The Department of History offers MA and PhD programs that prepare students for careers in historical research, teaching, archival work, museum curation or administration, historical societies, preservation agencies, libraries, government and more.


At the Master’s level, the Department offers four options:

  • a general master of arts in history with or without a thesis;
  • a general master of arts in history with a specialization in urban historical studies for students who intend to pursue interdisciplinary doctoral studies for example the PhD in Urban Studies;
  • a master of arts in public history for those interested in specialized areas such as museum work, archival administration, historic preservation, nonprofit administration, or cross-disciplinary studies; and
  • a joint master’s program in history and in library and information science leading to a master of arts degree in history (MA) and a master of library information science (MLIS).


The PhD program prepares students to enter the highest levels of the discipline, as well as related fields of knowledge and practice.

Student life in the History Department is vibrant and active at both the master’s and doctoral level. Research activity is high and engagement thrives informally and through the UWM History Graduate Students Association (HGSA) which sponsors speakers, workshops, presentations of research, and social events.

Typically, applicants to the master’s degree will have a bachelor’s degree in history or related discipline. Applications for the master’s programs are accepted for either a fall or spring start, with priority given to applications received by December 1.

Applicants for the PhD program must have a master’s degree in history, and applications are only accepted for a fall start. The priority deadline is December 1.

Optional applications for teaching assistant positions and Graduate School Fellowships are also accepted during the admissions application process.

Explore more on our web site and on the UWM Graduate School web site and reach out to us with questions!

Contact Us

Prospective Graduates

Questions regarding the application or the application process should be directed to the UWM Graduate School at or 414-229-6569.

Current Graduates

Questions about research opportunities, department funding opportunities, or issues specific to the discipline should be directed to Joe Rodriguez.

Graduate Programs

Ready to Apply?

Select the program that’s right for you, and you will find more instructions on how to apply and what to expect.

Graduate Student Resources

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The Department offers assistantships and limited scholarships for graduate students.
View Funding Options
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Professional, social and academic development in partnership with faculty.
View HGSA Info
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Understand how to create a scholarship application and sources of funding.
View Scholarships & Awards
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Our Center for International Education provides information and resources on visas, the application process, and more
View CIE Info
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Some of our favorite history related web sites!
View Resources

Elevator Speech

Being able to present your research in an engaging and concise manner is a vital skill set. UWM students like Samantha Schwarz compete in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition to hone their skills and practice effectively explaining their research in layman’s language. 3MT is a best practice used at universities around the world.

History graduate student Samantha Schwarz gives a 3-minute presentation about the significance of veterans’ photograph collections.

Campus Resources

UWM offers a wide range of on-campus resources, such as academic support and mental health resources. Students also find community within our student centers.

Photo of UWM Campus from above looking south, with downtown Milwaukee in background.