Following the campus guidelines for Coronavirus all UC Davis classes, lectures, seminars, labs and discussion sections will move to virtual instruction and remain virtual through the end of fall quarter 2020, including final exams. Given this, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions. To contact staff members of the department via e-mail or phone, please go to our administrative staff contact page. 

Admission Requirements

Details on the requirements to be considered for admission to the graduate program in History at UC Davis.

Applications for admission to the graduate program for Fall 2021 are now open! The deadline for all applications is January 5, 2021. All applications must be submitted using the online application on the UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies website

Before Applying

Before you apply to this or any doctoral program, familiarize yourself with the faculty to make certain that you can identify one or more professors who specialized in the fields that interest you. UC Davis Department of History faculty members have web pages that summarize their areas of expertise, research, publications, and the professional recognition they have earned. Consider sending an email message to faculty members to ask about their approach to graduate education or the topics on which they advise doctoral candidates. Also, consider asking current graduate students about the doctoral program.

Application Form Details

Statement of Purpose

Each applicant must compose a statement of purpose that clearly defines and delineates your research interests. Further guidelines on the personal statement may be found in the application, in the A+ Application: Application Tips webinar, and on the Office of Graduate Studies website

Personal History and Diversity Statement

Applicants should describe how their personal background informs their decision to pursue graduate school. This statement should complement, but not duplicate, the statement of purpose.

Research Interests

Applicants should select the primary geographic area of interest from the drop down menu first, followed by subsequent areas of interest or research specializations. Applicants may further elaborate on their research interests in the statement of purpose.

Writing Sample

Applicants must submit writing samples in English of 15 to 30 pages with the online application. Your writing sample should demonstrate your ability to construct an argument and showcase your ability to engage with sources and conduct research. The writing sample will primarily be used to measure your ability to write at the graduate level. The online application includes a section through which to upload those materials. Please do not send a hard copy to the department. For further guidance on the writing sample, check out the A+ Application: Application Tips webinar.

Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters must be submitted electronically through the online application. Please do not submit a hard copy. Submit all recommendations through the online program.


UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended, as the Office of Graduate Studies describes. You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application. You must upload your transcript(s) by February 1. Current UC Davis Student and Alumni transcripts will be automatically uploaded into the application.

Application Fee

The application fee is $120 for domestic applicants and $140 for international applicants. Payment must be made by credit card. Cash and checks cannot be accepted to pay the application fee. The fee must be paid before an application will be considered complete, and a separate fee must be paid for each application submitted. Consult the Office of Graduate Studies for information about financial support or to obtain a fee waiver.

Internal Fellowship Application

The application for internal fellowships, which is required of all applicants, allows the Department of History to nominate potential graduate students for university and department fellowships. This application is a component of the online application process. Applications must be submitted by the January 5th deadline, and transcripts must be received by February 1 to be eligible for internal fellowships.

GRE Scores: Not Required

Beginning with applications for the Fall 2021 cohort, GRE scores are no longer an admission requirement for the History Ph.D. program.  

Requirements for International Applicants

Per the Office of Graduate Studies, all international graduate students whose native language or language of instruction is not English must take the TOEFL or iELTS, unless you have earned or will be earning a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from either: a regionally accredited U.S. college or university OR a foreign college/university which provides instruction only in English. 

The minimum scores required for admission are as follows:

TOEFL Internet Based Test (iBT) 80
TOEFL Paper Based Test (PBT) 550
IELTS 7.0 (on a 9-point scale)

There is also an additional subset of required scores in order to serve as a teaching assistant. Please visit the UC Davis International & Academic English website for more information on these requirements and graduate language support on campus.

For further information on expected level of study, TOEFL, IELTS, and visas for international graduate students, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website here