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Doctoral Program

Professor Ackam with three students

Why apply to Clark’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies doctoral program?

The first of its type anywhere in the world, Clark’s pioneering Holocaust and Genocide Studies doctoral program is internationally recognized for the original research of its students and faculty. Located within the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, an interdisciplinary institute, the landmark program confers a doctorate in history with specializations in Holocaust history and genocide studies. The Strassler Center aims to prepare Holocaust and genocide scholars, human rights advocates, and future leaders and decision makers in government, corporations and NGOs. Our doctoral students research the social, cultural and political history of the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the genocides in Rwanda and in Bangladesh, to name a few. Admission to the program is highly selective and most who are admitted choose to enroll. Graduate students receive tuition remission, an annual stipend, and research bursary for the entire five-year program.

Our Community

The Holocaust and genocide studies program seeks dedicated students committed to maintaining the momentum of scholarship, research and education about the Holocaust and other genocides into the future. Our doctoral students come to the program from Europe, North America, Israel, and beyond.  They work closely with world-class faculty members in a supportive setting that fosters a tight-knit intellectual community. Contributing faculty from eight departments enrich the training students receive. The diverse and engaged faculty expands students’ intellectual reach by incorporating cutting-edge methodologies, introducing new cases, and challenging old ideas.

Meet our faculty Meet our graduate students

Key Details

Strassler Center students deploy innovative historical methods, as well as approaches drawn from anthropology, geography, legal theory, political science, psychology, and sociology to examine the economic dimensions of genocide, transnationalism, inter-ethnic violence, memory, gender theory, refugee issues, and the psychology of perpetrators and victims, the dynamics of rescue, sexuality, genocidal continuity, and victimhood in post-genocide societies.

Our objective to prepare future scholars and leaders begins with a deep understanding of the past. The program offers students a range of courses covering a spectrum of topics pertaining to the history of the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and comparative genocide. Doctoral candidates earn a Ph.D. in history and as such learn relevant methodologies and historiography, while developing skills needed for independent research.

Explore Courses in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Graduate Research

Our Ph.D. students conduct innovative research on the causes, courses and consequences of the Holocaust, the Armenian and other genocides in archives around the world. They secure prestigious fellowships, like those offered by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, the, Fulbright Foundation, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, and travel the globe to present their research at conferences and academic institutions. They publish in peer-reviewed journals and contribute chapters in edited volumes.

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Faculty Research

Our graduate students are bolstered by the expertise of our world-class faculty members, who have published extensively and are leaders in their fields of expertise. They are recipients of numerous awards and fellowships — among them a Guggenheim —  for their groundbreaking research. Several hold endowed positions that recognize their contributions to the university and the field.  Faculty connections at various institutes and organizations worldwide provide pathways for our graduate students’ independent inquiries, and their mentoring has led to co-authorships on articles and books.

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Strassler Center sign with tree in blo


Our Ph.D. students conduct original research on topics ranging from gender experiences during the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and the genocide in Rwanda to the role of bystanders in genocides to the mindsets of perpetrators and the traumatic experiences of victims of genocide to humanitarian responses and rescue actions during genocide to the aftermath of mass violence and the collective memorialization of such traumatic events.

Research Facilities

Books and stacks in the Rose Library

Rose Library

The Strassler Center’s Rose Library, opened in 1998 with the donation of the Diana Bartley Collection, helped establish it as a leading research institute.

Colin-Flug Wing from outside the building

The Colin Flug Graduate Study Wing

The Colin Flug Graduate Study Wing includes additional library space, the Tobak graduate student offices, a study commons, and the Shoah Visual History Archive.

Faculty member standing with two Ph.D. students in front of sign saying Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Stud

Alumni Careers

Because the Strassler Center is the only program to provide doctoral education in Holocaust history and genocide studies, our Ph.D. alumni have successfully pursued careers as curators, education directors, and historians.

Contact Information

Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Contact Us
  • Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
    Clark University
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610
  • 508-793-8897
  • 508-793-8827 Fax