Program Introduction

MTSU has been offering graduate education in public history since 1976. To prepare students for professional practice, the program partners with a number of on-campus centers and programs, including the Center for Historic Preservation, Albert Gore Research Center, Center for Popular Music, and Walker Library Digital Initiatives. The program also is a member of the Archival Education Collaborative. Students in the master’s program may specialize in historic preservation, museum management, archival management, cultural resource management, oral history, or historical archaeology. M.A. students also may add a 12-credit hour certificate of advanced study to their degree program. A flexibly designed Ph.D. program allows doctoral students to tailor studies to suit their individual public history career goals. Located in the greater Nashville metro area, MTSU sits in the midst of the state’s largest concentration of cultural institutions and heritage sites.

Degrees Offered

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

Program Strengths

  • Archival Practices
  • Historic Preservation
  • Historical Archaeology
  • Local/Community History
  • Museum Studies
  • Oral History
  • Other

Credit Hour Requirements

M.A. thesis option, 33; M.A. non-thesis option, 36; Ph.D., 60 beyond the M.A.

How Many Students are Admitted Annually




Financial Aid Available

In-State Status

Deadline To Apply

See MTSU History Dept. Website

Internship Requirements

M.A., 300-hr internship; Ph.D., one-year residency

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

• Monticello
• Coca-Cola
• Tennessee Historical Commission
• Strawbery Banke Museum
• National Park Service
• Nashville Metro Parks
• For a complete list, go to

Job Placement Assistance

We maintain an extensive network of alumni as well as local, regional, and national professional contacts. Internships often lead to job placement.

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

• NCSU Special Collections Research Center
• Appalachian State University
• North Dakota State University
• Northern Kentucky University
• Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis
• Colorado State Historic Preservation Office
• National Park Service
• Ohio Historical Society
• History Associates, Inc.
• Land Trust for Tennessee
• Tennessee State Library and Archives
• Tennessee State Museum
• Nashville Metropolitan Historical Commission
• East Tennessee Development District
• Blount Mansion, Knoxville
• Museums of Tusculum College
• O’Neil Hagaman LLC, Nashville
• Belmont Mansion, Nashville
• Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
• Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Historic Rock Castle, Hendersonville, TN
• New South Associates, Inc.
• Preservation Chapel Hill, NC
• Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, NC
• Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc.
• Big Thought, Dallas, TX