Southeast Missouri State University

The M.A. in Public History has emphases in historic preservation and heritage education.

The M.A. in Public History (Historic Preservation Emphasis) prepares the
student for further study or career placement in museums, historical sites or
agencies. Students choosing the historic preservation emphasis will take a series of
courses designed to familiarize them with issues in public history, material culture,
the historic landscape, and the built environment. Students will participate in
field exercises and projects that take history out of the classroom and into public
venues. The Certificate in Historic Preservation focuses upon similar themes
and skills but requires the completion of only 18 hours. Hours earned in completing
the requirements for a certificate may also be applied to the full master’s degree in
public history.

The M.A. in Public History (Heritage Education Emphasis) prepares students
for fields at the intersection of education and public history. Students choosing
the heritage education emphasis will hone skills aimed at connecting classrooms
with museums and historic sites. Students will develop a familiarity with issues
confronting social studies teachers and public history educators, study the contexts
in which those professionals work, and develop plans for increasing student learning
in those contexts that highlight the collaborative possibilities between classrooms
and public history institutions. The Certificate in Heritage Education shares this
cross-profession emphasis but requires only 18 hours. Hours earned in completing
the requirements for a certificate may also be applied to the full master’s degree in
public history.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Public History, the student should be able to

  • Demonstrate the ability to research an historical question by locating and analyzing primary and secondary sources, including documents, objects, buildings, and landscapes;
  • Demonstrate the ability to assess the authenticity and significance of a variety of historical sources;
  • Demonstrate a well-developed understanding of the theory and methods in the field of public history;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which historians working in a public sector environment face unique issues of ethics and professionalism;
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate historical knowledge and create educational experiences to facilitate historical investigation in the school classroom or in public settings such as museums, archives, historic sites, and preservation agencies.
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