The M.A. in Public History (Historic Preservation Emphasis) prepares the student for further study or career placement in museums, historical sites or agencies. Students choosing the historic preservation emphasis will take a series of courses designed to familiarize them with issues in public history, material culture, the historic landscape, and the built environment. Students will participate in field exercises and projects that take history out of the classroom and into public venues. The Certificate in Historic Preservation focuses upon similar themes and skills but requires the completion of only 18 hours. Hours earned in completing the requirements for a certificate may also be applied to the full master’s degree in public history.

The M.A. in Public History (Heritage Education Emphasis) prepares students for fields at the intersection of education and public history. Students choosing the heritage education emphasis will hone skills aimed at connecting classrooms with museums and historic sites. Students will develop a familiarity with issues confronting social studies teachers and public history educators, study the contexts in which those professionals work, and develop plans for increasing student learning in those contexts that highlight the collaborative possibilities between classrooms and public history institutions. The Certificate in Heritage Education shares this cross-profession emphasis but requires only 18 hours. Hours earned in completing the requirements for a certificate may also be applied to the full master’s degree in public history.

Admission Requirements

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Public History, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to research an historical question by locating and analyzing primary and secondary sources, including documents, objects, buildings, and landscapes;
  • Demonstrate the ability to assess the authenticity and significance of a variety of historical sources;
  • Demonstrate a well-developed understanding of the theory and methods in the field of public history;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which historians working in a public sector environment face unique issues of ethics and professionalism;
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate historical knowledge and create educational experiences to facilitate historical investigation in the school classroom or in public settings such as museums, archives, historic sites, and preservation agencies.

Program Structure

36 hours required

Required Courses

  • GH600 Introduction to Public History (3)
  • GH610 methods of Research in History (3)
  • US/EH/WH620/630 Readings/Seminar in History (6)
  • HP588 Legal and Economic Principles of Historic Preservation (3)
  • US635 American Material Culture (3)
  • GH695-697 Thesis (6) OR HP640 Internship (3) AND HP645 Advanced Project in Applied History (3) AND two comprehensive examinations

Choose one of the following areas of emphasis:

Historic Preservation Emphasis

  • HP585 History of American Architecture (3)
  • Electives (9)

Heritage Education Emphasis

  • HP635 Issues and Interpretations in Public History (3)
  • Electives (9)

Choose 9 hours from:

  • GH520 Techniques of Oral History (3)
  • HP540 Topics in Historic Preservation (3)
  • HP552 Historic Presrvation Field School (3)
  • HP575 Collections Management (3)
  • HP580 Hist of Amer Bldg Materials and Tech (3)
  • HP589 Hist Preservation Based Econ Revita (3)
  • HP630 Issues in Historic Preservation (Archives, Museums, Historic Site Administration) (3)
  • HP640 Internship (3)
  • HP645 Advanced Project in Applied History (3)
  • HP650 Problems in Historic Preservation (Archives, Museums, Historic Site Administration) (3)
  • Students may also choose HP585 or HP635 if not otherwise required


Fax: 573.651.5114
Carnahan Hall 311

Department of History
One University Plaza, MS 2960
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701