Program Guidelines

The Guidelines for the graduate program in History are intended to be a reference for all policies and procedures relevant to the Ph.D. programs in History and History of Science. All students are also responsible for adhering to university policies as described in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities and all Graduate School Policies.

The Program of Graduate Study

The History Ph.D. program at Princeton University provides students with a common grounding in the advanced study of history; at the same time it affords each student an opportunity to work out a program of study suited to his or her own interests.

Dickinson sundial in the snowThe normal duration of the program, and the maximum period of regular enrollment, is five years. During the first two years, the student participates in courses, writes two research papers, completes language requirements, defines a major and two minor fields of study, takes the general examination, and defines a dissertation topic. In the third, fourth, and fifth years, the student researches and writes the dissertation. Either the pre- or the post-generals phases of the program may be shortened, however, depending on the student's previous preparation and the requirements of the dissertation. It is understood that not all students will finish their dissertations by the end of the fifth year. Although formal enrollment ceases at that time, sixth year students are eligible for DCE (Degree Completion Enrollment) status. (Please note: the maximum of five years of graduate enrollment includes time spent in absentia on outside fellowships).

Pre-Generals: The First and Second Years

The General Examination

Post-Generals: The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Years


Financial Support

Departmental Funding Opportunities


Job Placement