The History Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers a serious and successful undergraduate and graduate program. At any one time, about 250 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate students are enrolled and working toward degrees. To teach and train them, there are members of the faculty whose resumes you can examine elsewhere on this site. As you will discover, their expertise and the courses they teach cover most of traditional areas of historical investigation, including the history of Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa, East Asia, and World History. The Department is also particularly strong in gender and women’s history, American and comparative labor and economic/business history, African and African-American history, and urban history. This strength is reflected in our graduate concentration in the History of Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World (WRGUW). The University of Illinois at Chicago is an ambitious institution that has already attained Research One status (one of the 88 universities with $40 million of Federal funding per year
).

The Faculty. In addition to a regular output of articles in refereed journals and books with the best university presses, the faculty has an enviable record in obtaining fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation as well as the Woodrow Wilson Center, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. The Department’s faculty are a vigorous and productive group of historians. What's more, many have won teaching awards in the University.

New Faculty. We would like to welcome Ralph Keen to his new joint position as the Chair of Catholic Studies and Professor of History. Keen is a historian of ideas who works with how thinkers in one era retrieve and apply the writings of earlier figures in the tradition. In the past, his research has been concerned with the ways Reformation-era theologians drew on biblical and early-church authorities in crafting political doctrines suitable to their era. Currently he is working on Counter-Reformation Catholic authors' construction of the early church (to ca. 500) as a Golden Age, intended as a contrast to the decline they saw in the 16th and 17th centuries. He finds it tremendously exciting to be part of our department and has already greatly enjoyed interacting with UIC students.

We also look forward to the arrival of Keely Stauter-Halsted as the new Chair of Polish History in January.

Chicago as a Place to Live and Study. One of the major cities of the world, Chicago is a marvelous place to be a student. The University is a stone's throw from the center of the city, located on a campus that has most of the features-lawns and trees and open spaces--of universities set in more rural areas. The city offers great music, theater and art galleries as well as a beautiful lakefront and magnificent architecture. Two other major universities are located here as well as several other significant ones, while the Newberry Library, the Chicago Historical Society, and the Great Lakes branch of the National Archives are among the archival repositories that add to the possibilities for research in Chicago. Finally, the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has one of the biggest holdings among American universities, to which UIC students and faculty have direct access by computer, along with full borrowing privileges with guaranteed delivery of items requested within two days.

The Undergraduate Experience.The undergraduate degrees we offer are the B.A. and the Bachelor of Arts in Teaching. B.A. majors are required to take courses in the three geographic areas of historical study-European, American, the rest of the world-and these must be at the upper (300- and 400-levels) as well as the lower division. Throughout their career, they will be taught in relatively small courses-rarely more than 100 at the lower levels and usually as small as 8 to 30 at the 300 and 400-level. Moreover, the full-time faculty teaches not only the advanced and specialized courses, but the 100-level ones as well. In addition, our advising system is very thorough and involved, and all majors can get advice and attention very easily. Consequently, History majors enjoy a small-school experience in a large, urban, research university. The experience of the B.A.T. students is very similar. In addition to meeting the same kind of requirements as B.A. majors, there are some special courses they have to take, including World History and Teaching Social Studies, meeting various state certification stipulations, and a semester of teaching practice in a high school. And, of course, this means that advising and supervision are even more necessary and available, while the sense of being part of a program along with others in their classes is also greater.

The Graduate Experience The graduate degrees offered at UIC are the M.A., M.A.T., and Ph.D. The Master of Arts in Teaching is a rigorous and very valuable degree that is part of our highly regarded Teaching of History Program. Students take the same courses as other graduate students, including required colloquia and the research seminar. The M.A. is also available as a graduate degree separate from, and preliminary to, the Ph.D. and it enrolls able students who may not yet want to go on to the Ph.D. or who may not want to do so. Most Ph.D. students can expect to obtain financial support through teaching assistantships -- around 25 each semester -- or through university or departmental fellowships. There is careful supervision of, and close contact with, all graduate students, particularly of course the Ph.D. students. But the requirements are demanding, and they have ensured that our graduates have been well-trained and thus placed in academic or other related positions with considerable success.

Applying to the UIC History Department. You will find the information you need to apply to the graduate programs in History at UIC elsewhere on this web site. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all.


Laura Hostetler,
Professor and Chair
E-Mail: hostetle@uic.edu