Graduate Program

The Lehigh History graduate program offers training in preparation for a career in research and teaching as well as non-academic pursuits. Prospective M.A. and PhD. students are encouraged to identify specific fields of interest and faculty members with whom they would like to work, but course offerings range across the fields of expertise of all department faculty. Students may consider department strengths in the following areas:                      

  • 19th and 20th century US history                     
  • Latin American, Caribbean, African and Atlantic African-Diaspora history
  • British, French and Spanish Atlantic World Empires
  • African-American history 

The Department will also consider applicants with an interest in pursuing thematic approaches that span various geographical fields, including:

  • Digital Humanities
  • Public History
  • Cultural History of Warfare
  • History of Technology
  • American and European Intellectual History
  • Gender History

**Please note that due to a strong current cohort of PhD candidates, research opportunities in the areas of British Colonial North America and early American Republic are not available for the coming academic year.

Information for Applying to the History Department Graduate Program

The most important elements of the application file for the review process are:

- The applicant's academic record, with special emphasis on their performance in history and related subjects. 
- Recommendation letters from two or three faculty mentors who can speak to the applicant's potential for graduate work in the discipline. One of these letters may come from a former employer or non-academic mentor if they can speak to related skill sets the applicant may possess. 
- GRE scores are required, though they are rarely the determining element in an application file. A strong performance on the Verbal section of the GRE is what is most important. 
- The ability to write clearly and intelligently as demonstrated by a brief writing sample, perhaps drawn from a seminar or research paper completed for a recent course, or a chapter or section of a thesis. Please limit submissions to about twenty pages maximum (excluding notes and bibliography). **All materials are to be uploaded on the online application.
Finally, applications will be evaluated in terms of the match between the student's areas of interest and the research strengths of the department. Students should specify these areas in their application statement.

Those applying for the PhD program should indicate which faculty members they are interested in potentially working with and why. Please see the focus areas listed above on this page and consult the list of faculty bios to learn more about these research specialties. Applicants should contact faculty members directly if they have questions about the possibility of working on a related research field, or they may contact the Graduate Director, Prof. John Savage, at with any questions about this process.

Financial Awards and Deadlines
A very small number of Fellowships which provide a stipend and cover tuition costs, funded by the College of Arts and Sciences and the President’s Office, are available to highly qualified incoming students. In addition, the department has a limited number of full and half-year teaching assistantships, which provide a stipend in exchange for limited teaching responsibilities and cover tuition. We are also able to offer a limited number of partial tuition scholarships. All awards are based on merit and are highly competitive. More advanced doctoral candidates may be eligible for dissertation support from:

  • Department Dissertation Fellowship
  • Hoben Teaching Fellowship
  • Lehigh University Humanities Center
  • Lehigh Office of International Affairs
  • Lawrence Henry Gipson Center for 18th Century Studies

To be considered for financial support as an incoming student, all materials must be submitted by January 15. If you are not seeking financial aid, the deadline for applications for the summer or fall semester is April 15; the deadline for the spring term is November 1

For additional information on the graduate program or to schedule a campus visit, please contact the graduate program director, Professor John Savage, at