University of Iowa
Dept. of History
280 Schaeffer Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1409
Medieval and Modern Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Latin America, Africa, U.S., transnational, comparative colonialisms, comparative slavery, gender/women/sexuality, race/class/ethnicity, borderlands/migration
The Department of History at the University of Iowa offers graduate programs for candidates who seek the Master of Arts degree (M.A.) and the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.). In close consultation with faculty, students design individual programs based on varied and interdisciplinary methods of critical inquiry and interpretation. The graduate program in History prepares graduate students for many careers, including university teaching and scholarly research, historical writing and editing, secondary school teaching, government service, and archival, museum, and library work.
Special Programs or Resources
The University Library has a strong history collection covering all periods and geographic areas, and including some unusual and unique documentary collections, such as the Iowa Women's Archives. The library is a Regional Federal Depository for US government documents and also holds extensive deposits from international organizations. It has wide-ranging historical newspaper and periodical holdings in print, microform and digital formats and provides access to a growing number of online collections of primary source materials. Examples include resources like Black Thought and Culture, Times of India, Jerusalem Post, Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO), Siku Quanshu, and the Gerritsen Collection: Women's History Online, 1543-1945, among many others. The Library's membership in the Center for Research Libraries provides access to a wide range of additional research materials. Important collections outside the university but within the immediate vicinity include the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
Graduate students benefit from the History Department's close ties to interdisciplinary departments, centers, and programs, including Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies and the Center for the Book (both of which offer graduate certificates), American Studies, the College of Law, International Programs, Crossing Borders, the Center for Human Rights, Global Health, the Labor Center, African Studies, African American Studies, American Indian and Native Studies, Asian and Pacific Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, Middle East and Muslim World Studies, Russian East European and Eurasian Studies, and South Asian Studies. Opportunities for publicly-engaged research and teaching include the departmentally-based Humanities Story Corps project as well as the Graduate Institute for Engagement in the Academy and HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboration), both housed at the Obermann Center for Advanced Study.
The graduate program in History promotes excellence in teaching via orientation for new teaching assistants, workshops for continuing teaching assistants, graduate-level coursework in pedagogy, and close supervision in the classroom. Teaching assistants begin by teaching sections in large lecture courses and move on to develop their own courses as they gain experience. The University's Center for Teaching and Learning offers additional resources for teaching, and the Office of Graduate Teaching Excellence offers a certificate in college-level teaching.
To prepare our graduates for the competitive job market, the Graduate Historical Society organizes workshops for graduate students on such topics as writing job application letters and resumes. Students participate in mock interviews and give mock job talks. Graduate students gain insights into academic life through their close integration into the life of the department in the form of graduate student representation in departmental meetings and on faculty search committees.
The Department offers packages of four or five years of financial aid for all students admitted to the PhD and MA/PhD programs. The majority of students receive aid in the form of Research and Teaching Assistantships. Research Assistants and Graduate Instructors are represented by a union, COGS-UE 896. The Department nominates outstanding incoming students to the University and Graduate College for multi-year fellowships that include summer support and service-free years, and several incoming students normally receive such fellowships every year. History graduate students also receive a variety of awards and fellowships from the University, Graduate College, and programs such as International Programs and Crossing Borders to support travel, research, and dissertation write-up. Additional opportunities for employment and pre-professional training come in the form of teaching assistantships in cognate departments such as Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies; internships in the Iowa Women's Archives; and graduate assistantships in the Labor Center and other programs.
The PhD degree requires 72 credits of graduate course work (including the credits obtained for the MA degree), written and oral comprehensive examinations in three fields of history, and completion of a doctoral dissertation under the direction of a member of the department.
Information from Department of Education
(Includes information on the size, location, and general characteristics of faculty and student body)
Information from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
(Includes rating of the institution's rating of the graduate instructional program and size and setting)
Full-time Faculty: 26
Relative Size based on Number of Full-time Faculty: Medium [Explain]
Student Demographics (Fall 2011):
Number of Doctoral Students in Program: 66
New Doctoral Students Entering Program: 8
Proportion of Doctoral Students Receiving Financial Aid: 55%
Number of Graduate Students Enrolled: 83
Relative Size Based on Graduate Student Enrollment: Large [Explain]
First PhD conferred: 1912
History PhDs conferred to Date: 505
Number of PhDs Conferred (2011–12): 7
Relative Size Based on PhDs Conferred: Medium [Explain]
Last Updated: October 19, 2012