Program Introduction

Public History at UIS has roots in the 1970s, when courses in oral history, museum studies, and community history were first offered. The MA concentration was formally established in 1984. Core curriculum includes the Public History Colloquium, Graduate History Colloquium, Researching and Writing History, two additional seminars, and History and Digital Media. For the remainder of the Public History requirement, students select from six regularly offered Public History courses. For program closure, students have the option of and 8-hour thesis or an 8-hour sequence of internship and practicum. The Springfield area is rich in public history resources, and serves as a unique laboratory for class projects and internships.

Degrees Offered

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

Program Strengths

  • Archival Practices
  • Digital Media
  • Historic Preservation
  • Historical Administration
  • Material Culture
  • Museum Studies
  • Oral History
  • Public Policy

Credit Hour Requirements

44 credit hours (nine courses, plus closure internship/project or thesis)

How Many Students are Admitted Annually


Financial Aid Available

Graduate Assistantships (tuition waiver and stipend)
State Agency Internships (tuition waiver and stipend)
Annnual Scholarships and Research Awards

Deadline To Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

Internship Requirements

Internships are arranged jointly by academic advisor and the historic site. Advisor supervision is a part of the internship.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  • Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
  • Illinois State Military Museum
  • Illinois Regional Archival Depository
  • Lincoln Heritage Museum
  • Historic Edwards Place

Job Placement Assistance

Professional networking through class projects that collaborate with historic sites and museums
8 credit-hour internship and project closure with community partners
Extensive network of alumni in professional public history leadership positions

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

  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
  • Illinois State Historical Agency
  • Smithsonian Museum of American History
  • National Park Service
  • State of Illinois Archives
  • Illinois State Military Museum