You are here



The master of arts degree with a concentration in public history consists of 36 credits. Students in public history take 12 credits in public history (this includes an option to enroll in courses in other departments and an internship). In consultation with the faculty, the student may develop a specialized concentration in a particular aspect of public history. Opportunities for specialization include:

  • Applied research
  • History in museums/exhibitions
  • Archives and manuscripts
  • Historical editing
  • Historic preservation
  • Local and community history
  • Oral history
  • Digital history

Public History Thesis Option

Public history on the thesis track requires:

  • 30 semester hours of graduate coursework, including 12 hours of public history courses and 9 hours of courses in a minor field of study
  • a formal written public history thesis project for which 6 hours of graduate credit are awarded
  • a public history internship
  • completion of comprehensive written and oral examination in public history and the minor field of study
  • defense of the thesis before a committee of departmental faculty members

Public History Non-Thesis Option

Public history non-thesis track requires:

  • 36 semester hours of graduate coursework, including 15 hours of public history courses and 12 hours of coursework in a secondary field of study
  • a public history internship
  • comprehensive written and oral examinations in two fields—public history and their secondary field of study

Special Projects  

In lieu of a conventional thesis, students pursuing public history may choose a "Public History Thesis Project." These projects are selected in consultation with the student and an interested agency. The projects include undertakings such as corporate histories, museum exhibits, site analyses, historic preservation plans, or other creative outlets. Students selecting this option will write a shortened thesis explaining the significance of their project and discussing the relevant history and theory literature behind it.