History MA, Museums, Heritage and Public History Emphasis

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.

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. 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.

Program Requirements

All candidates for the MA in History with an emphasis in Museums, Heritage, and Public History must complete the following core courses (25 hours):

HIST 6000The Historian's Craft3
HIST 6001Introduction to Public History and Cultural Heritage3
HIST 6131Museum Origins and Evolution3
HIST 6133Digital Public History3
HIST 6127Museums and Communities3
HIST 6142Readings in U.S. History5
or HIST 6143 Readings in World History
HIST 6126Museum Studies Internship5
or HIST 6138 Museum Studies Master's Project
Total Hours25

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:

HIST 6002Material Culture in Historical Context3
HIST 6129Emerging Museum Practices3
HIST 6134History Curatorship3
HIST 6139Practicum in Exhibit and Program Development3
HIST/ART HS 5592The History of the Visual Arts in American Museums3
ART HS 5593Museum Management and Curatorial Practice3
POL SCI 6300Leadership and Management in NonProfit Organizations3
P P ADM 6311Staff Management Issues in Nonprofit Organizations1
P P ADM 6312Legal Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations1
P P ADM 6313Financial Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations1

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.

In addition to these requirements, candidates for the MA in Museums, Heritage, and Public History are required to demonstrate either oral or written proficiency in one second language (in addition to English) by completing an appropriate language test. The test will be designed through consultation with the candidate and the faculty of the Department of Language and Cultural Studies.

Total hours for Program: 34

Learning Outcomes

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