The Master of Arts program in Historical Studies is designed to accommodate a variety of interests and career paths, including students who are considering going on for a Ph.D., those already engaged in K-12 teaching, and those who wish to enter the growing field of public history. The program is characterized by a core emphasis on academic training in historiographical methods and theory, current conceptual tools and techniques for organizing historical evidence, and primary research in a large number of subject/area specialties.
Department faculty focus their research and teaching in the following fields: United States history (all periods and several sub-areas including politics and public policy, social history, diplomatic history, economic/business history, urban history, women’s history, military affairs, and race relations/civil rights), Pre-Modern European history (including the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and early modern England), Modern European history (with particular emphasis on Britain, France, Germany, Eastern Europe, history of the Holocaust, and Russia), Atlantic World history, institutional and policy history, and Asian history, with particular emphasis on the history of China and Japan.
The Department schedules courses and events to suit full-time and part-time, evening students. For a complete description of what is expected of students who enter the program and how they can fulfill those obligations, please consult the History Graduate Student Handbook, AY 22-23.
Public History offers an opportunity to explore the theory, scholarship, and practice of public history. Faculty specialize in community-based work in the fields of preservation, museum studies, and digital public history. Public historians help build historical understanding by engaging in shared authority, shared inquiry, and the co-creation of knowledge with audiences and stakeholders. Public historians are trained, first and foremost, as historians – to conduct research, to craft interpretations and to write well. However, public historians also must be prepared to work in a complex, interdisciplinary environment and to collaborate with partners for whom an understanding of history can have immediate practical implications. Public historians create original interpretations that build bridges between scholarship and everyday life by respecting diverse forms of knowledge, by understanding the ways in which their partners and audiences use history, and by working on behalf of the communities they serve.
Our faculty recognizes that the dynamic collaborations that define public history can produce innovative and relevant scholarship. Graduate students in the M.A. in Historical Studies, Public History Track participate in research projects that address needs identified by a variety of community partners, ranging from non-profit organizations to government entities, and voluntary associations. Faculty and students work with these partners to advance new understanding about the past and enable problem solving in the present by raising important questions about history, identity, place, and power. The M.A. in Historical Studies Public History track provides opportunities for public history students to build a professional track record, develop a network of professional contacts, and acquire specialized experience in the field.
Graduate Program Director:
Office: 512 Fine Arts Building
Graduate Program Administrative Assistant:
Office: 505 Fine Arts Building