Program Introduction

Established in 2016, the Public History Concentration at Rhodes College provides History majors who earn a BA with specialized training and experience in Public History. Unique courses and experiences prepare students for professions or graduate training in the field through hands-on internships with our wide range of community partners in historic preservation societies, museums, or libraries and archives including the National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis Public Library, Memphis Heritage, and more. Approximately 10 students per year have completed the internship, and we anticipate that many of those students will also fulfill the requirements for the new concentration in Public History.

Degrees Offered

  • B.A. in History with a Certificate or Concentration in Public History

Program Strengths

  • Archival Practices
  • Film/Video
  • Historic Preservation
  • Local/Community History
  • Museum Studies

Credit Hour Requirements

The History major requires 44 credits; public history credits are contained within those requirements.

How Many Students are Admitted Annually


Internship Requirements

In public history internships, students work behind-the-scenes of some of Memphis’ premiere public history institutions helping to research, create, and maintain displays; working to restore, digitize, and publish one-of-a-kind archival material; giving tours; and promoting the work of their internship institution within the city. Students work closely with professionals in the field to develop the skills of a public historian. And they talk with members of the public about history, bringing the past to life for Memphians and the millions of tourists who come to the Bluff City. Students select potential internships in conjunction with the director of the Public History program and apply through the College's Office of Career Services which arranges for applicants to interview at internship sites.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music
  • Blues Foundation and Museum
  • The Cotton Museum
  • Pink Palace Museum
  • Memphis and Shelby County Public Library
  • Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center Archives
  • Temple Israel
  • Shelby County Archives
  • Memphis Heritage
  • Victorian Village Community Development Corporation
  • Mississippi River Heritage Museum

Job Placement Assistance

The Office of Career Services at Rhodes College assists in job placement in conjunction with the director of the Public History program.

Employers Who Have Hired Graduates from this Program within the Past Five Years

The Cotton Museum.