At the College of Liberal Arts, graduate students further their knowledge of history in the place where American history was born: Philadelphia. Earn your History Masters of Arts at Temple University and consider concentrating in Public History. Already have a history master’s? We also offer a history PhD. Learn more about our admissions process, becoming a teaching assistant, earning university-awarded fellowships, completing your dissertation, becoming a part-time instructor and attending our annual conference. 

Learn in Philadelphia Amidst a Host of Major Historical Research Collections

Temple’s History Department offers graduate study in a range of historical subjects and time periods. Our students have gone on to jobs at major research universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, government historical offices, museums, archives and other private and public institutions. The department offers full-time master’s (MA) and doctoral (PhD) graduate programs. We offer several four-year graduate teaching assistantships to incoming doctoral students and a variety of funding packages to master’s students in public history. Additionally, the university offers fellowships on a competitive basis. Our department is internationally renowned for the study of military history, environmental history, transnational history, diplomatic history, cultural history, early American history and recent United States history.

The department houses several intellectual forums and resources. Our in-house research center, the Center for Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD) regularly sponsors invited talks and major conferences. The department also supports graduate student travel and research through various grants and awards. The Center for Public History trains graduate students, sponsors public history initiatives and maintains extensive relationships with Philadelphia-area museums and historical sites. MA and PhD in History grads work at numerous colleges and universities in tenured and tenure-track positions, as historians for the federal and state governments, in museums, university presses and as university administrators.

Graduate Degrees

The History MA program prepares students for doctoral programs, provides graduate-level training for educators, promotes expertise in public history and serves students who majored in History and who wish to continue their training at the MA level. Currently, the department is able to offer funding to some students with a Public History concentration; it does not offer funding to students who concentrate in other fields.

The History PhD program is a vibrant, engaged, intellectual community of scholars and students. We work across all historical periods and methodologies. The thrust of the PhD program is to prepare professional historians who are equipped to function in either academia or in public history.

Degree Offerings

Concentration in Public History

MA students in Temple’s 2-year Public History concentration choose from a variety of advanced graduate courses in American history accompanied by specialized Public History courses. Every Public History course is built around a significant community-engagement project. And every student acquires real-world experience through a host of internships hosted throughout the Philadelphia area.

Applicants must indicate their intent to concentrate in Public History. A limited number of tuition waivers and fellowships are awarded each year to the most qualified applicants. Please contact the Director of Public History Seth Bruggeman for additional information about application requirements and funding opportunities. *Please Note: The optional Public History concentration is not open to students enrolling in the History MA program for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Center for Public History

The Center for Public History combines a solid grounding in American history with practical training in nonprofit heritage management. Students serve internships in the shadow of Independence Hall, wander the back rooms of our nation’s oldest museums and explore new possibilities for digital pasts at some of the United States’ most historically significant sites.

Admissions Process

Please visit the History MA Admissions page or the History PhD Admissions page to learn more about graduate program requirements, dates and deadlines and instructions on how to apply.

image of Temple Students protesting
Temple Students Protest Education Funding Cuts (c. late 1970s)
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia PA

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistants (TA) are required to teach or assist in teaching at Temple. Their duties include 20 hours of service per week. Holders receive tuition waivers for all courses taken during the fall and spring semesters (up to nine credits) that contribute to the student’s program, plus a stipend. All TAs are doctoral students.

Most Teaching Assistants are assigned to large core courses in which they are given the responsibility to lead discussion sections, grade papers and examinations, prepare and deliver formal lectures, and contribute to structuring the syllabus for the course. On occasion, a Teaching Assistant is provided the opportunity to teach her/his own course, serve as a Research Assistant for one of the faculty in the department or take on some administrative responsibility consistent with the student’s program. Teaching Assistantships can be renewed for up to four years. Decisions regarding TAships are made annually in the spring semester. New applicants for the PhD program are automatically considered. Advanced PhD students who do not currently hold a TAship and who wish to be considered for one should send their application to the Chair of the History Department by January 31.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

History graduate students have access to many scholarships and financial aid offered by Temple University, the College of Liberal Arts and the History Department. Please visit the following pages to learn more about your options for funding:

Annual Conference

Graduate students in the Department of History at Temple University host the James A. Barnes Club Graduate Student Conference annually. The Barnes Club Conference is one of the largest and most prestigious graduate student conferences in the region, drawing participants from across the nation and around the world. The annual two-day conference takes place in March during the spring semester. It gives rising scholars the opportunity to present their projects, receive critical feedback, and network to establish and expand their academic communities. Select conference papers are awarded cash prizes in various geographical and scholarly categories.

Graduate Study at the University of Erfurt

With the support of a grant from the German government, History graduate students can take a semester abroad studying History at the University of Erfurt. Learn more about this special study abroad option!

Graduate Resources

Graduate Students

Our highly selected PhD students are an intricate part of the learning and teaching experience here in the Department of History. Our graduate students conduct research, teach courses and work closely with various faculty members and students throughout the department. Visit our PhD Students page to learn more about our current students.