Students may choose a concentration in public history in conjunction with the MA in history or as an outside field for the PhD. The public history concentration for the MA requires 9 hours of core course work, 9 hours of required course work, plus research seminars and elective courses.
A two-course seminar-practicum series is taken in the first year of study (6 hours). The graduate seminar gives students a historical and theoretical context for their work and covers some of the dominant paradigms in the field of public history. The graduate practicum meets in a seminar format and builds professional knowledge and skills in governance, development and grant writing, public outreach, and various interpretive tools. This course requires students to complete class projects at public institutions.
Other required courses expand skills students need to be a professional historian, teach the historiography of certain eras, provide experience with tools of research, and allow students to create their own schedule according to their interests and what they want to pursue.
American University's consortium system gives students the opportunity to pursue coursework at a number of other universities in the Washington, DC, area. Learn about the consortium system and its requirements.
HIST 729: Public History Seminar, required, offered every fall. Sample Syllabus.
HIST 730: Public History Practicum, required, offered every spring. Sample Syllabus.