Loyola University Chicago

Doctor of Philosophy in History or Public History


820 N. Michigan Ave

Lewis Towers Suite 1200

Chicago, IL 60611

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Doctor of Philosophy in History or Public History

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Department of History offers comprehensive programs in United States, Public, Modern European, Transnational Urban, and Medieval and Renaissance histories. As one of the first departments in the nation to offer master’s and doctoral degrees in Public History, we strive to meet the needs of today’s students. Graduates are prepared for careers in teaching and Public History, but they also have transferable skills that make them excellent candidates for careers in business, government, and cultural institutions.

The doctoral program in history is a 60-hour program that culminates in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. Students can enter the program in two ways:

(1) Most students enter holding a Master's degree. Usually, the PhD degree is a 30-hour program beyond the MA, but the exact hourly requirement beyond the MA will be determined by the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate School.
(2) Students who have compiled an outstanding record in an undergraduate history major may enter the Accelerated PhD Program directly from their undergraduate program. Admission with a bachelor degree only is highly selective and limited to a few undergraduates each year. Students are chosen on the basis of our regular criteria (GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, writing sample and personal statement).

Upon completion of the PhD in History, graduates will be able to:

  • Use the historical method to solve historical and historiographical problems while applying the perspectives of class, race, gender, etc. to historical events and trends;
  • Identify and criticize interpretive paradigms and methodologies relevant to historical scholarship and the historical profession;
  • Perform historical research in archives and libraries and evaluate the provenance, context, validity, and biases of these sources from the past;
  • Apply the necessary research skills to produce original scholarship on a chosen historical topic using primary sources while evaluating the validity, context, and biases of secondary source literature produced by other scholars;
  • Demonstrate the ability to deploy multiple forms of communication (written, oral, and new media) to discuss their own historical scholarship and graduate-level knowledge of their chosen fields;
  • Advance the knowledge of the discipline;
  • Conduct cutting edge research;
  • Engage respectfully in debates about the nature of the past in order to enrich historical understanding and generate new questions and investigatory avenues.

Joint PhD Program in American History/Public History

Building on Loyola's already strong Master's in Public History program, this 60-hour degree program provides the opportunity for students to compete for positions calling for a doctorate, such as teaching public history at the university level, curating or administrating at governmental institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution or the National Park Service, or serving as a principal in a consulting firm. In essence, this program is similar to the standard American history PhD program but requires a double major in American History and Public History instead of a major field in American History and two minor fields. Students will leave Loyola with a firm grounding in American history as well as in the skills and theory of public history and its practice. Loyola is one of the few universities to offer a public history degree at the doctoral level and hopes to continue to attract strong non-traditional students already working in the public history profession as well as students interested in history at the doctoral level. 


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

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