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  • Students excavate during Clover Bottom Plantation field school
  • Professor, state historian Van West heads up the Center for Historic Preservation
  • MTSU program helps recognize Tennessee’s historic century farms
  • Public History partners with
    on-campus centers

Public History, M.A.

Public history refers to the pursuit of historical understanding and interpretation in the public realm. MTSU was in the first wave of American universities to embrace the study of public history and now offers a master’s degree, doctorate, and advanced certificates. Students pursuing the Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History may choose from five tracks: historic preservation and cultural resource management, museum management, archival management, oral history, and public archaeology. Master’s candidates are exposed to the myriad career possibilities associated with each specialty, helping them select the curriculum best suited to their interests and aspirations. The program carefully balances academic historical methods and scholarship; the intellectual foundations and nature of public history; and professional development in several areas. To prepare students for professional practice, the program partners with a number of on-campus centers and initiatives, including the Center for Historic Preservation, Albert Gore Research Center, Center for Popular Music, and Walker Library digital collections.

M.A. student helps museum magnet school install collection

M.A. student helps museum magnet school install collection

Public History M.A. student Lane Tillner helped the new John Early Museum open at John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep in Nashville in October 2015. This marks the first museum school in the nation to also have its own museum. A collection of nearly 5,000 cultural objects was transferred from the former Hartzler Towner Multicultural Museum at the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville. As a summer intern in 2014, Tillner worked under instructional designer Becky Verner (M.A., 2006) to organize accession records and the collection. Tillner returned as a volunteer collections consultant after construction on the museum addition was completed in July 2015. She helped move the collection into its new storage space and re-house the objects, plus developed and installed the opening exhibit, “Worldly Missions: Cultural Connections Across the Globe.” Tillner continues to assist with the collection, which allows students to actively engage with objects, exhibitions, and museum principles only a few feet from their classroom.

Maymester Experience offers grad students unique studies, fieldwork

Maymester Experience offers grad students unique studies, fieldwork

Each year during the three-week May term, the Public History program offers graduate students a change-of-pace opportunity to study with a visiting scholar-practitioner or engage in a fieldwork project that hones their professional skills in multiple ways. Visiting scholar-practitioners have included Carol Kammen (pictured), author of On Doing Local History; Dwight Pitcaithley, former chief historian of the National Park Service; Trudy Peterson, former (acting) archivist of the United States; Spencer Crew, former director of the National Museum of American History and of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; and David Thelen, professor emeritus, Indiana University, and co-author of Presence of the Past, one of the most influential books in public history. Fieldwork projects have taken students to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (Washington state) and Jekyll Island, Ga., as well as nearby Stones River National Battlefield. For more information, click here.

Public historians work in a wide range of professional settings with public audiences of all ages. Potential employers include archives, museums, historic organizations, historical societies, historic sites, private consulting firms, and historical agencies at all levels of government. Examples of career possibilities with an advanced degree in public history include

  • Architectural historian
  • Archivist
  • Author
  • College professor/instructor
  • Consultant
  • Cultural heritage manager
  • Cultural resources manager
  • Digital librarian/cataloger
  • Historic preservation planner
  • Historian
  • Museum/collections curator or administrator
  • Oral historian
  • Public archaeologist 

American Association for State and Local History job postings

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Alabama Department of Archives and History
  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
  • American Association for State and Local History
  • Belle Meade Plantation
  • Belmont Mansion
  • East Tennessee Historical Society
  • Historic Home of T.R.R. Cobb
  • Historical Association of Catawba County, N.C.
  • History Center, Diboll, Texas
  • Huntsville (Ala.) Historic Preservation Commission
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • Land Trust for Tennessee
  • Manzanar National Historic Site
  • Maymont Foundation, Richmond, Va.
  • Metro Nashville Arts Commission
  • Mike Curb Archives
  • New South Associates
  • Ohio History Connection
  • President James K. Polk Ancestral Home
  • Rutherford County Archives
  • Tennessee Agricultural Museum
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Thomason & Associates
  • Vicksburg (Miss.) Foundation for Historic Preservation
  • Williamson County Archives and Museum
  • War in the Pacific National Historical, Guam

The History Department offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) in History with a concentration in Public History and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public History, as well as a traditional Master of Arts (M.A.) in History.

The Public History master’s concentration offers specialized education in one of five tracks: historic preservation and cultural resources management, museum management, archival management, oral history, and public archaeology. More information on the five tracks can be found under the TRACKS tab.

Master’s applicants must have an acceptable grade point average in all college work; 18 semester hours of undergraduate history courses; and acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Other programs

A 12-credit hour Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) also is available to students currently pursuing an M.A. in Public History at MTSU, to MTSU alumni who hold an M.A. in Public History, and to applicants who hold an equivalent M.A. from another university. The CAS program has four options: Archival Management, Heritage Studies, Historic Preservation, and Museum Management.

Students in the traditional Master of Arts in History program may choose a major field in United States or European History, but graduate classes in global history can fulfill requirements for the minor field.

A graduate history minor also is offered.

Undergraduate

The undergraduate degree in history comes in four forms: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History, the B.A. in History with Teacher Licensure, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in History, and the B.S. in History with Teacher Licensure.

An undergraduate minor in history is also offered. The department additionally coordinates interdisciplinary minors in African American Studies; Media, History, and Culture; Environment and Human Society; Medieval Studies; Southern Studies; Twentieth-Century European Studies; American Culture; and War, Policy, and Security.

Public History Concentration, M.A. Museum Management Certificate


History, Public History Concentration, M.A.

Pippa Holloway, Graduate Studies Director
(615) 904-8149
Pippa.Holloway@mtsu.edu
Rebecca Conard, Public History Program Director
(615) 898-2423
Rebecca.Conard@mtsu.edu

The History Department offers the Master of Arts in History, Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History, and a Ph.D. in Public History. The Public History concentration offers specialized education in one of five tracks: historic preservation and cultural resource management, museum management, archival management, oral history, and public archeology.

For the most current information about the program, department policies, and admission standards, please visit the department website at www.mtsu.edu/history.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History program requires

  1. an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college;
  2. an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken;
  3. completion of at least 18 semester hours of undergraduate history courses;
  4. completion of the Graduate Record Exam with acceptable scores.

Modifications to the above requirements may be made with the permission of the department's director of graduate studies and the department's graduate admissions committee.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application deadline for the M.A. program is March 15 for Fall admission and October 15 for Spring. The History Department does not consider graduate students for Summer admission.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE);
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  4. submit letter of intent, explaining why he/she wishes to pursue graduate education in public history and why he/she wishes to pursue those studies at MTSU;
  5. submit writing sample (preferably a lengthy research paper that demonstrates writing and research skills);
  6. submit three letters of recommendation from professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete an M.A. program in public history.

Degree Requirements

M.A. students in History with a concentration in Public History choose between a thesis and a non-thesis option. All public history students must complete an internship off campus.

Thesis Option (33 hours)

Once admitted to the program, candidate must

  1. complete 33 hours of graduate-level history and public history courses, all at the 6000 level (see Curriculum section below for specifics);
  2. pass formal review of a portfolio demonstrating proficiency in three domains of professional skills in accordance with the standards and protocols issued by the department;
  3. maintain satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree each semester;
  4. complete comprehensive examinations in the field of public history and a second field of history;
  5. submit an acceptable thesis.

Non-thesis Option (36 hours)

Once admitted to the program, candidate must

  1. complete at least 36 hours of graduate-level coursework, all at the 6000-level (see Curriculum section below for specifics);
  2. pass formal review of a portfolio demonstrating proficiency in three domains of professional skills in accordance with the standards and protocols issued by the department;
  3. maintain satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree each semester;
  4. complete comprehensive examinations in the field of public history and a second field of history.

Curriculum: History, Public History

 

Thesis Option (33 hours)

All M.A. students in History with a concentration in Public History pursuing the thesis option must complete 33 hours (all at the 6000 level) in the following course of study:

Required Core Courses (9 hours)

 

  • HIST 6010 - Historiography  3 credit hours  

    HIST 6010 - Historiography

    3 credit hours

    An introduction to history's major schools of thought. Through reading, class discussion, and essays, students explore critical interpretations in American, European, and non-Western history.

  • HIST 6020 - Historical Research Methods

    3 credit hours

    Sharpens comprehension of historical interpretation by exploring, through reading, research, and class discussion, possible alternative explanations for specific historical events and themes.

  • HIST 6510 - Seminar: Public History

    3 credit hours

    The professional nature of public history, the interpretation of history for diverse audiences, and the application of historical methods in the wider world. Combines reading and discussion, interaction with practicing professionals, and possible experiential learning component.

Public History Essentials (3 hours in appropriate track)

 

  • HIST 6225 - Oral History: Theory and Methodology

    3 credit hours

    Examines theory and methodology of oral history, including in-depth examination of the relationship of history and memory; explores oral history in texts, films, websites, and museum exhibits. Students focus on how to conduct professional quality oral history interviews, how to process the materials, and how to organize a professional project.

  • HIST 6535 - Essentials of Museum Management

    3 credit hours

    Examines history, theory, and methodologies of museums. Explores the roles of history museums in diverse communities and career options in museums, including administration, exhibit development, education, and collections.

  • HIST 6610 - Essentials of Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management

    3 credit hours

    Regulatory policies and procedures employed by federal, state, and local agencies in the work of identifying, evaluating, recording, preserving, and managing the historical, architectural, and cultural resources of the United States. Emphasis on implementing the National Historic Preservation Act and the documentation requirements of the National Register of Historic Places.

  • HIST 6615 - Essentials of Archival Management

    3 credit hours

    Examines major concepts, vocabulary, standards, professional ethics, and current issues in archival management. Includes readings, class discussions, and in-class exercises supplemented by guest lectures, field trips, and a field project.

  • HIST 6710 - Essentials of Public Archaeology

    3 credit hours

    Explores the disciplinary history, professional ethics, key concepts and debates, and best practices of public archaeology in the U.S. with emphasis on historical archaeology's contributions to American historiography, its relationship to cultural resource management and heritage legislation, and current issues in shared authority with diverse public audiences.

Internship (3 hours)

 

  • HIST 6570 - Public History Internship

    3 credit hours

    Full-time apprenticeship (300 hours) with a public or private historical agency or institution of regional or national significance. Internships offered during the summer months and may be paid. Enrollment limited to history students in the public history program. Pass/Fail.

Public History electives (6 hours)

  • 6 hours selected in consultation with public history faculty

History electives (9 hours)

  • 9 hours outside the public history field

Thesis Research (at least 3 hours)

 

  • HIST 6640 - Thesis Research  1 to 6 credit hours  (no more than 3 hours may be counted toward degree requirements)

    HIST 6640 - Thesis Research

    1 to 6 credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of thesis. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

NOTE:

No more than three hours of HIST 6910, HIST 6920, HIST 6930, or HIST 6994 may be counted toward degree requirements.

Non-thesis Option (36 hours)

All M.A. students in History with a concentration in Public History pursuing the non-thesis option must complete 36 hours (all at the 6000 level) in the following course of study:

Required Core Courses (9 hours)

 

  • HIST 6010 - Historiography  3 credit hours  

    HIST 6010 - Historiography

    3 credit hours

    An introduction to history's major schools of thought. Through reading, class discussion, and essays, students explore critical interpretations in American, European, and non-Western history.

  • HIST 6020 - Historical Research Methods

    3 credit hours

    Sharpens comprehension of historical interpretation by exploring, through reading, research, and class discussion, possible alternative explanations for specific historical events and themes.

  • HIST 6510 - Seminar: Public History

    3 credit hours

    The professional nature of public history, the interpretation of history for diverse audiences, and the application of historical methods in the wider world. Combines reading and discussion, interaction with practicing professionals, and possible experiential learning component.

Public History Essentials (9 hours)

 

  • HIST 6225 - Oral History: Theory and Methodology

    3 credit hours

    Examines theory and methodology of oral history, including in-depth examination of the relationship of history and memory; explores oral history in texts, films, websites, and museum exhibits. Students focus on how to conduct professional quality oral history interviews, how to process the materials, and how to organize a professional project.

  • HIST 6535 - Essentials of Museum Management

    3 credit hours

    Examines history, theory, and methodologies of museums. Explores the roles of history museums in diverse communities and career options in museums, including administration, exhibit development, education, and collections.

  • HIST 6610 - Essentials of Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management

    3 credit hours

    Regulatory policies and procedures employed by federal, state, and local agencies in the work of identifying, evaluating, recording, preserving, and managing the historical, architectural, and cultural resources of the United States. Emphasis on implementing the National Historic Preservation Act and the documentation requirements of the National Register of Historic Places.

  • HIST 6615 - Essentials of Archival Management

    3 credit hours

    Examines major concepts, vocabulary, standards, professional ethics, and current issues in archival management. Includes readings, class discussions, and in-class exercises supplemented by guest lectures, field trips, and a field project.

  • HIST 6710 - Essentials of Public Archaeology

    3 credit hours

    Explores the disciplinary history, professional ethics, key concepts and debates, and best practices of public archaeology in the U.S. with emphasis on historical archaeology's contributions to American historiography, its relationship to cultural resource management and heritage legislation, and current issues in shared authority with diverse public audiences.

Internship (3 hours)

 

  • HIST 6570 - Public History Internship

    3 credit hours

    Full-time apprenticeship (300 hours) with a public or private historical agency or institution of regional or national significance. Internships offered during the summer months and may be paid. Enrollment limited to history students in the public history program. Pass/Fail.

Public History Electives (6 hours)

  • 6 hours selected in consultation with public history faculty

History electives (9 hours)

  • 9 hours outside the public history field, of which 3 must be in a graduate research seminar

NOTE:

No more than three hours of HIST 6910, HIST 6920HIST 6930, or HIST 6994 may be counted toward the degree.

Program Notes

Student must

  1. file a degree plan with the Graduate Office prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which student intends to graduate.


Museum Management Certificate

Pippa Holloway, Program Director
(615) 904-8149
Pippa.Holloway@mtsu.edu
Rebecca Conard, Director of Public History Program
(615) 898-2423
Rebecca.Conard @mtsu.edu

The History Department offers the Master of Arts in History, Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History, and a Ph.D. in Public History as well as graduate certificates in Archival Management, Heritage Studies, Historic Preservation, and Museum Management.

The certificate program seeks to provide an opportunity for students to pursue advanced study for careers in museum management and in-depth professional training for graduate students seeking employment in public and private institutions at the national, state, and local levels. This certificate in Museum Management also provides a transitional bridge to the Ph.D. program in Public History.

The certificate of advanced study in Museum Management offers an opportunity for students to take relevant graduate courses outside the History Department to meet their specific needs and interests.

For the most current information about the program, department policies, and admission standards, please visit the department website at www.mtsu.edu/history.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Museum Management certificate program requires

  1. an earned master’s degree from an accredited university or college or current enrollment in a master’s degree program;
  2. an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken.

Modifications to the above requirements may be made with the permission of the department’s director of graduate studies and the department’s graduate committee.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. meet the admission requirements of the University and the program;
  2. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Certificate Requirements

Once admitted to the program, candidate must

  1. complete 12 hours of graduate history courses, all at the 6000 level (see Curriculum section below for specifics);
  2. maintain a cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.00 in courses leading to the certificate;
  3. successfully complete a portfolio review.

Curriculum: Museum Management

All candidates for the graduate certificate in Museum Management must complete 12 hours in the following course of study: 

Required Course (3 hours)

 

  • HIST 6540 - Seminar: Museum Management

    3 credit hours

    In-depth analysis of museum management issues from acquisitions and collections to curatorial care and exhibitions. Includes advanced problem-solving for museum staff and consideration of ethical issues such as repatriation of artifacts.

Electives (9 hours)

 

  • HIST 6220 - Seminar in Public Programming for Historical Organizations and Archives

    3 credit hours

    Examines the theory and practice of educational outreach and public programming for historical organizations. Designed to provide in-depth study in reference services, outreach, history education, advocacy, exhibit development, and assessment for a variety of cultural institutions.

  • HIST 6225 - Oral History: Theory and Methodology

    3 credit hours

    Examines theory and methodology of oral history, including in-depth examination of the relationship of history and memory; explores oral history in texts, films, websites, and museum exhibits. Students focus on how to conduct professional quality oral history interviews, how to process the materials, and how to organize a professional project.

  • HIST 6530 - Seminar: Administration of Historical Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Intensive study of administrative functions, issues, and problems common to historical organizations. Combines reading and discussion, team problem-solving, and experiential learning component served in a local historical organization.

  • HIST 6555 - Archaeology and Public History

    3 credit hours

    Explores the relationship between archaeological research and public history with an emphasis on methodology, theory, and interpretation and how to ethically and effectively communicate conclusions to the public.

  • HIST 6560 - Seminar: Cultural Resource Management

    3 credit hours

    Intensive study of cultural resource preservation planning and protection using National Park Service themes and definitions for history and prehistory. Emphasizes ethnic diversity in evaluating historic sites, linear parks, heritage trails, and national monuments.

  • HIST 6993 - Current Issues in Public History Practice

    3 credit hours

    Examines timely issues of public history practice in depth with a nationally recognized scholar in the field of historic preservation, cultural resources management, museum management, oral history, public archaeology, or other area of professional practice.

  • HIST 6994 - Advanced Projects in Public History

    3 credit hours

    Provides individualized, advanced training in historic preservation, cultural resources management, museum management, archival management, or other areas of public history practice.

Program Notes

Students may transfer up to six (6) credit hours of approved coursework into the certificate program. The time limit for use of credit toward the certificate is six years from the date of enrollment in the earliest course applied toward the certificate, including transferred courses.

Candidate must file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the semester in which candidate intends to graduate.

Dr. Emily Baran
Assistant Professor
emily.baran@mtsu.edu

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Dr. James Beeby
Professor | Department Chair
james.beeby@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Thomas Bynum
Associate Professor | Director, African Am Studies
thomas.bynum@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Yuan-Ling Chao
Professor | Director, Undergraduate Program
yuanling.chao@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Rebecca Conard
Professor
rebecca.conard@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Mark Doyle
Associate Professor | History Graduate Director
mark.doyle@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Mary A. Evins
Associate Professor | Coord., Am. Democracy Proj.
mary.evins@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Sean Foley
Associate Professor
sean.foley@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Stacey Graham
Associate Professor, Center for Historic Pres.
stacey.graham@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Louis Haas
Associate Professor
louis.haas@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle
Professor
mary.hoffschwelle@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Pippa Holloway
Professor
pippa.holloway@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Robert Hunt
Professor
robert.hunt@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Kelly Kolar
Assistant Professor
kelly.kolar@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Aliou Ly
Assistant Professor
aliou.ly@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Brenden Martin
Professor | Director, Public History
brenden.martin@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Dawn McCormack
Assistant Professor
dawn.mccormack@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Kristine McCusker
Professor
kristine.mccusker@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk
Professor | Director, History Dept. Gen Ed
susan.myers-shirk@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Lynn Nelson
Professor
lynn.nelson@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Martha Norkunas
Professor
martha.norkunas@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Andrew R. Polk
Assistant Professor, History Day Coordinator
Andrew.Polk@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Lisa Pruitt
Associate Professor
lisa.pruitt@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Ashley Riley Sousa
Assistant Professor
ashley.rileysousa@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Christoph Rosenmüller
Professor
christoph.rosenmuller@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Nancy Rupprecht
Professor | Chair, MTSU Holocaust Studies Program
nancy.rupprecht@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Amy Sayward
Professor
amy.sayward@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Kathryn Sikes
Assistant Professor of Historical Archaeology
kathryn.sikes@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Suzanne Sutherland
Assistant Professor
suzanne.sutherland@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Carroll Van West
Professor | Dir., Center for Historic Pres.
carroll.west@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Louis Woods
Associate Professor
louis.woods@mtsu.edu

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Academic links

On-campus partners

For students

Public History news

Program history

The MTSU Department of History added an emphasis in historic preservation to its master’s program in 1976 and to its former doctorate degree in 1981. Historic preservation and the preservation of American popular music assumed a public dimension in 1984 when MTSU established the Center for Historic Preservation and the Center for Popular Music, with missions that combined research and public outreach. After adding courses in museum studies, material culture, and archival methods, the master’s program concentration changed its name to Public History in 1991. History faculty also developed the Albert Gore Research Center, which opened in 1993. In 2005, the department launched a new Ph.D. in Public History, the first doctoral program nationally to declare public history as the major field of study. Today, MTSU’s Public History program partners with all three campus centers and collaborates with the Walker Library Media Studio to develop digital collections and other digital initiatives.

Financial aid links

Graduate Assistantships

To help support students pursuing graduate study, the Department of History offers a number of graduate assistantships at both the M.A. and the Ph.D. levels. These assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis and are renewable for up to two years for M.A. assistantships and up to three years for Ph.D. assistantships. Graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver plus a stipend to cover living expenses. In return, graduate assistants work a maximum of 20 hours a week during the semester on an assignment determined by the History Department. These assignments include work as teaching assistants, research assistants, and other duties related to the ongoing work of the department and our on-campus partners. To apply for a graduate assistantship with the History Department, complete the College of Graduate Studies' Graduate Assistantship Application, and submit it to the Department of History along with the rest of your application. 

Many M.A. and Ph.D students in the History Department also work as research fellows, graduate assistants, and hourly employees for MTSU's Center for Historic Preservation. The Center has a separate application and review process for these positions. You can read full descriptions of these opportunities on the Center's Academic Opportunities page and download the Center's Application for Student Academic Support. The department urges students applying for a graduate assistantship with the History Department to apply to the Center as well.

Tracks in Public History

Public history embraces a wide array of history-related fields. The MTSU Public History program offers specialized education and professional training in historic preservation, cultural resource management, museum managementarchival managementoral history, and public archaeology. The Program also collaborates with the Walker Library Media Studio to develop digital collections and other digital initiatives.

Historic Preservation

Historic preservation involves the identification, preservation, and interpretation of historic resources determined to be "significant" in American history. Examples of significant historic resources include properties such as: buildings, structures, objects, districts, archaeological sites, cultural and religious sites, historic landscapes, and examples of innovative architecture and engineering. Whether considered significant for their historic associations or architectural aesthetics, preservationists approach historic resources as "texts" that help reveal details about the past lives and values of the people who created them. In addition to their utility as sources for research, historic resources provide communities with a sense of character and identity. The preservation of our historic built environment is vital to our understanding of history at the national, state, and local levels.

Students trained at MTSU will be equipped to work with historic resources in a variety of public and private settings, including such venues as downtown historic districts, state historic preservation offices, military bases, national parks, federal agencies, historic sites, preservation or cultural resources management consulting firms, architectural and engineering companies, departments of transportation, and various non-profit organizations. In recent decades, historic preservation has become increasingly focused on economic development programs that adapt or recycle historic buildings for such new uses as offices, stores, restaurants, museums, and housing. Historic preservation planning is another field attracting increasing attention, particularly as communities struggle to deal with the destructive effects of suburban "sprawl" on historic buildings and rural resources. See Center for Historic Preservation.

Cultural Resource Management

Of the four area concentrations, students are least familiar with cultural resources management or CRM. In fact, historic preservation is integral to cultural resources management (identification, preservation, and interpretation of historic resources), both are shaped strongly by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which created the National Register of Historic Places, and a variety of other laws and regulations. For example, both fields require knowledge of historic architecture, but CRM incorporates the study and analysis of cultural landscapes, archaeological sites, natural resources, and Native-American burial grounds.

CRM typically involves the responsibilities of major federal land-management agencies in the United States such as the National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Land Management. With jurisdiction over millions of acres of land and cultural resources (buildings, objects, sites, structures, and districts), these agencies operate within a regulatory system that requires not only careful stewardship of the national domain but also interpretive programs for public education and entertainment.

The training and skills involved in historic preservation and CRM are closely intertwined, both conceptually and organizationally. Separating the two areas of concentration can be difficult, but they do have distinguishing characteristics. Moreover, MTSU's other two areas, Museum Management and Archival Management, also deal with the identification, preservation, and interpretation of "historic resources."

Museum Management

The museum concentration at MTSU is designed to give students the training they need to succeed in a wide variety of museum careers, such as museum administrators, curators, registrars, and educators. The goals of our museum studies courses are to provide in-depth knowledge of the theoretical and methodological issues that effect today's museums and to apply that knowledge with practical, hands-on experience. Our course offerings emphasize applied training in museum administration, collections management, exhibit development, fundraising, museum education, and other technical and communication skills. As new technologies and ideas continue to transform traditional museum practices and employment patterns, our concentration in museums has responded to these changes by offering the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed by current and future museum professionals.

Archival Management

Governments, organizations, and individuals throughout history have recorded information in a variety of textual, visual, aural, and electronic documents as they carried out their daily activities. Those documents preserve personal, community and institutional memory and extend that memory over time, space, and place. Individuals and societies depend on these documents to establish their legal rights and to insure the accountability of governments, businesses, and other institutions. Society charges archivists with selecting and preserving those documents that have enduring legal or social value and making them available to present and future users.

Students in the archival concentration acquire the skills they need to meet that responsibility. Introductory and advanced courses cover the seven domains of archival practice recognized by the Society of American Archivists and the Academy of Certified Archivists: appraisal, arrangement and description, access, preservation, outreach, professional responsibilities, and management. Students also have an opportunity to achieve proficiency in a single domain through an archival practicum and to acquire broad professional experience through an internship in one of a variety of cooperating repositories. See Albert Gore Research Center, Center for Popular Music, Rutherford County Archives.

Graduates can expect to find employment in national, state, and local government archives; manuscripts repositories and special collections associated with historical societies, educational institutions, and other cultural agencies; and a wide range of organizations and businesses. They should also be able to pass the examination to become a Certified Archivist.

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