Graduate Program Application Procedures

Thanks for your interest in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's graduate program in history! We're excited to support and review your application.

We undertake a targeted admissions process. The following faculty members will be accepting new students in these designated areas. Feel free to email them and/or our graduate chair, Dr. Alexander Vazansky, with any questions as you prepare your application.

Faculty who are not listed will be available to advise in a secondary role but are not considering new students at this time.

For students interested in pursuing American History:

Dr. Katrina Jagodinsky looks forward to working with graduate students in the fields of digital, legal, and Western history. Applicants with interest in race and gender are particularly encouraged to reach out for a conversation about their historical projects and professional aspirations.

Dr. Laura K. Muñoz specializes in 19th- and 20th-century history of Latinx communities in the American West and Great Plains, especially in Nebraska, Arizona, and Texas. She works with graduate students interested in recuperating Latinx community history and studying the U.S. Latinx experience from a broad range of topics including education, gender, migration, legal studies, and oral history.

Dr. Patrick D. Jones focuses on modern U.S. History and African American Studies with an emphasis on the civil rights and black power era, America in the 1960s, and the ways that meaningful and lasting social change takes place at the intersections of formal politics, social movement activism and cultural production in the 20th century. He works with graduate students pursuing histories of movements for justice in the 20th century U.S., as well as modern American history, more broadly.

Dr. William G. Thomas III focuses on 19th century U.S. legal history and the history of the U.S. South. He works with graduate students interested in digital humanities and digital history methods, especially to create imaginative forms of history for public and scholarly audiences.

Dr. Timothy R. Mahoney specializes in the history of 19th century America, with particular focus on urbanism, regionalism, and global capitalism and their impact on society and class, gender, ethnic and racial interactions. He works with students interested in a range of concerns such as religion in the city, urban social reform, regional history, and masculinity in 19th century America.

For students interested in pursuing European History:

Dr. Gerald J. Steinacher studies the history of the Holocaust, National Socialism, antisemitism, and European Fascism with a particular focus on Nazi perpetrators. He works with graduate students of 20th century German, Austrian, and Italian history with an emphasis on memory culture (Erinnerungskultur) and transitional justice.

Dr. Alexander Vazansky's research is in postwar German-American and civil-military relations. He is particularly interested in the interactions between protest movements and the military. He works with students interested in postwar German history and German-American relations, as well as 20th Century U.S. military history.

For students interested in pursuing World History:

Dr. Bedross Der Matossian focuses on the history of late Ottoman Empire and Modern Middle East with particular concentration on ethnic violence, ethnic politics, and socio-economic history. He works with grad students on Global History and Comparative Genocide studies.

Dr. James A. Garza focuses on the environmental and cultural history of nineteenth and twentieth century Mexico and the South Texas-Mexican Borderlands. He works with graduate students pursuing transnational and critical studies on race, environment, state power, and technology.

Application Process

Online application
Complete the initial online application information and pay the $50.00 application fee. You may be eligible for a fee waiver if you are US military personnel, a current Pell Grant recipient, a McNair Scholar, part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, or an AmeriCorps Alumni or Dependent. After you submit your initial information, you will receive instructions for the online application system.

Prepare and upload your personal statement and writing sample
The personal statement is approximately 1-2 single-spaced pages in length. Its purpose is to explain your background in history and to indicate your areas of interest in our program. Personal statements should illustrate prior training and experience, explain your general and/or specific research interests, and indicate how our faculty can support your pursuit of a professional history degree. Personal statements that express clear goals, prior background, and strong ties to our departmental strengths are the most successful.

The writing sample is a paper previously written by the applicant; there is no standardized page limit, although they are typically 10-30 pages in length. Papers that demonstrate historical analysis of primary sources and familiarity with relevant scholarship are most useful, but otherwise writing samples should demonstrate critical thinking and sound writing skills.

Arrange for your reference letters
Three letters of reference are required and should be submitted through the online application system.

Check on your language requirements
All applicants must have four semesters of study in at least one language other than English with an average grade of B or better; all four semesters of study must be for the same language. Review the Graduate Handbook for details. If needed, this requirement can be fulfilled while enrolled in the program, but it must be completed before the portfolio defense or comprehensive exams, and applicants should address their language skills in their personal statement.

Upload your transcripts
Upload your most recent unofficial transcript from each institution attended. We will only need official transcripts upon admittance.

No GRE scores are necessary. International students will need to take the TOEFL or IELTS. The department's minimum TOEFL scores are 575 (paper) or 90 (web); the minimum IELTS score is 6.5.

International students
Complete the Financial Resource Certification Form and should review the Guidelines for International Students.

Financial Aid

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program typically receive five years of funding, including teaching and research fellowships or departmental assistantships. Fellowships and assistantships cover the full cost of tuition and provide a stipend. Ongoing funding is contingent upon the student's satisfactory progress towards the degree. 

Visit the Graduate Funding page for details.


Applications must be received by December 1.

For more information