Since all-time records were set in the late 1960s, the size of our History degree program* has trended downward but fluctuated widely, too. The 1990-1991 peak in the size of entering classes helped to prompt a restructuring of the administration of the department (see next slide).
For most of period shown here, we accepted most graduate students without guarantees of support, which helps to account for the often large gaps between the size of entering cohorts and the numbers of PhDs granted. Since 2014-2015, however, ours has been a “fully funded” graduate program, which means that we accept entering students only if we can offer them a financial support package or if they come with their own funding. This has brought the size of entering cohorts and numbers of degrees granted into much closer alignment, while also “right-sizing” our program to align better with a declining job market.
In response to a changing job market in recent years, we actively encourage our students to broaden their expertise across geographic areas and to enhance their skills for use beyond the classroom.
* Comparable data for our degree program in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology before our 2017 merger are not available.
Source: History Department enrollment data.