Comparative and Historical Social Science

Program Type: Certificate and Cluster

The Comparative and Historical Social Science (CHSS) Cluster and Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary initiative co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Department of Sociology. The program supports graduate training among students interested in comparative and historical research by providing: 

  • A common coursework structure integrated with students’ departmental curricula.
  • Resources for student research, including travel abroad.
  • Interdisciplinary venues to present work in progress and to receive feedback from faculty and fellow students.
  • Opportunities for collaborative research. 

The program features a core group of faculty internationally renowned for comparative and historical research. CHSS adopts a distinctive set of methodological and theoretical tools for studying the political and social world. It gives students essential training in theory, methods, and substantive knowledge in a way unusual for U.S. universities, even those with nationally recognized programs in CHSS. Read more on the CHSS website.

All CHSS fellows work closely with one or more faculty advisors. Faculty advisors from outside the student's home department are permissible and encouraged, and students construct their program in consultation with their advisor(s).

See CHSS Cluster and Certificate Requirements for specific courses and procedures needed to complete this program.

Programs and Events

There are many different ways for faculty and students to participate in the intellectual life of the cluster. Many cluster events, such as visiting lecturers and conferences, are open to all members of the University. Cluster seminars are open to graduate students across the University. We encourage all students, faculty and staff of Northwestern to learn more about our research and activities by participating in our public events.

Who Should Apply?

Doctoral candidates from any field are eligible to apply to join this intellectual “home” outside their department. Past participants have come from the following programs:

  • Comparative Literary Studies
  • English
  • French and Italian
  • German Literature and Critical Thought
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religion
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Spanish and Portuguese
  • Sociology

How to Apply

The cohort will include incoming and current students who wish to participate in program activities.

Prospective students interested in participating in this program should indicate their interest when they apply to their respective graduate programs, and select students will be invited to apply to CHSS Program. 

Current graduate students interested in participating in this program should contact Professor James Mahoney.

Who to Contact

Please contact the program director, listed below, with questions about this program. Or, explore the CHSS website for more information.

James Mahoney
Professor of Political Science