European History Graduate Programs

Dec 31, 2018

Students who are interested in studying European history at an advanced level may be considering a graduate degree program in the field. This article will cover graduate degrees in European history in greater detail by highlighting some courses that are commonly found in these programs as well as information regarding how to gain admission.

Information About Graduate Programs in European History

Graduate programs in European history are available as both master's degree and Ph.D. programs. Some universities have degrees that are specifically focused in European history, though it is more common to find general programs in history that offer a specialization or concentration area in European history. Below, we will look at five different courses that are often found in these programs.

Ancient Greek History

European history graduate degree programs will likely include courses that focus on Greek history. A course in Greek history may cover the topic broadly, or it may split up Greek history by different periods, like from the Bronze Age to the Peloponnesian War. Students will learn about concepts like the development of Athenian democracy, Greek social and political life, and Greek imperialism.

The Renaissance

Graduate degree programs in European History will often include a course that focuses on the Renaissance period in Europe between the 14th to 16th centuries. This course may focus on the Renaissance as it developed in one country specifically, like Italy or France, or it may cover topics more broadly. Some topics that may be discussed in this course include the changes that occurred in politics, art, the church, and society in general.

The Reformation

These programs will also likely include a course that covers the Reformation period in Europe. In this course, students will learn about what caused the Reformation in Europe from a religious, political, and social perspective. Topics that may be covered in the course include the counter-Reformation, the ideas held by many of the reformers, and wars that took place during the Reformation.

Jewish History in Europe and the Holocaust

It is also common for these programs to include a course that focuses specifically on Jewish history and traditions in Europe, as well as the Holocaust. In such a course, students will study the Jewish experience in Europe throughout history and how the Jewish people assimilated into various cultures and countries. Students will also study how the Holocaust occurred, the perpetrators, and the effects it had on the Jewish community and the world in general.

World War I & World War II

Programs in European history may also include one or more courses that cover World War I and World War II. Students will learn about the various domestic and international causes of both of the wars and the resulting effects that the wars had on Europe, as well as various countries of Europe specifically. The course will also cover the nature of these wars and key events that took place in the wars that had an impact on their outcomes.

Admission Standards for Graduate Programs in European History

In order to be admitted into a graduate degree program in European history, students will need to fulfill some admission criteria and prepare an application file for the admissions committees to review. Regardless of whether students are applying to a master's or Ph.D. program, they will need to have achieved a bachelor's degree before beginning graduate study. While it is not required that students have majored in history during their undergraduate studies, it is generally expected that applicants will have a strong background in history, which could be achieved through taking history courses during a student's undergraduate career. In order to send in a completed application, students will need to submit their undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and results from the GRE exam. Some programs may also require that students submit a writing sample.

In summary, graduate programs in European history are available at the master's and doctoral level throughout the U.S. Students who enroll in these programs will be able to study different countries, eras and events in European history through a combination of core curriculum and elective courses and will be prepared for a number of different careers or further study.

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