Master of Arts in Applied History

Shippensburg University’s graduate program in applied history is designed for college graduates seeking advanced historical training and educators seeking professional development opportunities.

The MA in Applied History at Shippensburg University is a flexible program designed to provide educators, public historians, and individuals wishing to pursue advanced graduate work with practical professional training. Our faculty will work closely with you to design a program of study to meet your personal and professional needs.

The MA in Applied History program provides you with practical academic training and experience in:

  • Professional training in historical research and writing
  • Continuing Education for teachers
  • Advanced study in diverse historical field and subjects
  • Preparation for employment in museums, businesses, historical organizations, and government
  • Specialized classes in Museum Studies, Historic Preservation, Archives, Oral History, and Local History Research
  • Specialized Summer K-12 Educators Institute

You may enter the program as a degree candidate or take individual courses as a non-degree student. Graduate credits can fulfill Act 48 requirements and can be applied toward permanent certification in teaching or toward work on a doctorate or other advanced degree.

Cooperative Degree Program in Applied History and Library Science (MA/MSLS)

Shippensburg University's History program and Clarion University's Library Science program participate in a cooperative degree program. Students in this cooperative program earn two degrees: a Master of Arts in Applied History degree, and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science degree. As part of the cooperative agreement, students are allowed to double-count six credits of coursework towards the two degrees. You must apply and be accepted to each program separately to pursue the cooperative degree option. The library science program is offered entirely online. This combination of degrees prepares students for library and research careers in archives, libraries, and with historical organizations.

The Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with a History Concentration is open only to fully certified secondary school social studies teachers. Its purpose is to foster teacher growth through exploration of principles of theory and practice that enhance teaching. This 36-credit program is equally split with 18 credits devoted to education coursework and 18 credits to history coursework. You are not required to complete an internship or thesis for this degree.

The 30-credit Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership with a Concentration in Historical Administration is designed for those students pursuing careers in management and administrative positions. Its objective is to enhance students' understanding of how organizations operate and change over time and the role of leadership in formal and informal settings. Students will have the opportunity to develop historical research skills and familiarity with the methods of applied history. Historical administration students will also complete an administrative internship with a historical institution.

You may also design personalized internship experiences that will meet your educational and professional goals. Shippensburg University is ideally located for gaining practical public history experience. Within an hour's drive, you will find internship opportunities at national, state, and local historical sites. Opportunities are available in Harrisburg (35 miles from Shippensburg), as well as Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, less than 90 minutes away.

Recent graduates have secured teaching positions at community colleges, received admission to doctoral programs, obtained positions in both the public and private sector, and started public history careers with local and county historical societies, as well as national sites such as Gettysburg National Military Park, the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Antietam National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historic Site, and George Washington's Mount Vernon.

The average salary for historians in PA is $56,000.

  • Students will demonstrate an ability to effectively communicate historical scholarship to diverse audiences
  • Graduate students will criticize and evaluate historical scholarship, conduct independent historical research, and express ideas with clarity and precision
  • Students will demonstrate a mastery of the methods of professional practice from at least one of the subfields of Applied History (archives, historic preservation, museum studies, museum education, oral history, historical interpretation, editing and publishing, community history, or digital history)
  • Students will reflect on the mentoring and advising experiences generated by the History Department that helped them to develop as a professional historian and to advance in their professional career
  • Students will demonstrate the skills and knowledge to be effective as a teacher, Ph.D. student, researcher, or Public History practitioner
  • Students will make effective use of technology to communicate and analyze information related to History and the teaching of Social Studies
  • Ability to apply physics knowledge to problems arising in physics and related fields
  • Ability to transfer knowledge and skills to their chosen engineering field

To be eligible to pursue the Master of Arts in Applied History, you must:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Present an official transcript showing at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA for your undergraduate studies. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA lower than 2.75 may be accepted following an interview and review of the statement of purpose.
  • Submit a 500 word statement of purpose through the "Program Statement or Questionnaire" link in your Ship Admission portal.
  • Prospective students are also invited to provide any additional information, letters of recommendation, or writing samples that will allow the history department to assess their potential for graduate studies.

Application Deadline: Applicants are encouraged to have all of their materials submitted by the second Friday in September for spring admission, or by the second Friday in February for summer or fall admission. Qualified individuals who apply after those dates will be accepted to the program if space is available.

This 30-credit degree can be earned in approximately one and one-half to two years of full-time study or several years of part-time study (a maximum of seven years from the start of the program). Master of Arts in Applied History degree candidates must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work.

See the Graduate Catalog for a complete list of required courses.

The Graduate Research Grant Program is designed to provide financial support to graduate students for research or scholarly activities related to their program of study to enable them to better understand the scientific process, experience discovery, develop their analytical and communication skills, and gain exposure to national ideas through the presentation of the results of their research at conferences. Our grant program has funded field and laboratory research as well as computer application and software development. The Graduate Research Grant Program is funded by the School of Graduate Studies and the Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs.  

122-124 Dauphin Humanities Center, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1621
Department Website