Greetings from the Director of Graduate Studies

 

Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC's graduate program in history has gained national recognition thanks to its broad curriculum and outstanding faculty. We offer graduate courses in US, Latin American, African, and European history, and we have particular thematic strength in labor, gender, ethnic, medical, and environmental history. We have a strong record of placing our graduates into desirable positions in colleges and universities, museums, publishing houses, and other institutions throughout the country.

 

This letter is intended to give you an all the necessary information about admissions to the graduate program. It also provides a general overview of our degree programs and funding opportunities, but you can learn much more about these issues, as well as the History Department's faculty, course offerings, and departmental activities, by visiting our homepage at http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist.

Admission and Financial Aid

January 1 is the deadline for application for all students who would like to be considered for financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships, fellowships, and other assistance. For all others, the deadline is February 15. It is your responsibility to make sure that we have your completed application as well as your letters of recommendation by these dates in order guarantee that we can give your application our full consideration. (While we do occasionally offer admission for the Spring semester, we only do so in exceptional cases such as when an existing student needs to re-enroll). Please note that you will have to send application materials BOTH to the Office of Admissions and Records and to the History Department, as described in detail below.

You can receive an online application form at http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/forms/application_graduate.pdf or get a paper copy by calling the Graduate College at (312) 413-2550, or by writing to them directly at UIC Graduate College (m/c 192), 606 University Hall, 601 S. Morgan St., Chicago IL 60607-7106. The Graduate College can also provide you with the Graduate Catalogue, which contains the rules and curricula for all graduate programs at UIC. Tired of all the paper? The Catalogue is also accessible from the Graduate College home page: http://www.uic.edu/depts/grad/.

For those students who seek financial aid, UIC offers a variety of funding opportunities. The History Department awards two forms of teaching assistantships. Regular TA-ships are normally awarded on a year-long basis, most often to doctoral students. They carry a stipend and a tuition and fee waiver. The department also offers a number of enhanced teaching assistantships (known as History Doctoral Awards, or HDAs) to outstanding incoming students. The HDA awards guarantee their recipients four years of funding as well as tuition and fees, plus a substantial stipend. The History Department also awards a limited number of tuition and fee waivers.

Incoming and continuing students are also eligible for a number of university-wide fellowships, and I strongly encourage all applicants to apply for all fellowships for which they are eligible. Such fellowships can provide benefits such as stipends and tuition, multiple-year funding, and other benefits. All university-wide fellowships are based on academic merit, and UIC has a particularly strong suite of fellowships for minority students and Illinois residents. Information on these fellowships and other financial awards is available at http://www.uic.edu/depts/grad/awards/index.shtml.

If you are applying for any kind of financial support, including university fellowships and/or a teaching assistantship, you will also need to submit an Application for Graduate Appointment. You can find the form online at: http://www.uic.edu/depts/grad/gcforms/index.shtml

Degrees Offered:

The UIC history department has four degree tracks tailored to graduate students' particular goals. The four tracks are:

1) M.A.T. Masters of Arts in Teaching. This track is designed for students who intend to work toward the M.A. in order to teach in secondary schools; students may also choose to complete the requirements for the Illinois public schools Teacher Certification Certificate as an M.A.T. student.

2) M.A.-only. This is for students who are just beginning graduate study after completing the Bachelor's Degree and whose final goal at UIC is the M.A. You should apply to this track if you neither seek a teaching certificate nor plan to work toward the Ph.D. immediately. You are free to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program after completing the M.A., however.

3) Doctoral Track. This is for students who are just beginning graduate study after completing the Bachelor's Degree (i.e., they do not have an M.A. in history or a related field) and who wish to begin working toward the Ph.D. immediately.

4) Ph.D.-only. This is for students who already have a master's degree in history or a related field, and whose goal at UIC is to obtain the doctorate.

Be sure to indicate the track you are applying for in the Statement of Purpose that you will include send to the Department. Also, on the Graduate College Application, Item #21, you should check MAT if you are applying for the Masters of Arts in Teaching, MA if you are applying for the M.A.-only track, and PhD if you are applying for EITHER the Doctoral Track (M.A.+Ph.D.) program or the Ph.D.-only track.
If you wish to join the History Department's concentration in the History of Work, Race, & Gender, in the Urban World (WRGUW), you should so indicate in your Statement of Purpose and on the Reference Cover Sheet. WRGUW is designed only for students whose goal is to obtain the Ph.D., so if you wish to be part of this program, you must be an applicant to either the Doctoral Track or the Ph.D.-only track. To learn more about WRGUW, you can visit the website at http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/work.html. If you wish to join the History Department's concentration, "Encounters, Ethnographies, and Empires," the procedure is the same as for WRGUW, except that you mention "Encounters" in your Statement of Purpose and on the Reference Cover Sheet. For more information see http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/encounters.

Application Instructions

You will need to send two separate packets of application materials. One set will be sent to the Office of Admissions and Records and the other directly to the Department of History (the addresses are listed below).

Please send the following to the Office Of Admission and Records:

1) a completed application form (or the online admission form)
2) the required application fee
3) complete and official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work
4) official GRE results

Please send the following directly to the Department of History:

1) a copy of the application form
2) an official or unofficial (photocopied) set of all transcripts
3) an official or unofficial (photocopied) report of GRE results
4) three letters of recommendation, each of which should be accompanied by the Reference Cover Sheet
5) a statement of purpose
6) a writing sample
7) a financial aid application (the Application for Graduate Appointment), if applicable.

Most of these items are self-explanatory, but some may merit a bit of clarification.

 

The letters of recommendation must be accompanied by the History Departmentís Reference Cover Sheet. They should come from professors who know your work and are able to comment on your potential for graduate study. The writers may send their recommendations directly to the History Department at the address below, or you may collect them yourself (in sealed envelopes with the writer's signature across the flap) and mail them in with the rest of the application materials you forward to the Department. The writing sample should reflect your best work and ideally be based on original research; please provide clean copies, double-spaced and with 1" margins. Finally, the statement of purpose should be a 2-3 page (single spaced) description of your reasons for pursuing an advanced degree in history, your scholarly interests, and your abilities and preparation for graduate study. Writing a good statement of purpose takes time and care and is a major element of your application. If you would like some insights into the writing of a good statement of purpose you may want to read a brief article on the strategies for selecting and applying to graduate school, published in the AHA Perspectives. It too is available online at http://www.theaha.org/perspectives/issues/1998/9809/9809PRO.CFM

Addresses

Materials sent to the Office of Admissions and Records should be addressed as follows:

Office of Admissions, m/c 018
1200 W. Harrison St.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago IL 60607-7161

Those to be sent to the department should be sent to:

Director of Graduate Studies
UIC Dept. of History (m/c 198)
601 S. Morgan St.
Chicago IL 60607-7109

Deadlines

The deadlines for application are as follows:

October 1 for applicants to any degree track and who intend to enter the graduate program in the SPRING semester. Students who enter in the Spring are not normally eligible for financial aid. Please note that we do not normally accept students for the Spring; we use this deadline primarily for students who are re-entering the program after a leave of absence.

January 1 for prospective students who seek any form of financial assistance, including university fellowships, teaching assistantships, and tuition and fee waivers.

February 15 for all other prospective students.

Some Useful Internet Links as you Apply

Checklist for Applying to the Graduate Program in History: http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/GraduateStudy/Checklist2004.htm

 

Reference Cover Sheet to be given to each writer of a letter of recommendation: http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/GraduateStudy/cover.htm



Financial Aid Opportunities at UIC: http://www.uic.edu/depts/grad/awards/index.shtml

 

Graduate Course Descriptions: http://www.uic.edu/depts/grad/courses/index.shtml

 

History Department Graduate Handbook: http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/GraduateStudy/gradhandbook.htm

 

WRGUW (Graduate Concentration in Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World): http://www.uic.edu/depts/hist/work.html

 

UIC Graduate College Application: http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/forms/application_graduate.pdf

 

Graduate College Request for Appointment (when applying for any form of financial award): http://www.uic.edu/depts/grad/gcforms/gradappt.pdf

 

A Few Frequently Asked Questions

How many courses must Ph.D.-only students take? Students who enter the Ph.D. only program are required to take 16 hours (four courses). However, students who enter the Ph.D.-only program with an M.A. awarded by a department in another discipline may be required upon admission to take supplementary coursework as appropriate. Any such additional requirement(s) will be specified in the letter offering admission.

How many 500-level courses must M.A. students take? MA students must take 20 hours (five courses) of 500 level courses (courses open only to graduate students).

How many sets of examinations will I take? All students will take and pass one set of general examinations in order to obtain their final degree. M.A.T. and M.A. students will take comprehensive exams. Doctoral Track and Ph.D.-only students will take preliminary examinations. Students are not asked to take both comprehensive and preliminary examinations.

Do Doctoral Track students receive the M.A.? Yes. This can occur in one of two ways. After a Doctoral Track student's second year of coursework, the department will review their overall performance to determine whether they should be allowed to move from the M.A. level to the Ph.D. level. If the student receives a favorable evaluation (which is the most common outcome), this decision automatically confers the M.A. The Department may decide that a student should not move on to the Ph.D. level, however, in which case that student will be required to complete all requirements of the M.A.-only program, including successful completion of comprehensive examinations.

For More Information

For those reading the online version of this letter, there are some useful links below. But for all of you, let me say that while the graduate program at UIC offers a comprehensive program of study, I like to think that it has a very individualized approach. In this spirit, I am happy to address any questions that this letter does not clear up. Please feel free to make an appointment visit me in person or to e-mail me at slevine@uic.edu. Appointments are scheduled through the Graduate Secretary, Ms. Linda VanPuyenbroeck (312-996-3141 or lindavp@uic.edu). I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Susan Levine
Professor of History
Director of Graduate Studies