History, Public History - Master of Arts

(Code 380-808)

Public History prepares students for a wide range of career options by familiarizing them with museum work, historic preservation, archives, and other public history subfields, and by providing hands-on experience through internships and other opportunities. The Wisconsin Historical Society’s Division of Public History and Historic Preservation opened its Northern Field Services Office in the History Department in 2006. The Field Services program provides programming and assistance to history and preservation organizations state-wide and collaborates with the Public History program to coordinate internships and other opportunities in public history. The Public History program also works closely with the UWEC Special Collections and Archives, which regularly hosts interns. The Archives is home to one of a network of 14 Area Research Centers (ARCs) which the Wisconsin Historical Society and UW System administer cooperatively, providing students access to the resources of the Society as well as the other 13 ARCs.

Program Requirements

To complete the Public History Program students must fulfill the following requirements:

Required courses
HIST 586Introduction to Public History3
HIST 686Seminar in Public History3
HIST 790Internship in Public History3
HIST 793Current Trends in History3
Select a minimum of 6 graduate credits from the following:6
Readings in European History
Readings in World History
Readings in U.S. History
Students may choose from the following culminating experiences:
Option 1: Thesis
A minimum of 30 graduate credits in history which requires a minimum/maximum of 6 credits of HIST 799. HIST 795 and HIST 796 do not count toward this option.
HIST 719Readings in Area of Thesis3
HIST 799Thesis6
Option 2: Thesis + Practicum
A minimum of 30 graduate credits in history which requires a minimum/maximum of 3 credits of HIST 796 and a minimum/maximum of 3 credits of HIST 799. HIST 795 does not count toward this option.
HIST 719Readings in Area of Thesis3
HIST 796Public History Thesis Practicum 13
HIST 799Thesis3
Option 3: Non-thesis
A minimum of 33 graduate credits in history with no thesis. Maximum 3 credits of HIST 795 may apply toward this option. HIST 796 and HIST 799 do not count toward this option.

The practicum requires students to share their thesis research with a public audience in cooperation with a community partner.

     1. At least 18 credits must be taken in courses open only to graduate students (700-level).
     2. Up to nine credits may be from disciplines outside of history with the approval of the advisor.
     3. All students must attain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.    

Areas of Expertise and Exams:  Graduate students prepare themselves in an area of expertise designed to meet their needs and interests.  Areas of expertise may be defined by broad themes, topics, chronology, or geography.  A required written comprehensive exam will be based upon substantial knowledge of the student’s area of expertise based upon research, course work, and bibliographies created in consultation with faculty.  During their final semester all students are also required to take an oral exam related to their area of expertise.  Non-thesis students’ oral exam will be based upon their course work and written comprehensive exam.  For students completing a thesis, the oral exam will be related to their research.  The oral exam committee includes the graduate coordinator, one or two additional history graduate faculty, and one graduate faculty from outside the Department of History.