The joint Ph.D. Program in Public Historical Studies combines the faculty and resources of UC Santa Barbara and California State University, Sacramento in a doctoral program unique in the nation. The joint program offers broad training in history coupled with practical professionally focused experience and study to prepare scholars who can excel in a wide variety of careers as historians in museums and heritage sites, public agencies, businesses, archives, non-profit organizations and private foundations, as well as universities. Our graduates are fully versed in historical literature, methods, and interpretive debates as well as the special challenges and resources distinctive to the practice of public history. Students work with core and associated faculty from a range of disciplinary and professional backgrounds, choose from a broad array of fields and emphases by period, place, and topic, and are encouraged in the development of innovative specialties. Students have at their disposal the extensive historic resources of Sacramento, Santa Barbara, and the UC Washington, D.C. Center areas, the opportunity to work on the staff of the premier journal of the field, The Public Historian, and the support of an active and distinguished public history alumni.

Mailing Address

Department of History
University of California, Santa Barbara
Humanities & Social Sciences Building, Room 4001
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9410

Degree icon Degrees Offered

Address iconDeadlines

Fall Only:

  • December 19, 2023 (by 11:59 PM PST)

Requirements Icon


  • Only students with the M.A. in Public History or equivalent graduate training and experience may apply.
  • Online application:
  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History and Diversity Statement, and Resume or CV (submitted in the online application)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted online)
  • English Language Exam Scores (if applicable): TOEFL Internet-Based Test (IBT) total score of 80, or TOEFL Paper-Based Test (PBT) total score of 550, or IELTS Overall Band score of 7, or Duolingo English Test total score of 120, or higher
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (submitted in the online application)
  • Writing Sample (submitted in the online application)
  • History Department supplemental information form: 
  • Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.

Public History