1. Mission statement/Handbook: Every history
program should post a clear mission statement and/or
list of the program's goals, as
well as the official requirements for completing the program
(course requirements, foreign language expectations, etc.).
history department at Carnegie
Mellon University, for instance, offers a good example
of an informative online program description. Note how
they integrate the program’s particular fields
of specialization with a discussion of their pedagogical
approach, the special resources the program can provide,
and the intended outcomes for their graduates.
2. Faculty members: A list
of faculty members' current research and teaching interests
(including public history projects); links to faculty CV's;
an indication of current and planned leaves.
3. Profile of current graduate students: The number of doctoral students in the program, broken down by field
and status (still taking courses, working on dissertations,
etc.). Also the
number of master's-degree students (if there is a separate
4. Profile of Recent Applicants: The
number of applicants in the most recent academic year; the
number accepted (including the percentage who had M.A. degrees);
the number who enrolled - all broken down by field.
5. Demographics of current graduate students: The breakdown of current graduate students by race/ethnicity and gender.
6. Financial aid for incoming students: The number (or percentage) of incoming students in the most recent
year who were funded; how many received multi-year commitments;
the typical aid package offered to incoming graduate students:
how many students in the previous four years entered
the program without funding
but were subsequently funded; the
maximum number of years a student can expect funding.
7. Other financial
aid opportunities: Funding
opportunities available to graduate students (tuition
waivers, fellowships, assistantships, external funding, loans,
etc.) - and how many current students received each type of funding. The site should also include a description of the typical duties and responsibilities for TA's and/or RA's.
8. Time-to-degree/Attrition: The
average time to degree (by major field) over the previous five
years; how many students in the most recent cohort left after
one year in the program; eight-year
completion rate for doctoral students.
9. Placement information: Placement information for the previous
five years, listing names, completion dates, dates of entry into
the program, fields/dissertation topics, and
current positions held (academic or nonacademic). Should also include graduate
students who left before completing
their Ph.D.'s, if the students left to pursue a history-related
position or continue their training in history at another institution.
completed and in progress: The names, dissertation topics (or
titles), and advisors for Ph.D.'s conferred in the previous five
years and the same information for current
students with approved prospectuses.
11. Graduate student housing:
The availability of graduate student housing, including housing for graduate students with spouses, domestic
partners, and/or children.
12. Cost of living: An estimate of the annual local cost of living
for a graduate student, including any training-related
costs (such as medical insurance or
student fees) not covered by the typical financial aid package. (Good
models are provided by the graduate schools at Harvard and Berkeley.)
13. Additional funds for research/training: Are any (or all) of the following available: summer
support; funding for research-related travel or
conference participation; or funding for advanced training in
foreign languages or in such ancillary skills as paleography,
statistical analysis, computer applications, etc.?
14. Teacher preparation: Is there
a formal program of (college) teacher preparation, at either the departmental or institutional level?
15. Career planning: Does the
department (and/or another unit of the institution) offer a
formal program of career planning? Are nonacademic
careers are included in this program?
16. Internships and other practices: Is there an internship program for students interested in public history careers? Are there formal arrangements
with other schools to provide the graduate department's students with an opportunity to explore teaching
and faculty roles at
17. Professional ethics: Does the program offer formal training
in professional ethics and practices?
18. Graduate students and governance: Is there a graduate student association or a TA union? Are
graduate students invited to serve on faculty committees, or
otherwise participate in the governance of the department?
19. Intellectual community: A description of any regular program of guest lectures,
student/faculty seminars, or other institutionalized
practices devoted to nourishing intellectual community
in the department.
20. Unique opportunities: A description of special or even unique opportunities
that are distinctive to the program.
An expanded version of the rationale for these concerns can
be found in the summary of CGE
We welcome suggestions for additional examples,
and also take for granted that sites may change or become obsolete.
Please contact Robert B.
Townsend with recommendations or emendations.