I am currently an undergraduate student. Can I apply to the History of Consciousness program with only a bachelor's degree?


How many students are accepted into the History of Consciousness program each year?

Our incoming cohort is usually 4 to 6 students.  

Does the History of Consciousness Department offer a Master's degree?

No, this is a Ph.D. program only.  A Master's degree may be conferred after Advancing to Candidacy or in certain other special circumstances, with Graduate Director approval.   

Can I be admitted to your program in January?

No - we only admit new students in the Fall Quarter each year.  

Can you tell me, on average, how long the program will take?

Normative time to degree for the History of Consciousness Department is seven years. The national average for Humanities is seven years, so this is a typical time period. Remember, though, that it is not just the courses taken that make up a career in History of Consciousness, but primarily the process of designing, writing, and producing an acceptable dissertation which usually takes more time than one has anticipated.

How do I apply to your program?

All applications to graduate programs are submitted online. For guidance on how to apply and other helpful resources, visit Division of Graduate Studies Applications. History of Consciousness Ph.D. application instructions may be found at HISC Graduate Admissions

No materials should be sent directly to the History of Consciousness Department.

For questions regarding university policy about your application that are not answered through the Graduate Division website, please contact: gradadm@ucsc.edu or (831) 459-5905.

What are the key admissions criteria?

In evaluating an application, our primary concerns are:

  • Does the applicant have a well-articulated, focused project and a clear idea of how to go about the initial investigation?
  • Could the applicant's work be done in a single discipline? Since History of Consciousness is an interdisciplinary program, we admit only those applicants who propose interdisciplinary research.
  • Is there a match between the applicant's proposed area of research and the expertise of the faculty? The Statement of Purpose needs to detail an intellectual project or domain of study in sufficient depth to allow our admissions committee to determine whether we have the faculty resources to support and guide your work. 

Students are admitted on the basis of their ability to do sustained, independent, doctoral-quality, interdisciplinary work. Prior achievement, such as previous graduate work, work experience, political and/or community activism, is always a plus.

How much weight is given to GRE scores in selecting applicants?

The GRE is optional.  Our admissions committee looks at the entire application, the GRE scores being only one component. The most important parts of the application are the Statement of Purpose and the letters of recommendation. We also consider carefully past academic record and the writing sample.

I was not able to register for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) on time, but want to take the GRE and submit my scores. Will I be able to complete all the admission requirements except the optional GRE requirement and send this information at a later point?

Yes. The GRE requirement is optional, but if you choose to take it, send in your application with a note that your GRE scores will follow and forward the GRE scores as soon as you receive them. In order to make arrangements for taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), check out the website: www.gre.org

What code should I use to report the GRE scores?

Since the GRE scores go directly to Graduate Admissions, a department code is not needed. Use the following code only: 4860.

Are there funding packages available for graduate students?

Details of the funding package offered to all graduate students is here

Will I be a teaching assistant for the History of Consciousness Department?

Yes.  There are some teaching assistantships available within the department.  Our students also often TA for other departments including Feminist Studies, CRES, HAVC, Film, Philosophy, Politics.  Students apply every year or quarter for TA openings.  

I will be pursuing graduate-level work at another university next year. Is there any provision to transfer course credits that I might earn there in order to reduce the amount of time I would have to spend completing a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness?

Previous work from another institution cannot be transferred for credit in our program

What is your policy on deferral?

We cannot defer admission. An applicant who is unable to accept admission for the year in question can reactivate the application for the following fall term. However, while the applicant has a very good chance of again being offered admission, there is no guarantee this will happen.

Who can I contact if I would like more information on the program? 

Ruby Barnett - rlbarnet@ucsc.edu. Please allow several days for a response.

Is there a site where international students can find answers specific to them?

Yes. International Student and Scholar Services is a source of information for international students and for current students wishing to go abroad to study.