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Best American Intellectualism PhD Program/Professors


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I know next to nothing about American Intellectual History except that you might want to look at Drew University's PhD in History and Culture.

As to US history applicant profiles, it's quite variable. Programs expect a strong GPA, but a weak BA GPA can be overcome by doing well in an MA program. They all expect good historical writing and original research, which should be obvious in the writing sample applicants submit. Languages are important, even in the case where it's just checking off a requirement that won't be used in your research, because learning a language in grad school takes time most programs would rather be used on courses and research. Respectable GRE scores (which also varies, but most programs don't care much for the quant score unless it's so terrible it raises a red flag. I think my score was in the 55th percentile and it wasn't an issue. Aim for 90th percentile or above on the verbal/writing score).

This isn't exactly CV related, but they expect a coherent Statement of Purpose that flows between broad and specific (as in, you know the field in which you want to work, but you also have conceived of a more specific project in that field and can formulate a grad-level dissertation topic). In the Statement, they expect to see that you have deeply researched PhD programs and have applied to ones with good fit for your potential research, which should be evident in some sort of "fit" paragraph. LORs are also important, so cultivate good relationships with several profs who can speak to your strengths as a scholar as well as show admissions committees that you're someone they wouldn't loathe working with. Tbh I'd be focusing less on CV stuff like GPA (unless you're still taking courses) and GREs and more on writing/editing a killer writing sample and SOP, which imo are the most important parts of the application. 

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I don't know how strong the program in general is, but Jon Roberts (Boston University) is an outstanding scholar of American intellectual history.

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