The Public History Program

If you have an interest in history and want a career in museums, history centers, archives, and other places that teach the general public about history outside of the formal K-12 classroom, public history is the major for you.  It provides students with the depth of historical knowledge and the skill set in research, historical interpretation, exhibit production, archival management, digital humanities and other related areas that you will need to work in these increasingly popular venues. 

What Can I Do With a Major in Public History?

Studying public history at Saint Vincent College will give you the knowledge and skills to work in museums, history centers, archives, and other places (outside of K-12 schools) that invite people to explore history. Public History majors

  • Work in places like the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
  • Work in local, state, and federal government offices such as the CIA, the Social Security Administration, and Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Go to graduate school at such universities as the George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington, Carnegie Mellon University, North Carolina State University, and West Virginia University.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public History
The Public History major consists of 48 credits. The balance of the 124 credits required for graduation can be composed of electives or courses required for one or more minors or a second major. Students should choose electives in consultation with their major advisor.

Major Requirements  (48 CREDITS)

Public History majors are required to complete two of the following area studies courses for a total of 12 credits at the 100 level:
HI 102, 103 Ancient Greece and Rome and Medieval and Renaissance Europe - 6 credits
HI 104, 105 Contemporary Europe I and II - 6 credits
HI 106, 107 Topics in U.S. History - 6 credits
HI 108, 109 East Asian Societies Traditional and Modern - 6 credits
HI 110, 111 English History - 6 credits
HI 123, 124 Global History I and II - 6 credits

Upper Division History Classes
Public History majors must take two courses, or six credits, from the 200-level offerings.

Majors-only courses
Public History majors will be required to take:
HI 303: Historical Writing (fall of sophomore year) - 3 credits
HI 300: The Historian’s Profession (spring of sophomore year) - 3 credits
HI 301: Junior Research Seminar (junior year) - 3 credits
HI 302: Senior Writing Seminar (fall of senior year) - 3 credits

Public History Requirements
Public History majors must complete five courses:
HI 201 Introduction to Public History - 3 credits
HI 202 Practicum in Public History - 3 credits
HI 200 Digital Humanities or 293 Museum Studies: An Introduction - 3 credits
HI 306 Introduction to Non-Profit Organizations - 3 credits
HI 550 Internship in History - 3 credits

Public History Electives (3 credits)
Select one from recommended electives:
BA 102 Survey of Accounting
BA 170 Organizational Behavior
BA 220 Principles of Marketing
BA 398 Project Management
CA 100 Introduction to Mass Media
CA 110 Introduction to Organizational Communication
CA 130 Introduction to Digital Media
CA 285 Digital Layout and Design
EL 131 American Literature: Exploration to Civil War
EL 132 American Literature: Civil War to Present
EL 113 Women’s Literature
EL 139 African American Literature
AN 101 Introduction to Anthropology
AN 222 Cultural Anthropology
AN 230 Archaeology
Other courses will be considered through consultation with the public history advisor.

Requirements for a Minor in Public History

The minor in Public History consists of 18 credit hours. Required courses are HI 201, HI 202, HI 550 (to be taken in that order) and HI 306 or HI 258. The remaining six (6) credits may come from the following course options: AN 230, AR 280, AR 310, HI 307, HI 254. The option list may change as new courses are developed; check with the department chair or your advisor for the most current list.

Recommended courses that would be a good complement to the minor include: HI 106, HI 107, HI 223, AR 102 and AR 200.

  • Student Learning Outcomes

    Studying Public History at Saint Vincent College is more than just reading textbooks.

    • Ground yourself on a historic campus — including a working gristmill that provided grain for the community from its beginnings, the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery and the Saint Vincent Art Gallery.
    • Learn from experts in fields ranging from medieval and Asian history to modern American history.
    • Put it into practice: Write your own history, travel to historic sites, make video documentaries, visit museums, research at the Fred Rogers Archives on campus or at other sites across the country.