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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Public History

Public History & Preservation Specialty


Public History Program

Overview  

Graduate Program

The Public History and Preservation progam is offered as either a major or minor specialty of a master's degree.  Public history is a field of study that applies historical methods to the public sphere. Students can choose to concentrate in museum studies or historic preservation. Students with a major field in public history must complete a thesis or project. Public history majors can minor in any subspecialty the department currently offers. Students majoring in U.S., European, or Global history can also minor in public history. In conjunction with the College of Architecture and Planning, an 18-hour graduate certificate program in historic preservation is also available.

MA Major in Public History

Required Introductory Course: 3 credits

  • HIST 6013, Introduction to the Professional Study of History.   This course introduces students to historiography and historical practice.

Major Courses:  18 credits

Concentration Requirement (optional)- Students who choose to concentrate in museum studies or historic preservation must take either

  • HIST 5234, Introduction to Public History

Concentration Requirement (optional)- Students who choose to concentrate in museum studies or historic preservation must take either:

  • HIST 5231, History in Museums 

-OR-

  • HIST 5232, Historic Preservation

Research Seminar (3 hours)- Research seminars foucs on students' development of an original, primary research paper.

Major Electives:  9-12 credits

Electives are made up of courses in public history, which focus on methodology and practice, and thesis or project credits (nine to 12 credits). These courses include:

  •  HIST 5133, Management of Material Culture and Museum Collections
  • HIST 5228, Western Art and Architecture
  • HIST 5229, Colorado Historic Places
  • HIST 5240, National Parks History
  • HIST 5242, Oral History
  • HIST 5243, Public History Administration 
  • HIST 5244, Interpretation of History in Museums:  Exhibits and Education 
  • HIST 5245, Heritage Tourism
  • HIST 6992, Seminar:  Colorado Studies

Minor: 12 credits

Minor electives
Electives are made up of courses in the minor field, including readings courses, which address specific field historiographies, or research seminars.

Open elective: three credits

Students may use the open elective to explore a course outside their major or minor, or to do extra coursework in one of their fields.

Independent Studies and/or Internships

Candidates may register for up to 6 hours of internships or independent study, only one of which may be at the 6000-level.  Students will not be allowed to fulfill the research seminar requirement with an indepedent study.   Any independent study at the 6000-level needs the permission of the Graduate Advisor.  Students interested in pursuing an independent study must find a faculty member willing to oversee their work, and they should expect the workload for an independent study to equal or exceed that required for other courses at the same level.

Certificate in Historic Preservation

The department also offers a Certificate in Historic Preservation in conjunction with the College of Architecture and Planning. History students pursuing the certificate should consult their history advisor to determine appropriate course work.