College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

Department of History/Philosophy

122-124 Dauphin Humanities Center
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA
(717) 477-1621
Department Website
Dr. Steve Burg, Department Chair
Dr. John Bloom, Graduate Advisor


spacer image


Academic Master Plan

spacer image

Related Links

Semester Information

Academic Affairs Directory [PDF]


Graduate Studies

Provost's Office

Registrar's Office

Professional, Continuing, and Distance Education

Our Ranking

spacer image


Office of the Provost
OM 308
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371 

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: (717) 477-1148
Fax: (717) 477-4016 

spacer image

Applied History - Master of Arts

AppliedHistory.Fausner   “Ship’s Applied History program blends a traditional academic history graduate program with a public history program. This diverse training allows for more options in the job market.”
~Michael Fauser
Program      Degree Requirements  Internships   Dual M.A./M.S.L.S. 
Degree Options   Admission Requirements 



Tailored to Meet Your Needs and Interests

Shippensburg University’s graduate program in applied history is designed for college graduates seeking advanced historical training and educators seeking professional development opportunities. Students may also pursue a dual master’s degree in applied history and library science (M.A./M.S.L.S.) offered in coordination with Clarion University.

The graduate program in applied history is a flexible program designed to provide educators, public historians, and individuals wishing to pursue advanced graduate work with practical professional training. Our faculty work one-on-one with students to design a program of study to meet their personal and professional needs.

For those seeking careers in the field of public history, the program offers coursework in archives, museum studies, oral history, local history, and historic preservation, as well as professional internships to prepare students for employment in museums, historical institutions, and at historic sites. Educators will find a diverse array of courses in United States history, world history, and historical methods that will deepen their historical knowledge and provide new resources for classroom use. The curriculum provides a rigorous historical training, including the option to write a master’s thesis, that can also prepare students for further graduate work. 

The Masters in Applied History Program

The M.A. program in applied history provides students with practical academic training and experience in the following areas:

  • 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.

Degree Requirements

The 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). To be awarded the Master of Arts in Applied History degree, you must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work, distributed as follows:

Required Courses (12 credits):
  • HIS 600: Computerized Historical Research Methods (3 credits) or HIS 601: Research in Local and Regional History
  • HIS 501: Introduction to Applied History (3 credits)
  • A 6-credit thesis or 6-credit supervised internship

Restricted/Free Electives (9 credits) are chosen within the following fields:

  • History of the Americas (3 credits)
  • Global Connections/Comparisons (3 credits)
  • Applied History Skills (3 credits)
Free Electives (9 credits)


You can design a personalized internship experience that will meet your educational needs and professional interests. Shippensburg University is ideally located for gaining practical public history experience. Within an hour’s drive, students 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.

Some of our students’ recent internship experiences include:

  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission&
  • The Army Heritage and Education Center
  • The Smithsonian Institute National Museum of American History
  • Cumberland County Historical Society
  • Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  • York Heritage Trust
  • C & O National Historical Park

Degree Options

Dual Master’s Degrees in Applied History and Library Science

(M.A./M.S.L.S — 54 Credits)

You may enroll simultaneously in Shippensburg University’s Master of Arts in Applied History program and Clarion University’s Master of Science in Library Science program. If enrolled in both programs, you may double-count 6 credits, enabling both degrees to be earned through a total of 54 credit hours of coursework. You must apply and be accepted in each program separately to pursue the dual-degree option. The library science program is offered entirely online. This degree prepares students for library and research careers in archives, libraries, and historical societies.

Other Options for Graduate Studies In History:

Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with a History Concentration (36 credits)

This graduate program leads to a master of education degree with emphasis on curriculum & instruction. This program 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 degree program requires a completion of 36 graduate semester hour credits. Eighteen credit hours will be devoted to graduate coursework in education and eighteen credit hours to graduate coursework in history. Students are not required to complete an internship or thesis for this degree.

Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership with a Concentration in Historical Administration (30 credits)

The Organizational Development and Leadership Program 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. In addition, 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.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible to pursue a master of arts degree 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 grade point average for your undergraduate studies.
  • Complete a 500-word statement of purpose discussing your reason for pursuing graduate studies in applied history. This should include a discussion of prior training and professional goals and how this program will be influenced by both.
  • 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.

Individuals possessing less than a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average may be accepted following an interview and the submission of a 500-word statement of purpose (described above).

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.

Career Options

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.


Steven B. Burg, Ph.D., Chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999. Specialty areas: Public history, modern U.S., public policy 

Kwabena Akurang-Parry, Ph.D., York University, 1998. Specialty areas: Africa, comparative slavery, labor and gender in colonial Ghana, and cultural studies 

John D. Bloom, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1991. Specialty areas: U.S. cultural history, oral history, Pennsylvania history, public history 

Catherine B. Clay, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1989. Specialty areas: Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, comparative women 

Betty A. Dessants, Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley, 1995. Specialty areas: U.S. foreign relations, 20th-century U.S., teaching methods 

Allen Dieterich-Ward, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2006. Specialty areas: U.S. environmental, public history 

David F. Godshalk, Ph.D., Yale University, 1992. Specialty areas: African-American history, U.S. social history, American South 

Kim M. Klein, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1998. Specialty areas: Colonial and revolutionary America, Canada 

Chandrika Paul, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 1997. Specialty areas: South Asia, Southeast Asia, comparative women, British Empire 

Gretchen K. Pierce, Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2008. Specialty areas: Latin America, Mexico, comparative revolutions, temperance, and gender 

Susan Rimby, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1992. Specialty areas: Teaching methods, women, U.S. labor 

John W. Quist, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1992. Specialty areas: 19th-century America, Civil War, reconstruction 

Christine K. Senecal, Ph.D., Boston College, 1999. Specialty areas: Early medieval Europe, ancient Rome, Byzantium 

Robert Shaffer, Ph.D., Rutgers University. Specialty areas: U.S. foreign relations, 20th-century America 

Jonathan K. Skaff, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1998. Specialty areas: China, Japan, Inner Asia 

Mark E. Spicka, Ph.D., Ohio State University. Specialty areas: Germany, Modern Europe 

Allan A. Tulchin, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2000. Specialty areas: Early Modern France, religion 

Brian J. Ulrich, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 2008. Specialty areas: Middle East and Islam 

Our historians are dedicated scholars and enthusiastic teachers eager to pass on their passion for the study of history. As you consider your options for the future, do not hesitate to contact us with questions about our M.A. program in applied history.