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  • Student Life

    Historical Studies

      • Contact Us

        General Admission Contact
        The New School for Social Research
        Office of Admission
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003
        212.229.5600 or 800.523.5411
        [email protected]

        Admission Liaison
        Ethan Dunn

        Committee on Historical Studies
        80 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10011
        Tel: 212.229.5100 x3385
        Fax: 212.229.5929

        Jeremy Varon (fall 2022)

        Department Secretary
        Tahera Tajbhai

        Student Advisor
        Julián Gómez-Delgado

        Historical Studies Student Handbook


    • Historical studies lays the foundation for all social inquiry and for informed debate on the politics and culture of our time. Bridging the humanities with the social sciences, our innovative program trains students in conceptual rigor, archival research, critical analysis, and historical writing. Our strong links to other New School for Social Research departments and to centers and programs across The New School provide our students with unparalleled opportunities for engagement with critical social theory and in interdisciplinary collaboration.

      Founded in the mid-1980s by Charles Tilly, Louise Tilly, Aristide Zolberg, and Ira Katznelson, the Committee for Historical Studies continues to build upon its original premise: that history is a field of inquiry critical to all human understanding. We remain committed to developing theoretically informed and critical approaches to historical questions.

      Our course offerings cover a wide range of historical periods and world regions, with particular strength in the large-scale transformations of the modern era. Areas of faculty expertise include the history of capitalism, history of politics, history of violence, gender history, history of psychoanalysis, history of social movements, and history and theory. Our diverse approaches draw on the insights of critical social theory. Committed faculty mentors work with students to cultivate their abilities as scholars, as educators, and as writers who can communicate to a wide audience. We offer an MA degree as well as a specialized minor for NSSR PhD students only.

      Outside of our department, students pursuing a degree in Historical Studies take part in the intellectual life of NSSR's many centers, including the Janey Program in Latin American Studies, the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies, and the Zolberg Center on Migration and Mobility. Students contribute to our online publication, Public Seminar, and engage with New York City's peerless array of scholarly and cultural institutions.

      Our alumni pursue doctoral study at The New School for Social Research and other top universities or put their training to use successfully in a wide range of non-academic careers.


      Historical Studies is available as the MA degree only. Students who complete the requirements for the MA in Historical Studies and wish to earn a PhD degree may apply for admission to the NSSR PhD in Politics or Sociology with a minor field in Historical Studies.

      Featured Courses

      Historical Studies explores what happened in the past, with the goal of interrupting our present and building a better future.  Our courses focus on the major transformations of the modern era, which we explore through varied theoretical perspectives and analytic approaches. Our students work closely with faculty to develop their own research.

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To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.