The School of Historical Studies is the center for academic activity in all fields of historical research at Tel Aviv University, and a leading institution for research in Israel and abroad. It incorporates six departments and eleven research institutes, offering a PhD degree in the fields of History of Europe and the Americas (North and South), Middle East and Africa, Classical Studies, History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Geography and Human Environment, East Asia Studies, and Arabic Language and Literature.
The School offers high-level academic training in customized and individual tracks. Studies in the school combine a commitment to the highest standards of traditional scholarship, with innovative approaches to historical research and an atmosphere of a true learning community. The School's main activities are teaching, supervising and managing research, initiating publications and hosting a variety of academic events. It coordinates a wide variety of high-profile academic activities through its innumerable colloquia, graduate workshops, international conferences and forums, and a large number of internationally acknowledged periodical publications.
Currently, about 140 doctoral candidates are enrolled in the School. The School also hosts about six post-doctoral fellows each year. The School's faculty of about ninety (90) includes a number of renowned scholars, many of them associated with other leading research centers around the world and regularly publishing with top university presses such as Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Chicago, the University of California, Oxford and Cambridge, as well as in leading international journals in the US, Europe, and Latin America.
Seven members of the School were awarded the Israel Prize, the country's highest honor for academic (and other) excellence: the late Professors Zvi Yavetz, Michael Confino and Amos Funkenstein, as well as Professors Saul Friedländer, Shulamit Shahar, Benjamin Isaac and Irad Malkin. Three are members of the Israel Academy of Sciences and the Humanities: Professor Shulamit Volkov, Professor Margalit Finkelberg and Professor Benjamin Isaac. Over the years, members of the School have been involved in various aspects of Israeli politics and society and have maintained a high public profile, as policy makers, ambassadors, speakers on various platforms, members on public committees, authors of school-textbooks and as broadcasters of history series (the IDF radio "Broadcast University", published in book form and numbering over 300 titles).
Past directors of the School were Professors Aviad Kleinberg, Leo Corry, Billie Melman, Ehud Toledano, Yosef Kostiner ז"ל, Shulamit Volkov, Shulamit Shahar, Ron Barkai, Benjamin Isaac, Sholom Ben Ami, and the late Zvi Yavetz who was the founder of the school.