History MA, Museums, Heritage and Public History Emphasis
The MA in Museums, Heritage, and Public History joins theoretical and practical study at an advanced level to prepare students for careers in museums, heritage institutions, historic sites and societies, and related organizations. The program works closely with cultural resources in St Louis, particularly the city’s many museums and historic sites. We focus on community engagement, the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural study of material culture, interpreting and debating the past, new media and public education, and research in archival and material collections. Our graduates work in art museums, history museums, science centers, historic house museums, and other cultural institutions across the United States and internationally.
Career Outlook for M. A. in Museums, Heritage, and Public History
According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, there are more than 35,000 museums in the United States, employing more than 400,000 individuals. History museums constitute forty-eight percent of the total museums in the country; there are more than 16,800 historical societies and historic preservation organizations alone. While job requirements vary among individual institutions and specific professional roles, the MA degree offered by this program qualifies graduates for a wide range of careers in the museum and heritage field. Faculty and mentors in the Museum Studies Program provide students with placement assistance, counseling, and access to information on career opportunities. Our alumni are employed at institutions around the country, from Santa Fe to Philadelphia, Minneapolis to Dallas.
The MA in History with an emphasis in Museum, Heritage, and Public History may be taken as a terminal degree by students intending to become museum professionals or public historians. Students may focus their studies on subdisciplines such as museum curation, digital public history, collection or archival management, or other areas.
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. 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 for admission to this program. 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 Museums, Heritage, and Public History 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.
All candidates for the MA in History with an emphasis in Museums, Heritage, and Public History must complete the following core courses (25 hours).
|The Historian's Craft
|Introduction to Public History and Cultural Heritage
|Museum Origins and Evolution
|Digital Public History
|Museums and Communities
|Readings in U.S. History
|or HIST 6143
|Readings in World History
|Museum Studies Internship
|or HIST 6138
|Museum Studies Capstone Project
Candidates must also complete 9 credit hours of elective courses. These may include courses listed above, if not already taken for the core, or additional courses which may include the following.
|Material Culture in Historical Context
|Emerging Museum Practices
|Practicum in Exhibit and Program Development
|ART HS 5593
|Museum Management and Curatorial Practice
|POL SCI 6300
|Leadership and Management in NonProfit Organizations
|P P ADM 6311
|Staff Management Issues in Nonprofit Organizations
|P P ADM 6312
|Legal Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations
|P P ADM 6313
|Financial Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations
Students may substitute other courses with approval of the Director of the Museums, Heritage, and Public History program. For courses outside the History Department, a maximum of six credits may be at the 3000 level. No 3000 level courses may be taken for graduate credit within the History Department.
Candidates conclude the degree with an internship or exit project represented by the course numbered HIST 6138 (5 credits). This capstone project will be customized to the interests and career aspirations of each student, as approved in advance by the Director.
Total hours for Program: 34
Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:
- Conduct original historical research based on disciplinary protocols
- Demonstrate competence in digital technologies utilized in the creation, presentation, and distribution of interpretive content
- Assess contemporary activities in the field of museums, heritage, and public history with reference to best practices
- Develop skills for communicating interpretive content effectively with public and professional audiences
- Demonstrate skills to become a competent professional and ethical contributor to museum, heritage, and public history collaborative settings
- Integrate community perspectives into professional museum, heritage, and public history products and activities