Divisions & Units - Arts & Humanities

The Versatile PhD

"The Versatile PhD" is a resource for Berkeley’s graduate students and Ph.D. holders, giving our community of students and alumni valuable guidance about career options beyond academia. While the focus is on careers for those in the humanities and social sciences, graduate students in all disciplines can benefit.

Private/Government Sector Resources

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare. The institute sponsors research and conferences and publishes books, monographs, and periodicals. 

Professional Memberships

Join an Organization

Graduate students are encouraged to join professional organizations early in their graduate career.

For example, the Modern Language Association (MLA) offers a discounted membership price for graduate students. Job interviews are often conducted at their annual meetings.

Many other organizations offer similar benefits and opportunities to network and advance your career. Speak to your faculty adviser about professional associations you may wish to join.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are another important component of your application materials. They provide a professional opinion of your intellectual abilities and preparation for graduate school, and are usually written by a professor who not only addresses your specific strengths, but compares you to the many students with whom the professor has worked during his or her career. In other words, the admission committee wants to know how you "stack up" against all the students the recommender has ever had! In general, most programs/universities require three letters of support.

Application Etiquette

As you move through your undergraduate years and into graduate school, you will have increasing contact with graduate students and faculty in your discipline. Knowing how to interact with them can be helpful as you begin to negotiate a larger sphere with future colleagues and mentors. Building strong relationships begins with your initial interactions with busy faculty members and graduate students. As you begin to apply to graduate school, please keep the following suggestions in mind:

Writing Sample

In the humanities, the writing sample is just as crucial, if not more crucial, than the statement of purpose. Therefore, an applicant should place considerable importance and a great amount of effort into producing a writing sample. In general, admission committees evaluate an applicant's ability to synthesize ideas, concepts, or theories, and logically take a stand and argue them. Faculty would like to admit potential graduate students whose intellectual abilities and curiosity are highly advanced and are evident in the writing sample.

Charles Huang and Lillian Qian

Charles Huang, class of ’93, is the co-creator of Guitar Hero, the music video game he and his brother developed in 2005. Charles was so confident in the game’s potential that he launched it entirely with personal funds. “I think the game will sell,” Charles reassured his wife, Lillian Qian. Charles’s instincts proved correct: Guitar Hero was an instant sensation.