Program Introduction

Established in 2005, the Public Humanities Program at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage admits eight to twelve students each year. The program offers an MA in Public Humanities, conferred by the department of American Studies.
Approximately sixty students have graduated from the program, with a current average of eleven students graduating annually. Ph.D. Candidates in the Department of American Studies may elect to receive an MA in Public Humanities.

Degrees Offered

  • Other

Program Strengths

  • Archival Practices
  • Digital Media
  • Historical Administration
  • Local/Community History
  • Material Culture
  • Museum Studies
  • Oral History
  • Public Policy

Credit Hour Requirements

14 courses, two of which are practicums (internships).

How Many Students are Admitted Annually




MAs produced last year


Financial Aid Available

Partial tuition scholarships up to 40% percent of tuition costs; two-year fellowship for a student interested in the history of slavery and retrospective justice; partial funding to summer practicum costs; and Professional development funds.

Deadline To Apply

January 1

Internship Requirements

Students must complete two practicums, during the summer following first year of classes and during any semester. Students receive academic credit for each practicum. Some financial support is available.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

  • Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art
  • Lowell National Historical Park
  • National Museum of American History
  • Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
  • Hammer Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Jane Addams Hull House Museum
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • WaterFire Providence
  • Ark Media
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Exploratorium
  • Skirball Cultural Center
  • MIT Museum
  • Berkman Center/metaLAB, Harvard University
  • Newport Historical Society
  • Center for Digital Storytelling
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Experience Design
  • Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
  • Community Labor United
  • Artist Proof Studio
  • Mildred’s Lane

Job Placement Assistance

Formal assistance is available through the Brown University CareerLab. Informal assistance by staff, faculty, and public humanities alumni is also available.

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

  • Fenton Social Change Communications
  • Percent for Art
  • Library of Virginia
  • The Library Company, Philadelphia
  • Frye Art Museum
  • American Antiquarian Society
  • Center for Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University
  • Historic New England
  • Battleship Cove
  • Craftsy
  • Boston French Cultural Center
  • Heritage Preservation
  • MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology
  • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • La Plaza de Cultura y Artes • Historic Bethabara Park
  • Smithsonian Early Education Center
  • Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
  • Friends of Seattle Waterfront
  • New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • Harvard Reischauer Institute
  • Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, Brown University
  • Theatre and Performance Studies, Brown University
  • Boston Architectural Society