2024-2025 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog

Public History M.A.

  • CORE (18 credits), ELECTIVES (6 credits), CAPSTONE PROJECT: Plan C (3 credits)

Program Rationale:

Public historians are front-line interpreters, bringing historical knowledge to a broad public audience beyond the traditional academic classroom. The Masters of Arts in Public History is designed to prepare students for careers in history museums, historical societies, historic preservation, cultural resource management, government agencies, heritage tourism, and other fields in which history is presented to public and client-based audiences. The degree also provides K-12 history educators with tools to energize their classroom teaching. Students receive traditional training in the areas of historical research, writing, and interpretation, along with job specific skills and the hands-on experience necessary to become efficient and ethical stewards of the past. This degree is also appropriate for those seeking to pursue further study in American history or public history at the doctoral level.

For more information, visit the department's website at www.history.ccsu.edu/ma_pubhist.html.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Students in the program will be expected to:

  • conduct original research;
  • interpret primary sources;
  • evaluate the historiography of a specific historical topic;
  • demonstrate knowledge of public history practices and techniques; and
  • communicate effectively with a non-academic or client-based audience.

Admission Requirements:

To be considered for admission to the M.A. in Public History, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicants must have an undergraduate (or combined undergraduate/graduate) GPA of 3.00 or higher, as well as a degree in history or related field. If you do not meet this admission standard, please see the "NOTES" below.
  2. Applicants must submit the following materials to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office:
    • The graduate school admissions application and application fee
    • Official transcripts from each college and university attended (except Central Connecticut State University)
  3. Applicants must also submit the following materials to the History Department
    • two letters of recommendation
    • two essays. Write a 500-word essay that discusses a scholarly monograph written by a historian that has influenced the way you think about the past, and write a 250-word essay that describes your career aspirations and any opportunities for career preparation that you have had.

Instructions for uploading the essay, and for obtaining and submitting the letters, will be found within the online graduate application

The graduate application, application fee, and official transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office.

All application materials must be received by the application deadline.


     a) If you have an undergraduate degree in history but are denied admission because you have an undergraduate (or combined undergraduate/graduate) GPA between 2.70 and 2.99, or for any other reason, then you may be considered for conditional admission. In order to be recommended for full admission, conditionally admitted students must complete HIST 501 or HIST 502 with a B+ or better.

     b) If you have an undergraduate degree in history but are denied admission because you do not meet the GPA requirements for full admission or conditional admission, or for any other reason, then you must take 9 credits of 500-level history courses, including History 501 or 502, as a non-matriculated student. (If you are later admitted to the program, then those courses will apply to your graduate degree.) In order to be considered for admission, you must earn a grade of B+ in all 9 credits of 500-level history courses and receive two positive letters of recommendation from CCSU History Department faculty. Once you have fulfilled those conditions, you should apply again for admission.
    c) If you meet the GPA requirements for full admission to the graduate program but do not have an undergraduate degree in history, you should meet with the History Department chair or a History Department M.A coordinator to determine the requisite courses needed for admission. At minimum, those students will receive a conditional admission and must complete HIST 501 OR HIST 502 with a B+ or better.

Course and Capstone Requirements (including an internship and project [Plan C]):

Admission criteria: Acceptance into the CCSU Graduate Program and approval of the History Department.

Public history courses required (graduate courses specific to public history)

HIST 501Thinking Historically


HIST 502Writing History


HIST 510Seminar in Public History


HIST 511Topics in Public History


HIST 595Public History Research Project (Plan C)


Total Credit Hours:21

HIST 511: Must be taken twice with different topics

HIST 595: Plan C

General history courses to be taken from the following list

HIST 560Seminar in American History


HIST 540Seminar in European History


HIST 512Connecticut Encounters


Total Credit Hours:6

Total Credit Hours: 33

Two elective courses (6 credits), chosen in consultation with an advisor.

At least one of these courses (3 credits) must be taken in a discipline other than history.

No more than six credits can be taken at the 400-level.

Additional non-course requirement: Each student must attend five professional conferences as part of his/her program.

For more information, contact the Public History Program Coordinator, 860-832-2800