Improving Graduate Education

The AHA's Career Diversity for Historians initiative focused on better preparing graduate students and early-career historians for a range of career options, within and beyond the academy. With generous funding from the Mellon Foundation, the AHA and three dozen departments from around the country explored the culture and practice of graduate education and how it can better support the changing needs of PhD students.

Career Contacts

Since its launch in early 2015, the AHA’s Career Contacts program has arranged hundreds of informational interviews between current PhD students (junior contacts) and history PhDs (senior contacts) who have built careers beyond the professoriate. Senior contacts work in a variety of fields, including academic administration, non-profit management, public policy, archives and libraries, K-12 teaching, as well as a range of positions in the federal government and private industry.

Map with pushpin
Where Historians Work

Where Historians Work is an interactive, online database that catalogs the career outcomes of historians who earned PhDs at universities in the United States from 2004 to 2017.

AHA, 2020, New York, January 3, 2020, Reception for Graduate Students
Graduate Education Resources

This collection of resources is intended to help faculty and students integrate the ideas generated from the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative into graduate teaching and advising.

Academic Department Resources

History department chairs are on the front lines of the discipline, defending historians’ work and supporting their professional lives at all stages of their academic careers. The AHA strives to strengthen this work and provide resources and opportunities that make chairs’ work easier and valued. The AHA provides resources and hosts a variety of events and opportunities to benefit department chairs and build community, including webinars, sessions at the annual meeting, and an in-person workshop.

Stephanie Young
"What I Do"

History PhDs build careers in a stunning variety of professions. In these videos, history PhDs share what they do for a living, how they found their jobs, their transition from graduate school, and what it means to be a historian in their line of work.

Career Fair - Saturday, January 5, 2019
Five Skills

The AHA worked with focus groups of historians with PhDs working in careers outside the academy to identify five skills that may not be honed in graduate school but that are necessary for success in a variety of career paths, including as professors. Learn more about the five skills and how historians can develop them.

Graduate Education in Perspectives on History

Perspectives on History has published many articles over the years on the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative, graduate student life, career paths, and more.

Faculty-Student Group Rate at the AHA Annual Meeting

Faculty members: Help your own students attend the AHA annual meeting through the AHA’s deeply discounted faculty/student group rate. For an additional fee of only $15 for each K-12, undergraduate, and graduate student ($30 after December 15), AHA members can bring students to the annual meeting. The AHA’s faculty/student group rate is a great way to mentor students, nourish their interest in history, and encourage their professional growth.

Resource Library

Check out the AHA’s Resource Library for teaching and learning resources, AHA Online recordings, professional development, and much more.