Data on the History Profession

Contents
Departments
Jobs
Salaries
Students
Other Surveys
Other Sources
Archive

A vital part of the Association's activities is the collection of data, principally from history departments at four-year colleges and universities. Data on the history job market is derived from the information in the annual Directory of History Departments and Organizations, job listings submitted to Perspectives, and an annual survey of history departments. Data on history salaries at colleges and universities comes from annual surveys by the College and University Personnel Association and the American Association of University Professors, with supplementary data from the annual survey of history departments. The Association has also developed some modest amounts of information about trends in the number of undergraduate and graduate students studying history, relying heavily on information from federal government. For reports more than two years old, please see our archive of past reports about the profession.

If you have questions about the data, would like more specific information, or have suggestions for how this site could be improved, please contact Allen Mikaelian.

History Departments in the United States

At a Glance

According to the most recent information from the Department of Education, in the 2009–10 academic year, 141 institutions conferred associate’s degrees in history 1,218 conferred baccalaureate degrees in the discipline, 356 conferred history master’s degrees, and 141 conferred PhDs in history.

Reports

History under the Hammer Department Chairs Report Effects of Economic Woes (January 2011)

NRC Report Provides Wealth of Data on History Doctoral Programs (December 2010)

Putting Academic History in Context: A Survey of Humanities Departments (March 2010)

History in These Hard Times: Departments Struggle in a Depressing Economy (September 2009)

What’s In a Label?: Changing Patterns of Faculty Specialization since 1975 (January 2007)

Historians Teach More and Larger Classes, but Make Less Use of Technology (April 2006)

Federal Faculty Survey Shows Gains for History Employment but Lagging Salaries (March 2006)

The State of the History Department: The 2001–02 AHA Department Survey (April 2004)

A Survey of Tenure Practices in History (February 2004)

The Academic Job Market for History PhDs

At a Glance

Figure: Trends in History PhDs Awarded and Job Openings Advertised, 1970–71 to 2008–09 (January 2010)

Reports

Openings and New PhDs on the Rise: The 2012 Jobs Report (January 2013)

Gender and Success in Academia: More from the Historians' Career Paths Survey (January 2013)

What Makes a Successful Academic Career in History? A Field Report from the Higher Ranks (December 2012)

Underpaid and Underappreciated: A Portrait of Part-time Faculty (September 2012)

Small Signs of Improvement in Academic Job Market for Historians (January 2012)

The Ecology of the History Job: Shifting Realities in a Fluid Market (December 2011)

Job Market Sagged Further in 2009–10 (January 2011)

A Grim Year on the Academic Job Market for Historians (January 2010)

The Parlous Paths of the Profession (with Anthony Grafton, September 2008)

Salaries for Historians at Colleges and Universities

At a Glance

Table: Average Salaries for Historians, 2009–10

Reports

History Salaries Lag behind Inflation and the Rest of Academia (May 2012)

History Faculty Salaries Fall Behind Inflation and the Rest of Academia (May 2011)

New Report Shows Little Growth in Salaries for History Faculty (May 2010)

History Student Enrollments and Degrees

At a Glance

PhDs ConferredFigure: BA's Produced in History AY 1970–71 to 2006–07
   (compared to other social science and humanities disciplines)

Figure: MA's Produced in History AY 1970–71 to 2006–07
   (compared to other social science and humanities disciplines)

Figure: PhD's Produced in History AY 1970–71 to 2006–07
   (compared to other social science and humanities disciplines)

Figure: History Degrees as a Proportion of All Degrees Conferred, 1970–71 to 2006–07

Reports

Clio's Charm Holding Fast? History Major Numbers Continue to Rise at Most Institutions (March 2012)

Who Are the New History PhDs? NSF Snapshot from 2012 Provides Insights into Current Trends (March 2012)

New History PhDs in 2009 Surged to Second- Highest Level in 32 Years (March 2011)

A Profusion of History Degrees in 2008 (October 2010)

Other Recent and Notable Reports

History E-books May Be Good for Reading, but Not (Yet) for Reviewing (May 2012)

Decline of the West or the Rise of the Rest? Data from 2010 Shows Rebalancing of Field Coverage in Departments (September 2011)

Assimilation of New Media into History Teaching: Some Snapshots from the Edge (December 2010)

How Is New Media Reshaping the Work of Historians? (November 2010)

A Profile of the History Profession in Academia, 2010 (October 2010)

A Picture of Public History: Preliminary Results from the 2008 Survey of Public History Professionals (with John Dichtl, September 2009)

Other Sources of Information

From the AHA

History Doctoral Programs in the United States
This site includes listings of U.S. departments conferring the PhD with listings organized by name, state, and specialization, as well as databases of history dissertations in progress and completed. The site also includes advice for applicants and recommendations on the type of information that should be included on all history Ph.D. program web sites.

The Education of Historians for the Twenty-First Century
The full text of the Committee on Graduate Education’s report with an updated bibliography and earlier essays and reports published by the AHA on the training of history doctorates. For easier reading, we also encourage you to by the print edition of the report from the University of Illinois Press.

Retrieving the Master's Degree from the Dustbin of History
The full text of the Committee on the Master’s Degrees report is also available in print though AHA Publications Sales.

From Federal and Other Sources

NRC Rankings of History Doctoral Programs, 2010
The Chronicle of Higher Education summarizes the National Research Council's ratings of history doctoral programs. The full data set can be obtained with registration from the National Academies Press.

National Center for Education Statistics
The annual Digest of Education Statistics provides for a broad perspective on postsecondary education. For more specific and comparative slices of the data from the Department of Education, see the WebCaspar database.

WebCaspar
A clearinghouse for specific data about degrees conferred at all levels, although it requires a fair amount of effort to extract the information as you might need. Feel free to contact Robert Townsend on the AHA staff for assistance in pulling out data for your purposes.

IPEDs College Opportunities On-line
Another valuable resource from the Department of Education, which allows you to obtain information on colleges and universities in a specific locality or region.

Survey of Earned Doctorates
Currently prepared by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, this survey provides a detailed snapshot of new Ph.D. recipients at the time of their degree. In addition to gross numbers, it also provides demographic details about who is receiving the degree, how long they spent working toward it, and their immediate employment plans and prospects.