Master of Arts in Applied History

Why Study 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.

Why Study Applied History at Ship

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.

Shippensburg University’s Master of Arts in Applied History program and Clarion University’s Master of Science in Library Science program enables you to earn a dual-degree after completing 54 credits. 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 you for library and research careers in archives, libraries, and historical societies.

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.

Career Opportunities and Salary Expectations

    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.

    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.
    • 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 both will influence this program. Please submit this as a PDF or Word document to
    • 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