Learn to care for history needs with today’s technology: you'll do that here.

Southeast offers two options in public history: historic preservation and digital heritage. The historic preservation option will prepare you for further study or career placement in museums, historical sites or agencies. You'll become familiar with issues in public history, material culture, the historic landscape and the built environment.

The digital heritage option will prepare you for careers at the intersection of public history and the digital humanities. You'll hone skills connected to the increased uses of technology in documenting, preserving and communicating history. Students can choose to focus on one of three tracks: computer science, educational technology or multidisciplinary.

What You’ll Do

No matter which option you choose, you'll get to participate in field exercises and projects that will take you outside the classroom.

  • Graduate classes average fewer than 15 students, allowing for meaningful interaction between students and instructors.
  • Develop advanced historical research and analysis skills through work with varied source materials. 
  • Gain advanced knowledge and skills for the documentation and interpretation of historical documents, buildings, objects, or historic sites. 
  • Grow expertise in community history to audiences, including public, professional, and academic. 

Outcomes & Careers

  • 85%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of History and Anthropology report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $67K

    Anthropologists & Archeologists

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for anthropologists and archaeologists is $66,810.

  • $59k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a curator is $59,130.

  • $58k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for an archivist is $57,500.

Graduate Assistantships

The graduate assistantship (GA) is designed to provide support during full-time graduate study. It’s an opportunity for the graduate students to serve in a professional role while establishing a professional relationship with faculty and administrators. In addition to a per year stipend, GAs gain valuable experience. There are two kinds of assistantships: teaching and administrative.

What You’ll Study 

With a master’s degree in Public History, you’ll complete a minimum of 36 credit hours. There are two options available: Digital Heritage and Historic Preservation.

In addition to the criteria established for general admission to graduate studies, students working to obtain a degree in Public History must meet the following departmental criteria:

  1. Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. A letter of intent that should indicate how the applicant's past experiences have prepared them for a graduate degree in Public History and to succeed at the graduate level.
  3. Two letters of recommendation which attest to the applicant's academic and/or professional achievement and ability to succeed in the graduate program.
  4. An academic or professional writing sample.

Letters should be addressed to the Director of Admissions. All documents should be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions.

Provisional and Probationary Admission

An applicant lacking any of the above requirements may, under certain circumstances, be admitted provisionally or on probation.

Public History
(36 Hours)

Required Courses

  • GH600 Introduction to Public History (3)
  • GH610 Methods of Research in History (3)
  • US635 American Material Culture (3)
  • GH695-697 Thesis (6)
  • HP640 Internship
  • HP645 Advanced Project in Applied History (3+3)
  • GR698 Master's Final Comprehensive Examination (0)

Choose One of the Following Option Areas

Digital Heritage Option
  • GG563 Advanced Topics in Geography (3)
  • GH550 Heritage Outreach (3)
  • HP575 Collections Management (3)
Choose one 12 hour track
Computer Science Track - 12 hours
  • CS500 Fundamentals of Programming (3)
  • CS533 Mobile Computing (3)
  • CS630 Current Topics in Human Computer Interaction (3)
  • 3 hours of departmentally approved electives (3)
educational technology Track - 12 hours
  • SE600 Multimedia in Education (3)
  • SE617 Foundations of Educational Technology (3)
  • SE683 Instructional Design & Technology (3)
  • 3 hours of departmentally approved electives (3)
Multidisciplinary track - 12 hours
  • Select 3-9 hours from list of approved CS prefix or SE prefix courses
  • Select 3-9 hours from list of departmentally approved electives

Historic Preservation Option

  • HP585 History of American Architecture (3)
  • HP588 Legal and Economic Principles of Historic Preservation (3)
  • EH620/US620/WH630 Seminar in History (3)
  • Choose 12 hours from departmentally approved electives (12)

Departmentally Approved Electives

  • GH520 Techniques of Oral History (3)
  • GH550 Heritage Outreach (3)*
  • HP525 Living History (3)
  • HP540 Topics in Historic Preservation (3)
  • HP552 Historic Preservation Field School (3)
  • HP575 Collections Management (3)*
  • HP580 History of American Building Materials and Techniques (3)
  • HP585 History of American Architecture (3)**
  • HP588 Legal and Economic Principles of Historic Preservation (3)**
  • HP589 Historic Preservation Based Economic Revitalization (3)
  • HP630 Issues in HP: Archives, Museums, Historic Site Administration (3)
  • HP640 Internship (3)
  • HP645 Advanced Project in Applied History (3)
  • HP650 Problems in Historic Preservation (3)
  • EH620/US620/WH630 Seminar in History (3)

*Required for Digital Heritage Option
**Required for Historic Preservation Option

First Year

Fall Semester

  • GH600
  • US635
  • Track Option Course

First Year

Spring Semester

  • GH610
  • GG563
  • Track Option Course

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • GH550
  • HP640
  • Track Option Course

Second Year

Spring Semester

  • HP575
  • HP645
  • Track Option Course
  • GH698

First Year

Fall Semester

  • GH600
  • HP585
  • US635

First Year

Spring Semester

  • GH610
  • HP588
  • HP Elective

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • US620
  • HP Elective
  • HP Elective

Second Year

Spring Semester

  • HP640
  • HP645
  • HP Elective
  • GR698

College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

This degree is housed within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The College prepares students for lifelong careers. We boast programs that train students in problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, organization, and adaptability. Skills employers value, so we prepare you for basically any career field.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Graduate Coordinators

Graduate coordinators serve as the contact for graduate programs. The coordinators are most often faculty within the college that houses the program, helping you to get questions answered and first-hand knowledge of the degree requirements and placement opportunities.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Public History (MA)

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Office Location
Carnahan Hall 311E
Mailing Location
One University Plaza, MS 2960
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701