Public History Courses


HIST 597/697: Introduction to Public History

Introductory survey of the field of public history for graduate students and advanced undergraduates.  Examines major areas of practice, the intellectual origins of the field, and the relationship between public history and the American historical profession.  Offered every fall semester.

HIST 612: Digital History

Overview of methods and theory used in engaging historical scholarship and interpretation in digital environments with an emphasis on public history projects.  Students use a wide variety of digital tools to engage conversations in the field and research and create interpretive projects.

HIST 599/607: Oral History

Introduces methods and theory of oral history.  Explains what oral history is, how to conduct oral history interviews, how to analyze and interpret them, and to use them in a variety of settings.

HIST 608: Public History Practicum

Students will enroll in HIST 608 in the first Spring semester after their first internship or while completing it.  This course introduces students to careers in history and professional skills associated with acquiring and performing public history work.

HIST 618: Public History Practicum II

Public History majors completing their second internship will enroll in HIST 618.


*Electives vary year to year based on community partnerships, available projects, and faculty interest and availability.

The Museum:
This course introduces students to the purpose and inner-workings of museums in American society. Topics covered include: theories about museums; historical precedents and antecedents; and the organization and structure of museums.  

Introduction to Historic Preservation
Introductory survey of historic preservation practice and theory, with emphasis on the role of trained historians in professional practice.  Research component of course focuses on preparation of a draft nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

Introduction to Archives
Introductory survey of archival theory and practice.  Examines archival principles and their practical application through assigned readings, classroom instruction, and hands-on work.  Topics considered include manuscript collections, institutional records, preparing archival materials for research use, technology, and archival ethics.

Historic Preservation Fieldwork
Specialized course based on projects undertaken in collaboration with outside organizations and institutions.  Students work as a team on a field-based preservation project. Emphasizes collaborative research and writing, field methods, and division of tasks.  Offered intermittently, based on available projects and resources.

Historic Site Administration
Examines management and administration of historic sites and history museums.  Topics considered include interpretive planning and programming, collections development, board relations, and fundraising.