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Graduate Admissions

In view of the COVID-19 public health emergency we may need to make changes to the course details outlined on these pages. Offers holders will be notified of changes. Please see this page for further information.

Course closed:

American History is no longer accepting new applications.

American history at the University of Cambridge is a dynamic field which covers the history of what is now the United States, from the colonial period to the modern era. The MPhil in American History enables students to develop expertise in this ever-expanding field of historical scholarship.

The MPhil in American History combines taught and research elements over a nine-month full-time programme. The taught elements include three modules, as well as training workshops and seminars. All students will also complete a substantial piece of independent research (a dissertation of 15,000–20,000 words).

Throughout the course, students will be supervised by a dedicated member of staff, who will guide their research towards the completion of a dissertation on a subject chosen and developed by the student.

Cambridge graduates in American history have taken up posts in universities and academic-related spheres of work around the world. The MPhil in American History provides a point of entry into this rich tradition. However, the MPhil has also provided an excellent basis on which to proceed to a career in other, non-academic professions.

Learning Outcomes

Students on the MPhil in American History will be provided with an in-depth study of some of the key areas of research in American history. All students will be assigned a supervisor who will guide them through the requirements of the course and, most crucially, the dissertation.

In this manner, all students are provided with the historiographical knowledge and analytical skills necessary to understand and evaluate existing research and to pursue research in their own fields of intellectual interest. Through individual supervisions and small-group classes, students are introduced to the more specialised and intensive nature of research required at a postgraduate level.

By the end of the programme, students will have:

  • knowledge of key debates and trends in American history and historiography
  • greater understanding of issues, events, and people in American history
  • skills in presenting work in both oral and written form
  • advanced research and writing skills at postgraduate level


The Faculty’s MPhil programmes provide excellent preparation for doctoral study and many of our MPhil students choose to stay at Cambridge to pursue a Cambridge PhD.

Students wishing to continue to the PhD are normally expected to achieve an overall mark of 70 in their MPhil with a mark of at least 70 in their dissertation.

Admission to the PhD is always subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor. 

Open Days

The University of Cambridge will be hosting its Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 1 November 2019. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of History


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
March 4, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2019

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