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About the public history program

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences at St. Mary’s University will offer a Master of Arts in Public History starting in Fall 2018. The program is designed for students interested in museum studies, heritage tourism, documentary filmmaking, digital history and archives.

The Department of History at St. Mary’s trains new generations of historians in the presentation of inclusive, ethical and responsible representations of the past. The Public History graduate program engages students with history in real-world settings outside of the academic environment. This program pairs traditional historical content and interpretation with tools and strategies that engage the public in the historical past and the world.

The 30-credit-hour graduate program is designed for aspiring public historians, K-12 educators and individuals in professional settings wishing to pursue advanced professional training in public history. Our program prepares students for public history positions in San Antonio and Texas broadly, as well as nationally. We specialize in preparing public history professionals who use digital tools and media to curate public history experiences in a variety of tourist and cultural environments.

The graduate program builds on projects and partnerships already well-established with local, state and national institutions including the Alamo, the Institute of Texan Cultures, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Sam Houston, the Archdiocese of San Antonio, museums in the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas World War I Centennial Committee, Ford’s Theatre and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., museums in Chicago and in Springfield, Illinois, among others.

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Public History Degree and Certificate Options

Beginning Fall 2018, the St. Mary’s University Department of History will offer Master of Arts and graduate certificate options in Public History.

  • Master of Arts in Public History

    Public History courses are three credit hours, unless otherwise noted. The Master of Arts in Public History is a 30-credit-hour degree program.

    Public History Courses (required):

    • Introduction to Public History
    • Public History Methods (Conceptualizing Capstone Project)
    • Public History in the Digital Age
    • Internship in Public History

    Methods Courses (select three of the following):

    • Documentary Filmmaking
    • Heritage Tourism
    • History and Museums
    • Archives Organization and Management

    Context Courses (select three of the following):

  • Master of Arts in Public History for K-12 Teachers

    Public History courses are three credit hours, unless otherwise noted. The Master of Arts in Public History for K-12 Educators is a 30-credit-hour degree program.

    Public History Courses (required):

    • Introduction to Public History
    • Public History Capstone Project (usually completed in the summer term)
    • Public History in the Digital Age

    Methods Courses (choose two of the following):

    • Heritage Tourism
    • History and Museums
    • Documentary Filmmaking
    • Archives Organization and Management

    Context Courses (choose four of the following):

    • North American History
    • Hispanic San Antonio
    • American Military History and Public Memory
    • United States in World History
    • World Histories

    Elective Course (one course):

  • Graduate Certificate in Public History for Professionals

    Public History courses are three credit hours, unless otherwise noted. The Graduate Certificate in Public History for Professionals is a 12-credit-hour program of study.

    Public History Courses (required):

    • Introduction to Public History
    • Public History Capstone Project (usually completed in the summer term)
    • Public History in the Digital Age

    Methods and Context Courses (choose one of the following):

  • Graduate Certificate in Public History for Educators

    Public History courses are three credit hours, unless otherwise noted. The Graduate Certificate in Public History for K-12 Educators is a 12-credit-hour program of study.

    Content Courses (select two of the following):

    • North American History
    • Hispanic San Antonio
    • American Military History and Public Memory
    • United States in World History
    • World Histories

    Methods Courses (select one of the following):

    • Public History in the Digital Age
    • Heritage Tourism
    • History and Museums
    • Documentary Filmmaking
    • Archives Organization and Management

    Elective Course (take one course):

The online graduate application for the Master of Arts in Public History is currently open.

Full graduate program requirements and degree plans will be reflected in the Graduate Catalog for St. Mary’s in June 2018.

  • Combined Degree Option

    St. Mary’s University offers Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs that allow undergraduate students to begin graduate studies during their junior year. All interested and qualified students may apply during their junior year and, if accepted, begin their graduate studies as “conditionally accepted” graduate students during the second semester of the junior year.

    Eligible undergraduate majors to obtain a bachelor’s degree and Master of Arts in Public History include:

    • All majors within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • All majors within the Greehey School of Business
    • Majors from the School of Science, Engineering and Technology may be considered

    For more information about Combined Degree Programs, click here.

Course Areas

Students engaged in the Public History program at St. Mary’s will have the opportunity to hone their skills through methods courses in public history, documentary filmmaking and digital history. They will also sharpen their knowledge with academic context courses in U.S. history, history of the U.S. military and public memory, heritage tourism and regional history courses, among others.

Highlighted courses within the St. Mary’s Public History program include:

  • American Military History and Public Memory

    This course examines the history of the American military from the formation of the Continental Army in 1775 to the present day. Students will study the major armed conflicts in U.S. history, and they will also explore how U.S. military history has been preserved and presented in the public sphere. Students will learn about competing interpretations of important historical events and about how such historical debates influence the popular historical narrative

     

  • Public History in the Digital Age

    Students will learn to use digital media and computational analysis to further historical practice, presentation, analysis and research primarily for online audiences. Students will use technologies including blogs and social media, online publishing platforms, and mapping tools to create and share historical content with public audiences.

  • Heritage Tourism

    Students will learn to promote community historical and cultural traditions in ways that aid and advance preservation as well as economic development. Applicable settings include local government and other public institutions and venues, private businesses, community centers and even religious institutions. Students will learn methods of discovering and uncovering unique elements of a community’s history and culture and collaborating with political and business leaders and cultural workers to highlight and advance these for a community’s overall benefit.

Financial Aid, Assistantships and Fellowships

The Department of History is pleased to offer a limited number of assistantships to qualified and interested students studying Public History at St. Mary’s. Each assistantship or fellowship would be accompanied with a modest stipend and a commitment to work at least 10 hours a week in addition to their academic course work. Students must be enrolled as a full- or part-time student and be engaged in the graduate study of Public History in order to qualify.

Most of the assistantships will be offered to provide students with the opportunity to engage in Public History methodologies with a faculty member to further their understanding and appreciation of their academic course work. At least one assistantship will be reserved to provide administrative and project management assistance to the Public History Program Director.

Successful candidates would gain fluency in Public History methods, project management skills, volunteer management skills and data collection tactics.

  • Public History Assistantships

    The Department of History is pleased to offer qualified and interested Public History students the opportunity to engage in assistantship and fellowship opportunities. Students who are awarded an assistantship or fellowship will have the opportunity to work alongside a faculty mentor on an established Public History project to gain real-world experience.

    Possible project placements include any of the active Public History Projects currently ongoing within the Department of History or newly established projects to celebrate the San Antonio Tricentennial, San Antonio’s rich Hispanic heritage or a partnership within the special collections of the Louis J. Blume Library at St. Mary’s University.

    Applying to pursue a Public History Assistantship is simple and easy. Students must simply:

    1. Complete and submit the Graduate Application for Admission as a Public History student and indicate their interested in pursuing a graduate assistantship on the application form.
    2. Be prepared to participate in a telephone, Skype, or in-person interview with the Public History program director and/or other faculty members.

    If you have any questions about the assistantship options, please contact Lindsey Wieck at lwieck@stmarytx.edu.

  • School of Law Public History Fellows

    The Department of History and the St. Mary’s University School of Law are pleased to offer a limited number of fellowship positions to Public History students to support the ongoing efforts of the School of Law to collect, prepare and showcase the stories of the School of Law, law students, and our alumni who have made an impact on our local communities.

    Working alongside the faculty and staff of the School of Law students would further develop their understanding of Public History, volunteer management, story collection and curation, and multi-media displays in an effort to showcase the rich tradition of excellence exhibited by the School of Law and St. Mary’s University.

    Interested students who wish to apply for a Public History Fellowship must:

    1. Complete and submit the Graduate Application for Admission as a Public History student and indicate their interested in pursuing a graduate assistantship on the application form.
    2. Be prepared to participate in a telephone, Skype, or in-person interview with the Public History program director and/or other faculty members.

    If you have any questions about the assistantship options, please contact Lindsey Wieck at lwieck@stmarytx.edu.

  • Financial Aid Options for Graduate Students

    St. Mary’s offers various scholarships, grants and assistantships (such as the Title V PPOHA Grant) to graduate students. Military, their dependents and Department of Defense employees may be eligible for a tuition discount. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance at 210-436-3141 or finaid@stmarytx.edu for additional information or visit www.stmarytx.edu/finaid.

Learn more about the St. Mary's Public History Program

Interested in learning more about the Public History program at St. Mary’s University? Complete the information request form below for general information about the program or ask a specific question in the comment field to begin a conversation with the program director.

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