Program Introduction

Students in UNCW's Public History Program receive a Master in Arts in History, with a concentration in public history. Through the program, our students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to begin careers in museums, historic sites, archives, and historic preservation agencies. Our students have diverse opportunities to explore and learn many aspects of public history practice, including collections care and management, museum education, historic site interpretation, historic house museum administration, historic preservation, museum administration, archives management, and digital media. Faculty have particular strengths in material culture, historical interpretation, and historic site administration.

Degrees Offered

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

Program Strengths

  • Archival Practices
  • Digital Media
  • Historic Preservation
  • Historical Administration
  • Local/Community History
  • Material Culture
  • Museum Studies

Credit Hour Requirements


How Many Students are Admitted Annually


MAs produced last year


Financial Aid Available

Teaching Assistantships
In-state tuition

Deadline To Apply

Generally February 15, but sometimes flexibility possible

Internship Requirements

Students are required to complete 6 credits (approximately 400-450 hours) in practica at local public history institutions. Practica are arranged in consultation with the program director and are jointly supervised by the program director and public history professionals in the field.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
  • Burgwin-Wright House
  • Historic Wilmington Foundation
  • Bellamy Mansion
  • UNCW Archives
  • UNCW Special Collections
  • Wrightsville Beach Museum

Job Placement Assistance

The required practica allow students to engage directly with the professional public history institutions, which regularly offer our students and graduates paid employment, both full- and part-time. The program director (a former museum director) is readily available for career counseling.

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

  • Atlanta History Center
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Old Baldy Lighthouse and Smith Island Museum
  • The Children’s Museum of Wilmington
  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
  • Burgwin-Wright House
  • Bellamy Mansion
  • Cameron Museum of Art
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • Durham Technical Community College
  • Gary Player Group (Archives)