Applications must be received by December 5. The department admits students in the fall quarter only. The sooner all your materials are submitted, the greater chance we have to evaluate your application for centrally funded fellowships.
Each component of your application is important: statement of purpose, all transcripts, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, history supplemental form, the field of study preference form, History Department supplemental information sheet, Statement of Personal Achievements/Contributions, Resume or Curriculum Vitae and your writing sample. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.
The Evaluation Process:
1. When your file is complete, the faculty member(s) in the field which you designate as your first choice on the field preference form will evaluate it.
2. Faculty members read the complete file and make written evaluations of the candidate. There are two key questions which faculty members decide on a simple yes/no basis: (1) should the candidate be admitted to the program, and (2) will he or she be the major sponsor for the student. The second question is especially important since no student is admitted to the program without a faculty sponsor. Acceptance into the program means that the student will begin working with a specific faculty member, who is designated the sponsor. At the end of the first year, the student declares a permanent advisor, who often was the student’s sponsor. The graduate program in History is for doctoral training; no student is admitted for the M.A. only. Faculty accept students who show scholarly promise.
3. The grounds for not admitting applicants are diverse. Even candidates with strong academic records are rejected. No faculty member may be available in the field in which the student is applying; or there may be no room for qualified candidates in the program. On the form the department's Director of Graduate Studies fills out for the Graduate Division, the reasons for non-acceptance are: that the candidate (1) is not competitive; (2) has inadequate preparation; (3) lacks a faculty sponsor; (4) has interests not suitably represented in our department; (5) is applying in a program which cannot accommodate any more qualified candidates; (6) has inadequate facility in English.
4. Since the faculty members in the appropriate fields do the work of selecting their graduate students, you should pay the utmost attention to your statement of purpose, specifying the nature of your research interests as precisely as you can. Faculty give these statements very close scrutiny. Write a cogent and precise statement of your interests. It is your argument for wanting to study a particular field of history here at UCSB.
Since no candidate is accepted into the program without a faculty sponsor, you should examine the list of professors to see whether your interests coincide with those of our faculty. . We strongly recommend that you contact faculty with whom you would like to work before submitting your application. Faculty email addresses and additional information about faculty research interests can be found on the faculty webpages on the History Department website.
We realize that many candidates are applying to several graduate schools and many are well-qualified for admission to history programs. But in evaluating applications to our program, we look for specific reasons why we should accept a particular student at UCSB.