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PhD in History

The PhD program in History offers a broad-based, humanistic education that equips you with the research, analytical, and communication skills critical for meaningful careers in the field of History.

The PhD program in History enables you to conduct research at the highest level and begin your career as an academic historian or prepare for a wide range of academic and professional careers. You’ll work alongside CGU faculty-scholars who specialize in U.S. and European history and draw on expert faculty from the highly ranked Claremont Colleges as well. With abundant opportunities to traverse disciplines and bring diverse ideas together, you will engage in first-rate historical scholarship. The result: an in-depth education in history with a breadth of expertise and an instructional environment unmatched by most larger universities.

Program Highlights
  • The Libraries of the Claremont Colleges are among the largest collections in California, and the Huntington Library, one of the world’s finest research libraries for English and American history, is nearby.
  • You can pursue a PhD in History in conjunction with another degree program at CGU. You receive a diploma for each degree and “double count” some units from one program to the other to decrease your required total units.

Program At-a-glance

  • 72 units

    required units

  • PhD in History

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Spring, Fall

    program start

  • 4 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

    7 years | part time

    estimated completion time

Areas of Concentration

  • American Studies

    The American Studies concentration takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of United States culture, society, civilization, and identity through the curricular lenses of history, literature, critical theory, and more.

  • Early Modern Studies

    The Early Modern Studies concentration undertakes interdisciplinary examination of history, culture, politics, and society within the transitional and transformative period that stretched between Medieval and modern societies, marked especially by the advent of print, Christian confessional war, and the rise of the modern state.

  • Hemispheric & Transnational Studies

    A comparative analysis of culture in the Americas, the concentration in Hemispheric & Transnational Studies explores how scholarship on the Atlantic, borderlands, and diaspora have reshaped U.S. American Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Latin American Studies, emphasizing the topics of empire, race, religion, and revolution.

  • Media Studies

    Situated at the bustling intersection of cultural studies, new media, critical theory, and popular culture, the burgeoning field of Media Studies examines the creative and critical practices of media consumers, producers, artists, and scholars, focusing on questions of representation, power, technology, politics, and economy.

  • Museum Studies

    The Museum Studies concentration investigates the history and political role of museums in society, the interpretation and display of a wide variety of cultural productions, and topics of special concern to museums as cultural organizations, using a multidisciplinary, practice-based approach to understand the historical development of this evolving field.

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Gigi Audoma

Director of Recruitment for the School of Arts & Humanities


Where You Can Find Our Alumni


  • Matthew Bowman

    Matthew Bowman

    Associate Professor of Religion and History
    Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies

    Research Interests

    Mormonism, new religious movements, evangelicalism, religion and American politics

  • Portrait of Joshua Goode

    Joshua Goode

    Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and History
    Chair, Cultural Studies (Fall 2022)

    Research Interests

    Modern Spain, 19th- and 20th-century Europe, Genocide and racial thought, Museums and commemoration, Memory

  • Romeo Guzman

    Romeo Guzmán

    Assistant Professor of History

    Research Interests

    Citizenship, Migration, Sport, Public history, Digital humanities

  • Portrait of JoAnna Poblete

    JoAnna Poblete

    Professor of History
    John D. and Lillian Maguire Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
    Chair, History Department

    Research Interests

    Colonialism and empire, unincorporated territories, migration and labor, comparative ethnic studies, Asian-American and Pacific Islander studies, 20th-century United States, indigenous issues, environmental history, oral history, U.S. expansionism

Extended Faculty

  • Shane Bjornlie

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Late Antique history, Roman history

  • Myriam Chancy

    Scripps College

    Research Interests

    African diaspora with specialization in its literature

  • Alfred Flores

    Harvey Mudd College

    Research Interests

    U.S. empire in Oceania with an emphasis on diaspora, labor, indigeneity, militarization, oral history and settler colonialism in Guåhan

  • Lily Geismer

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    20th century liberalism in the United States, Fair housing, Liberal religion and politics

  • George Gorse

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Italian Renaissance art and architecture; Italian Baroque art and architecture; Medieval art history; history of cities, palaces, villas, and gardens; history of Genoa

  • Vivien Hamilton

    Harvey Mudd College

    Research Interests

    Medical technologies, including x-rays, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

  • Daniel Livesay

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Early American and Atlantic history; Race, family, and slavery in North America and the Caribbean

  • Charles Lofgren

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    American Constitutionalism, American founding, Constitutional law, Military history, War and foreign relations

  • Char Miller

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    U.S. environmental policy, U.S. public-lands management, Western water politics, Immigration and border security, Urban politics and development, U.S. intellectual and cultural history

  • Harmony O’Rourke

    Pitzer College

    Research Interests

    Cultural and social history of early modern and modern Africa, Global diasporas, Gender and sexuality, West Africa, Slavery, Colonialism, Oral history

  • Albert Park

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Design & architecture, East Asian history & political economy, Korean history, Modern Japanese history

  • Ralph Rossum

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    American Constitutionalism, American Founding, Constitutional Law, Crime and Criminal Justice, Indian Gaming Issues, Redistricting, Supreme Court, Voting Rights

  • Victor Silvermam

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    U.S. History, Alcohol and Drug Studies, History of Sexual/Gender Minorities, The Cold War, Labor Unions, International Labor Movements, U.S. and Britain, San Francisco Bay Area History, California History, Sustainable Development Policy



  • History 300 (4 units)
  • One Transdisciplinary course (4 units)
  • Ten History elective courses (40 units)
  • Six elective courses (24 units)

Up to 24 units transfer credit from previous graduate work in History may be substituted for the elective coursework requirements.

Research Tools Requirement

  • Two foreign languages (or one foreign language and one research tool)

Research Papers

  • Two substantive research papers

PhD Completion

  • PhD qualifying exams
  • Dissertation proposal
  • Written dissertation and oral defense

Oral History Program

Inaugurated in 1962, the Claremont Graduate University Oral History Program has amassed an impressive collection of interviews with persons whose life experiences merited preservation and special projects, such as China Missionaries Oral History Project, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. It is a premier resource for research into the history of The Claremont Colleges and California state government and politics.

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 3
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Academic Prerequisites Master's degree required
Standardized Test Scores Optional
Other Requirements Writing sample, English proficiency exam

Key Dates and Deadlines

CGU operates on a priority deadline cycle and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications by the priority dates in order to assure maximum consideration for both admission and fellowships.

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Review General Guidelines

Cost & Aid

Program 72 units
Tuition per unit* $2,020

*Based on 2023-2024 tuition rates.


$245 Student Fee
$150 Technology Fee
International Student Services Fee*: $661 fall semester, $776 spring semester
**Applies to all international students (F-1 visa only) who are registered in coursework, doctoral study, or continuous registration. The fee is assessed each fall and spring semester for annual ISO accident and sickness plans and administrative fees. Subject to change.

For estimates of room & board, books, etc., please download CGU’s Cost of Attendance 2022-2023 .

Review General Costs

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