PhD Pipeline Program

The UC Berkeley History PhD Pipeline Program provides general information and personalized guidance for prospective History PhD students from historically excluded and under-represented backgrounds.

It features ten Saturday seminars led by Berkeley historians, staff, graduate students, and alumni over Zoom in the spring and individualized one-on-one mentorship during the subsequent summer. 

The Pipeline Program is generously funded by a grant from Berkeley Office for Graduate Diversity. OGD offers many additional programs to support prospective and current students and we encourage you to check their website to learn more.

More about the program

How is the program structured?

The Pipeline Program is divided into two parts:

Part I of the program consists of ten seminars led by Berkeley historians, staff, alumni, and graduate students. We'll meet via Zoom on Fridays from 10am-noon Pacific, starting 25 February and concluding 13 May (with one break on 25 March). The contents of the weekly seminars will vary, but aim to cover three key areas: (1) demystifying the application process, (2) exploring the work of a professional historian, and (3) providing strategies for wellness in academia and beyond.

In Part II of the program, which will run over the summer, Fellows will receive individual support and mentorship from Berkeley faculty and advanced graduate students, particularly in regards to whether, when, how, and where to apply to PhD in History.

How much does the program cost?

The program is free of charge.

How do I apply?

The application is available online. If you have any questions or concerns about the application, please contact us at history-pipeline@berkeley.edu. The application asks for a statement of interest in the Pipeline Program, an unofficial transcript, and one letter of recommendation.

What is the deadline for application?

The deadline for application is Monday, 28 January 2022 at 9am Pacific.

Do I need a letter of recommendation?

Yes, this cycle we are asking for one letter of recommendation. Please ask a professor who can speak to your scholarly interests and accomplishments.

How should my letter writer submit their letter of recommendation?

Please ask the professor writing your letter of recommendation to email their letter as a .pdf or .doc attachment to history-pipeline@berkeley.edu. Please ask them to write your name in the subject line so we can easily match the letter to your file.

Do I need an official or unofficial transcript?

Yes, this cycle we are asking for an unofficial copy of your undergraduate transcript(s) and, if applicable, your graduate transcript.

Are there written components to the application?

Yes, there is one short essay (up to 500 words). We ask applicants to tell us why they are interested in participating in the Pipeline Program.

What is the selection committee looking for in the essay?

Your essay should communicate why you’re considering a doctorate in history, what your professional goals are, and why you’re interested in the Pipeline Program. We encourage you to indicate familial, educational, cultural, economic, and/or social experiences that have affected your decision to consider a career in history.

What if I’m not sure that I want to apply to a History PhD program?

Though applicants should at least be seriously considering the pursuit of a PhD in History, we view our program as an opportunity, not an obligation. After Cycle 1 (2021), several Fellows indicated they didn't intended to pursue a PhD or at least not in the immediate future; we consider this as much a success as the Fellows are who ready to apply this year. The goal of the program is to equip you to make the best possible decision for yourself and to feel confident in your decision, wherever it takes you.

Who is eligible to apply?

We welcome all juniors, seniors, recent college graduates, and current master's students who have a serious interest in pursuing a PhD in History. If you have a question or concern about your eligibility, please contact us at history-pipeline@berkeley.edu.

Do I have to live in Berkeley to participate?

No, the 2022 Pipeline Program will be held exclusively on Zoom and is open to anyone in the United States.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

All persons residing in the United States, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are eligible for the Pipeline Program.

I applied last cycle but didn’t get in. Can I apply again?

Previous applicants are welcome to apply again.

Who organizes the program?

The 2022 program is led by Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of American History and Citizenship Waldo E. Martin (PhD '80) and Assistant Professor Rebecca Herman (PhD '14) with support from an advisory committee made up of Berkeley faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Who funds the program?

The Program is funded by the Berkeley Graduate Division’s Graduate Diversity Pilot Program as part of a series of both new and ongoing anti-racism initiatives. More information about the Berkeley Graduate Division and about these initiatives can be found here.

What if I have more questions?

If you have questions about the program or the application, please email us at history-pipeline@berkeley.edu.