Timeline – 1955 – Explosion of Graduate Studies

History Department enrollment data. Image shows spike in enrollment in the 1960s.
History Department enrollment data

In the 1960s, the number of graduate students across the UW surged, increasing by 10-12% annually and peaking in 1967-1968.

In the Department of History, the size of incoming classes of graduate students reached ninety in 1965-1966, an astounding number by recent standards. The number of History PhDs granted reached an all-time record of seventy in 1970-1971. The History Department’s legendary graduate advisor, Judith Cochran, joined the department in 1969 and advised our students with extraordinary aplomb from 1980 until her death in 1999.

The Department of the History of Science experienced a similar surge in graduate enrollments. From 1947 through 1965, it awarded a total of twenty-seven PhDs and then, in the space of five years (1966-1970), granted another thirty PhDs.

Sources: History Department enrollment data; Victor L. Hilts, “History of Science at the University of Wisconsin,” Isis 75 (March 1984): 88.