Students approach Michigan Central Station in Detroit, Michigan.

Students approach Michigan Central Station in Detroit, Michigan.

MA in History, Public History Concentration

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

Public History graduates are well prepared to wear the multiple hats often required in the world of public history.  We emphasize real world value, giving you guided field research in area cultural institutions.  Your graduate work finishes with a student-designed MA project, showcasing your unique public history skills and point of view.

If you want to enter the Public History field – i.e. working in historical museums, societies, and sites – our Public History concentration might be right for you.  Contact us for further information.


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 (18 credits)

  • HIS 500: Doing History: Issues in Public History
  • HIS 502-503: Core seminar in American History, 1607-Present
  • Two 500-level reading seminars (at least 3 credits must have a non-US focus)
  • HIS 6XX: Research Seminar

Required Courses in Arts Management (12-15 credits)

  • AAP 508: Arts & Cultural Policy and Diplomacy
  • AAP 518: Issues in Museum Management
  • AAP 551: Arts Business and Finance
  • AAP 552: Arts Marketing and Analysis
  • AAP 585: Legal Issues in Arts Management

Fieldwork (3 credits)

  • HIS 609: Public History Internship

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.

Interested in Applying?

To apply, prospective students must complete and submit an online application. Search and select the MA in History and answer “yes” to the question that asks if you are interested in Public History.

In addition to the completed online application, your application will include:

  • A personal statement
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A sample of written work

GRE scores are not required. If you are an international student, you will also need the following:

  • Financial Form with supporting bank documents
  • Officially verified TOEFL score from ETS
  • English translation of transcript
  • Proof of degree
  • Copy of passport