MA in History, Public History Concentration

The MA in History (Public History Concentration) is an innovative collaboration between the History Department and the Arts Management Program. Students receive deep training in historical knowledge and primary research practices, as well as comprehensive training in the business and advocacy skills sought after in the arts and cultural sectors. 

Our graduates are well prepared to wear the multiple hats often required in the world of public history.

  • Real-world value: After initial training in both departments, students undertake guided field research for area cultural institutions.
  • Unique to you: The degree culminates with a student-designed M.A. project, showcasing individual student’s public history skills.

This degree is particularly suited for students entering the Public History field, finding future jobs in historical museums, societies, and sites. 


A minimum of 39 credit hours is required. Because of the nature of this program, transfer credit hours cannot be accepted, nor can courses be taken outside of History and Arts Management.

Required Courses in History

  • History 500: Doing History: Issues in Public History.
  • One “Core” course (most of which are two semesters) chosen from selection below involving the student’s major area of interest:
  • History 502-503: Core seminar in American History, 1607-Present (6 credits); both semesters of this two-semester course are required.
  • History 504-505: Core seminar in European History, Early Modern and Modern (6 credits); both semesters of this two-semester course are required.
  • History 507: Core seminar in East Asian History (3 credits), a one-semester course.
  • History 506: Core seminar in North and South Atlantic History (3 credits), a one-semester course.
  • History 559-560: Core seminar in Latin American and Caribbean history (6 credits); either semester of this two-semester course is required; both are recommended.
  • Three 500-level reading seminars (enough to reach a total of 30 credits with all other requirements). One of these must be outside the student’s major area of interest (e.g., a non-U.S. course for a U.S. historian).
  • History 609: Fieldwork in public history (a research internship).

Required Courses in Arts Management

  • Arts Management 518: Issues in Museum Management
  • Management 620: Non-Profit Management
  • Arts Management 585: Legal Issues in Arts Management
  • Arts Management 508: Cultural Policy
  • Management 660: Entrepreneurship

History Research Seminar (3 credits)

M.A. Project Guidance (3-6 credits)

The M.A. project is a substantial public history presentation based on original research conducted under the guidance of a faculty member. With approval from the advisor, it may be an extensive expansion of research undertaken for a seminar or for the fieldwork experience.