UCSB’s History Grad Program Ranks Top 10 Nationally


Aisa Villanueva

Recently, the National Research Council (NRC) announced that based from its five-year study of various history departments throughout the country, the department at UCSB is in the top 10.

According to UCSB’s History Department website, the NRC did not provide an exact ranking, but rather a range of possibilities of where any particular department would be ranked depending on how various facets of individual programs were weighted.

UCSB’s History Department rank was estimated between 6 and 18, which puts it in the top ten when compared to the ranges of all the other 138 departments reviewed.

UCSB’s History Department ranked the highest in the UC System and was also the leading department in all public schools. The department even ranked higher than Columbia, Yale, and Stanford.

Data collection and assessment from the NRC began in 2005. Wide-ranging variables, when taken together, were weighted accordingly during this period. For the doctoral programs and their counterpart departments that the NRC examined, variable data like the racial and ethnic diversity of students and faculty, faculty publication rates, student funding, and interdisciplinary collaboration were collected and evaluated.

John Majewski, History Department Chair, said, ”The objectively collected data [affirm] that we have excellent students, a productive and hard-working faculty, and a first-rate program. I am proud of them and am proud of this prestigious recognition that they deserve.”

Majewski mentioned that one of the variables where his department was graded the lowest was in student support. This variable has been suffering severely because UCSB is a public school, but with the recent NRC rankings he is hopeful that more support and more resource opportunities for students will be available.

Majewski recognizes that the department’s accolade was not achieved alone. He said that the partnerships and strong connections that they hold with other departments diversify and enrich their department’s research breadth.

UCSB’s History Department has been fortunate enough to be allied with faculty and students from various departments, including the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, the Black Studies Department, the Department of Feminist Studies, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Political Science.

UCSB students, faculty, and community members are invited to be a part of the department’s events and to share in their research discussions.

“We appreciate it when people are present during our talks. We get to interact with the public and we use their feedback to better our research,” said Majewski. “It’s a two-way learning experience, which I believe is what makes UCSB unique. “

For information on History Department events, visit: http://www.history.ucsb.edu/events/

Photo By: Aisa Villanueva