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World History, Doctor of Philosophy

60 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


The innovative Ph.D. in World History at St. John’s University redefines and reclaims the vital roles that professionals with advanced humanities training play in our complex, global society. It combines traditional academic rigor in research with an emphasis on new pedagogies, interdisciplinary study, technology, collaborative work, community engagement, and a unique approach to internship training.

Watch a video about St. John's Ph.D. in World History program.

Our program distinguishes itself with internship rotations that allow you to apply your knowledge and training in history to practice in the community. You’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience in fields such as: libraries and archives; parks and heritage tourism; publishing, editing, and production; secondary and post-secondary teaching; museums and galleries; film-making and digital media; and non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, and governmental agencies.

The Department of History’s full-time faculty members are active scholars with fields of expertise that include African, American, Asian, European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern studies. As a doctoral student at St. John’s, you’ll benefit from close mentoring relationships with these professors and be part of our vibrant and diverse intellectual community. We also offer flexibility to accommodate both traditional full-time doctoral students and working professionals seeking a degree part-time.

Department Faculty

Please see a list of our History faculty.

Department Contact

Timothy A. Milford, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Graduate Director
Department of History
[email protected]


To apply to the Ph.D. in World History, you must submit official transcripts showing conferral of your bachelor’s degree and at least 24 credits in history. You must also possess at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the undergraduate level, with a 3.5 or higher in history courses.

We require that you submit evidence of acceptable scores for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test along with your application. The subject GRE Test is not required.

You must submit three letters of recommendation, at least one of which attests to your research ability. You must also submit a recent sample of written work, as well as a personal statement detailing your research agenda, professional goals, and experience.

Applicants who already hold a master’s degree in history may qualify for up to 24 credits of advanced standing with approval from the graduate director and the Dean’s office.

Office of Graduate Admission
[email protected]

Tuition and Financial Aid

Fellowships and Assistantships

The University awards a limited number of graduate assistantships and doctoral fellowships to highly-qualified students each year. These positions provide tuition remission and a stipend and involve assisting faculty with their research. The University also awards a limited number of University Doctoral Fellowships that offer tuition remission for students who work full-time and attend the Ph.D. program part-time. For more information, please visit the Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships and Tuition and Financial Aid pages.

The Nickolas Davatzes Scholarship

The Department of History offers the Nickolas Davatzes Scholarship to qualified graduate students who are committed to teaching History in high school or community college, and who demonstrate high financial need. The scholarship fund was established in 2007 by Nickolas Davatzes ’62C, ’64G, ’95Hon, who established the A&E Network and the History Channel, and Dorothea Hayes Davatzes ’66Ed. Scholarships are granted by the department on a competitive basis and provide $5,000 for summer research or tuition assistance.



As a student in the Ph.D. World History program at St. John's, you have the opportunity to gain valuable internship experience with the following prestigious and dynamic institutions:

Bowne House Historical SocietyBrooklyn Historical SocietyBrooklyn Museum
Children's Museum of ManhattanFire Island Pines Historical Preservation SocietyIntrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
King Manor MuseumLefferts Historic HouseLewis H. Latimer House
Louis Armstrong House MuseumMorgan Library & MuseumMuseum of Chinese in American (MOCA)
Museum of the City of New YorkMuseum of Jewish HeritageMuseum of the Moving Image
National Jazz Museum in HarlemNew-York Historical SocietyNew York Transit Museum
Queens County Farm MuseumQueens Historical Society - Kingsland HomesteadQueens Library
Queens MuseumVoelker Orth Museum 


Career Outcomes

The communication skills, analytical thinking, and historical perspectives you’ll gain through the Ph.D. program in World History will prepare you for tenure-track faculty positions in history as well as careers in museums, libraries, cultural agencies and institutions, consulting firms, and digital and traditional media companies. The distinctive socially-aware, problem-solving, and service-oriented education you’ll receive at St. John’s will help you excel in the areas of teaching, public history, and public service. Thanks to the internship experience built in to the program, you’ll be entering the job market with not only an advanced degree and body of original research, but also professional experience in a field that suits your interests and goals.

You'll meet once a month in our doctoral colloquium to present research and publications and gather for workshops and roundtable discussions. You’ll also be able to gain professional training through planning the History department's international World History Theory and Practice conference and through joining the World History Group that discusses teaching history in the core curriculum. For teaching experience, you may shadow faculty members teaching undergraduate courses. Through St. John’s Center for Teaching and Learning, you’ll have access to professional development workshops in grant writing, fundraising, digital humanities, web and social media marketing, and organizational leadership. And you’ll always have the individual attention of the faculty members in the Department of History who will work with you on articulating and developing your career aspirations.

Program News

Associate Professor and Chair of History Nerina Rustomji, Ph.D., has been named Councilor for the Professional Division of the American Historical Association (AHA). Her term as Councilor begins...

Program Events

March 4, 2019 8:00 amMarch 8, 2019 4:00 pm
The Graduate Division of St. John's College of Liberal Arts...

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