Program Introduction

Since 2002, the National Institute of American History & Democracy (NIAHD) has operated as an innovative partnership between William & Mary and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. NIAHD’s certificate program in Material Culture & Public History is open to William & Mary undergraduates as well as visiting students from other colleges and universities. Visiting students may apply to spend either 1 or 2 semesters in residence before, during, or after completing their undergraduate degree. Over 390 students have participated in this program in the last twenty years, and 12 members of William & Mary’s class of 2022 earned the NIAHD certificate.

Degrees Offered

  • Other

Program Strengths

  • Other
  • Historical Archaeology
  • Material Culture
  • Museum Studies

Credit Hour Requirements

7 course certificate program for W&M students; 4 course certificate program for visiting students

Financial Aid Available

NIAHD can provide financial assistance for tuition fees for visiting students in the Program in Material Culture & Public History.

Deadline To Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

Internship Requirements

NIAHD operates a Field School in Public History in both the fall and spring semesters. Students work with the Director of Internships to find a placement that fits their interests and career goals, and then with their supervisor at a museum, archive, or historic site to define their project and scope of work. Internships require 10-12 hours per week of project time, as well as an in-class component with fellow student interns under the direction of a faculty instructor. The Field School in Public History is available for any student enrolled at William & Mary. The overall goal of our internship class is to enable students to reflectively analyze best practices, challenges, and ethical dilemmas in the heritage sector.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation–Collections, Historic Trades, Archaeological Research, Historic Research and Digital History, Special Collections at the Rockefeller Library, and Architectural Preservation and Research
  • The Tidewater Plantation Research Project
  • The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation
  • The Fairfield Foundation
  • Historic Jamestowne
  • Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, William & Mary
  • Civil War Trails
  • Manassas National Battlefield Park
  • Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Battlefield Park
  • Office of Historic Alexandria

Job Placement Assistance

Internships help to connect NIAHD students to the program's alumni in museums, archives, and historic sites. Many of NIAHD's classes provide opportunities for students to interact with professionals in the Public History field.

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

  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  • Preservation Virginia
  • Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • Virginia Museum of History & Culture
  • The Valentine
  • Library of Virginia
  • National Park Service
  • C-SPAN
  • Virginia Department of Historic Resources
  • Passaic County Department of Cultural & Historic Affairs
  • Chazen Museum of Art
  • Montpelier
  • Preservation Long Island
  • National Museum of the American Sailor
  • The Historic New Orleans Collection
  • George Washington’s Mount Vernon
  • The Lemon Project:  A Journey of Reconciliation