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Graduate Students

The Penn State Department of History and the Richards Center conduct one of the top programs in the country for training in the Civil War era, covering the broad sweep of nineteenth century U.S. history. Our students work closely with nationally recognized faculty in a wide variety of fields, such as as slavery and antislavery, African American and women’s history, popular culture and intellectual history, politics and labor, and more.

Graduate study in the American Civil War era at Penn State offers students many benefits:

  • A broad range of faculty expertise and graduate courses in the Civil War era
  • Close working relationships with Richards Center faculty affiliates
  • Workshops with visiting scholars
  • Professional development working on The Journal of the Civil War Era
  • Significant funding opportunities for research, travel, and writing

The Ann M. Richards Award

George and Ann.jpg

In 2013, the Department of History created the annual Ann M. Richards Award and honorarium for the best papers produced by graduate students during the academic year. In 2002, Ann and her husband George made a transformative gift to the Civil War Era Center, providing it with the permanent means to support graduate and faculty research and public outreach programs. The Richards’ generous contribution was instrumental to the Center’s growth as a national leader in Civil War era scholarship and education. In recognition of their generosity, the University named the Center in George and Ann’s honor. Ann was a frequent participant in the Center’s annual executive tours, where she enjoyed catching up with friends and learning about the Center’s continued progress. The Ann M. Richards Award honors her memory and serves as an enduring tribute to her passion for education and scholarship.

Graduate Fellowships

Graduate students are eligible for funding provided by the generous support of private donors.

The following endowed fellowships assist graduate students with their research and provide them release time from teaching in order to write their dissertations.
  • Lynne G. and Laurence H. Brown Family Graduate Fund
  • Karen and Lewis H. Gold Graduate Fellowship
  • Warren W. Hassler Graduate Fellowship
  • Robert E. Hayes and Mary Brueilly Hayes Student Support Fund
  • Carl M. Isham Graduate Award
  • James Landing Graduate Fellowship
  • Charles Joseph Lindstrom Graduate Scholarship Fund
  • Larry and Gretchen McCabe Graduate Scholarship
  • Ted H. and Tracy Winfree McCourtney Family Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in American History


Recent Graduates - 

Evan Rothera web sizeBill Cossen web sizePaul Matzko

Evan Rothera

(August 2017)

William Cossen

(December 2016)

Paul Matzko

(December 2016)