The social history program at the University of São Paulo (USP) is one of the oldest and most respected in Brazil, with Master and PhD degrees. The postgraduate course in History at USP was created in the earliest days of the university itself in the 1930s and records confirm that the first defense of a thesis in this discipline occurred in 1939. In 1971, the social history course was incorporated into the national evaluation system organized by CAPES - the agency that assesses graduate courses in Brazil. It was the forerunner of canonical interpretations of Brazil and fields such as the history of daily life, material culture, historical demography, the history of science, etc. The social history program is distinguished both by its tradition and the fact that it incorporates new historiographical trends and questions posed by the contemporary world. It is responsible for producing cutting-edge research and training high-level graduates, whose performances stand out in universities both in Brazil and abroad. It brings together highly qualified researchers who are prepared to reflect critically on Brazil and the world, questioning the past and intervening in the present, from the perspective of the historian. Those who gain Masters and PhD qualifications through the program also perform activities in the areas of elementary and higher education, as well as in fields such as heritage, public policy and museology, among others.
The program has, on average, a staff of 60 permanent professors and 20 employees, and offers an average of 110 places for MA and PhD students annually. From 1971 to August 2016, 762 PhDs, 921 MAs and 158 direct doctorates have been awarded, totaling 1841 academic awards. There has been a recent move towards encouraging binational PhDs and there are various International agreements that are coordinated or include the participation of supervisors in countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, USA, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Angola, Mozambique and China. The social history program at USP has been repeatedly recognized as excellent by CAPES.