Graduate Application Process

Application Process

Thank you for your interest Rice University's PhD in History program.

Applications for fall 2024 are now open at this link: The deadline is 11:59pm EST, December 1, 2023.

Scroll down this page for information about obtaining a fee waiver during Rice University's Application Fee Waiver Weeks. Fee waiver requests must be received by 11:59pm EST on November 1, 2023 and applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on November 27 for the fee waiver to be applied.

For more information about graduate program qualifications, visit Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Please pay particular attention to the application instructions, answers to frequent inquiries, and program eligibility and application requirements below. The Before You Apply webpage is a useful guide for applicants to the PhD program.

Candidates will be notified of admissions decisions in late January or early February; communications will be sent to the email address provided by the candidate on the application form.

Application Instructions:

  • Applicants will upload unofficial transcripts and supporting documents to the online application system. Hard copies of official transcripts are not required to apply.
  • If admitted, applicants will be required to send official transcripts to complete the admissions process.
  • Once a completed application is submitted, the applicant will be able to pay the application fee and monitor the status of their application on the Application Status page.
  • Application information and supporting documents cannot be edited after final submission. However, applicants are able to upload updated version of their CV and unofficial transcripts via the Application Status page.
  • All application materials, including three letters of recommendation, must be received by the deadline to be considered for admission.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

Frequent Inquiries:

  • Applications are for the PhD program only; the Department of History does not accept students seeking a terminal Master’s degree.
  • Applications are accepted annually for Fall matriculation only; there is no Spring matriculation.
  • The PhD program in History is a full-time, funded program and does not offer online or distance courses.
  • In general, applicants should have a minimum 3.0 (B) grade point average, or the equivalent, in their undergraduate work.
  • A GRE score is not required. If you have a score, feel free to submit it, but it is not necessary.

Program Eligibility

Candidates who hold a Bachelor's degree, or who will complete a Bachelor's degree by the start of the admission term, are eligible to apply. Applicants of all academic backgrounds are considered for the PhD program. In general, a minimum of a 3.0 (B) GPA is required. A GRE score is not required.

Application Requirements

The following materials must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered for admission:

The Fall 2024 application form will open here in early September 2023, with a deadline of 11:59pm EST, December 1, 2023. There is an $85 non-refundable application fee, payable online.

Application Fee Waiver Weeks October 18 - November 1, 2023. Rice University's Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will offer doctoral application fee waivers for the Fall 2024 admission term to all eligible domestic and international students. For eligibility requirements and to find a link to the application for a fee waiver, please visit:

NOTE: You must apply for the waiver between October 18-November 1, 2023. A completed application must be submitted by November. 27 at 11:59 p.m. EST; if an application is not submitted by this deadline, payment will be required.

Unofficial transcripts from previous colleges and universities. The department will review unofficial transcripts during the admissions process; official transcripts will be required after acceptance into the graduate program.

A GRE score is not required. If you have a GRE score, feel free to submit it, but it is not necessary.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY (International applicants only)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores should be directly from ETS to Rice (School Code: 6609). Please see the following webpage for additional information regarding IELTS and waiver options:

A statement describing the applicant’s educational objectives, professional goals, historical interests and intended area of study. Additionally, the statement should discuss any scholarly research, writing, or similar research currently being pursued. Statements should be no longer than three pages (double-spaced).

A sample of the applicant's academic writing, preferably one that uses primary sources. It should be no longer than 25 pages in length. If it is part of a longer essay, the applicant can submit the longer piece and specify which 25 pages should be read.

Three letters of recommendation by individuals best qualified to testify to the applicant’s capacity for graduate work in history are required. Academic references representing the applicant’s major field are preferred. If this is not possible, individuals who can comment on qualities relevant to the applicant’s academic goals and research will be accepted. Recommenders named in the application form will be sent an automated email requesting that they complete an online evaluation and upload the letter of recommendation. We advise applicants to make sure recommenders know to expect this email and to give them sufficient time to complete this task ahead of the application deadline.

Inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to Humanities Graduate Admissions: