History MA, Museums, Heritage and Public History Emphasis

Admission Requirements 

Prospective students for the Master of Arts in History with an Emphasis in Museums, Heritage, and Public History must apply specifically for this program on the graduate application. Successful application for the M.A. in History does not automatically provide access to the Museums, Heritage and Public History program. Applications for the Master of Arts in History with an Emphasis in Museums, Heritage, and Public History will be accepted only for the fall semester.

Prospective students must demonstrate high academic potential. Typically, the History department admits only students with at least a 3.2 grade point average in their undergraduate major; most successful applicants have higher grades. An undergraduate major in History is not required.  Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from former teachers and/or employers, and a sample of their written work. Applicants must also complete the Museum Studies Supplemental Application, which includes a statement of career intent.

Admissions decisions are based on the undergraduate transcript, the letters of recommendation, the sample of written work, and the supplemental application.

Applications must be received by the university no later than February 1.

Program Requirements (39 hours)

All candidates for the M.A. in History with an Emphasis in Museums, Heritage, and Public History must complete the following coursework:

HIST 6001Introduction to Public History and Cultural Heritage3
HIST 6131Museum Origins and Evolution3
Plus two of the following courses:
Museum Education and Visitor Research
Collections Management and Registration
Digital Video for Museums and Community History
Museums and History in the Digital Age
History Curatorship
Museum Organization and Operations

Students may substitute other professional development courses with approval of the program director. Students must also complete an additional 20-22 elective credits as approved by the program director, of which at least 12 credits must be History courses.   Students may choose electives from the preceding list, the History department curriculum, and a range of offerings in Anthropology and Archaeology; Art and Design; Communication and Media; and Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Courses address such topics as: community-based research, public archaeology, cultural resource management, quantitative and qualitative research methods, the history of visual arts in American museums, arts and visual resources management, material culture in the home, media law and ethics, documentary film-making, grant-writing, American philanthropy, and area and period studies. A maximum of six credits in courses outside the History Department may be at the 3000 level.

Candidates conclude the degree with an exit project or thesis represented by the course numbered HIST 6138, ANTHRO 6138 or ART HS 6038 (5 credits.) This capstone project will demonstrate competence in museum studies. The specific form will be customized to the interests and career aspirations of each student, as approved in advance by the candidate’s advisory committee.

In addition to these requirements, candidates for the MA in History with an Emphasis in Museums, Heritage, and Public History are required to demonstrate either oral or written proficiency in one second language (in addition to English). Proficiency at a level that enables the candidate to conduct research must be demonstrated by passing either an oral or written test, whichever is most appropriate for the candidate’s research methodology, in a language that is relevant to the candidate’s chosen specialization.  The test will be designed through consultation with the candidate and the faculty of the Languages Program.