devoted to the American West, Texana, and the Spanish Borderlands.

The Clements Department of History also offers a rigorous, two-year Master's Program with concentrations in: 1) United States history; 2) lbero-American history; 3) European history 1750 to Present; and 4) Classical/Medieval history. Course work includes 24 credit hours plus 6 hours of thesis credit. Students take an oral examination on their field of concentration during the second  year of study and give a formal defense upon completion of the thesis.

Program Features

  • Small seminars and close working relationships with faculty and other graduate students
  • Opportunities to work with Clements Center fellows and visiting scholars
  • A vital research environment including the annual Clements Center Fellows' workshops, History Department and Clements SW Center symposiums, and DeGolyer Library events.
  • Opportunities for Ph.D. students to teach undergraduates in a mentoring program where they work closely with professors in the planning and teaching of a course.

Admission Requirements

All applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (students from abroad must hold the equivalent degree), a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and at least 12 advanced credit hours in history courses. Applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination scores. 

Applicants from countries where the predominant language is not English are required to supply scores on the TOEFL English language proficiency test administered by the Educational Testing Service. The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 80 on the Internet-based test. International English Testing System scores also are accepted.

Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, an example of their written work, and transcripts (unofficial transcripts are accepted during the admission process). Three letters of recommendation are also required. On admission students should have two years of college-level study in a language in addition to English. 

Financial Aid

All students admitted to doctoral study in History will receive $20,000 per year in fellowship support. These stipends are guaranteed for a period of five years for those who continue to work at the highest level. Fellowships also include tuition and fees, medical benefits, and travel support to conferences and for research. The Department also offers a small number of tuition waivers for M.A. students. December 1 is the deadline for admission to the Ph.D. program and for financial support for the M.A.

Department Faculty

Deadlines for Admission

Priority deadline for fall admission is Dec 1. General deadline is May 1.

Department Assistantships

All applications to be considered for department assistantships must be completed by the deadline of December 1.  

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