Graduate Student Career Preparation

We are committed to training professional historians who advance scholarly understanding of the past as well as teach and engage broader publics in a variety of venues and platforms.

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Teaching History

All new History RAs and TAs are required to attend (and experienced TAs are invited to attend) the University-wide TA and RA Conference on Teaching, Learning and Research presented by the Center for Teaching and Learning. All new History TAs are required to attend the History Department's TA training.

HSTRY 570: Topics in Teaching History. The purpose of this course is to develop habits of critical reflection about teaching and to think, more specifically, about why, what and how to teach history. The course is designed for two groups: beginning or continuing History Department TAs and advanced History graduate students preparing to teach their own courses for the first time. New History TAs must take this course in the Autumn Quarter of their first year as TA or in the Autumn Quarter of their second year as a TA.

HSTRY 571: Orientation to an Academic Career in History. This is a unique course designed to help graduate students prepare for careers as college teachers. Students learn how they can most effectively seek a position, conduct job interviews and campus visits, prepare and teach a course, deal with deans, chairs, colleagues, and students, work towards tenure, and generally navigate a course within the academic profession. History graduate students must take this course, normally in their second year in the graduate program.


The History Department maintains the the histcfp electronic list, devoted exclusively to information about conferences (including calls for papers) of interest to History students and faculty. Anyone can subscribe to the histcfp list. This is a moderated list, but all subscribers can post messages. To subscribe to histcfp visit

Travel Awards

The History Department also has Travel Awards to help support graduate students presenting papers at conferences.

Teaching your own course

Doctoral candidates are eligible to teach their own classes in the History Department as Pre-doctoral Lecturers. Calls for applications for Summer Quarter teaching are normally posted on the histinfo electronic list in early Winter Quarter, and calls for academic year teaching are normally posted in late Winter Quarter.


Because a curriculum vitae and a teaching portfolio are necessary components of job application materials, students should begin assembling a CV and a teaching portfolio as early as possible in their graduate careers and should update them regularly. To ensure that students tackle the challenging tasks of developing CVs and teaching portfolios, the Department requires that students include CVs as part of departmental funding applications and teaching portfolios for those applying for departmental TA positions. Students can learn about developing teaching portfolios through workshops and other resources provided by Center for Instructional Development and Research and the Career Center.

Mock Interviews

The History Graduate Office also offers students the opportunity to experience a mock job interview to help prepare them for the real thing. To schedule a mock interview, contact the History Graduate Office and provide the advisers with a CV, a copy of the notice of the job for which you are applying, and a copy of the letter of interest you sent with your application materials to the Search Committee.