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Public History


Public history programs prepare people to store and present artifacts for the public. These programs are sometimes called applied history.

Public history programs include topics such as:


Internships allow students to develop skills at companies or organizations. Most schools require internship programs where students work at museums or a local historical society.


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in public history. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

A few schools offer public history programs as an undergraduate major or minor. Other schools offer concentrations in public history as part of a history program. In both cases, public history programs are usually part of the history department. Most four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in history. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Several universities offer graduate programs in public history. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

For this program, schools recommend that you know how to use computers and the Internet.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate study in public and applied history typically includes:

Things to Know

With a degree in public history, you can work for museums, libraries, or historical societies. You can also work for businesses to help them organize and store important papers.


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Western Washington University