History, Public History Concentration, B.A.

The Bachelor of Arts in History with a Public History Concentration program introduces you to the specialized methods used by history professionals. This concentration has a strong national reputation because it is one of the oldest undergraduate programs of its kind in the country. This concentration is ideal for students who love history and want to work in the field.

What Will I Learn?

The program focuses on providing you with an understanding of the field of public history, as well as introducing you to the specialized skills and techniques used by historians working in public settings.

Through guest speakers and hands-on activities performed in class and at area historical institutions, you will learn about the work of public historians in areas such as archives, historical editing, oral history, material culture studies, museums, historic preservations, digital history, and historical film productions. Special emphasis is placed on the financial, legal, ethical, political and interpretative issues faced by historians presenting the past to diverse audiences, and recent public history controversies.

Public history courses are taught by faculty members who have worked in the field.

Peyton Bramble cheering from stands of Seth Grove Stadium

Meet Peyton Bramble

"I plan to go into the museum field and so the various skills and tasks that I’m accomplishing are definitely building and preparing me to go into that field."

How Peyton Found Success at Ship

What are the requirements for this degree?

There are 42 credits (including internship credits) needed in this concentration on top of other degree requirements. You are also required to assemble and submit a portfolio to document your academic growth and major accomplishments.

The Undergraduate Catalog breaks down specific requirements and details about course offerings.

Students pursuing careers in public history should declare a minor. Popular minors include:

  • Public administration
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Technical/professional communications

Certification in GIS is recommended for students seeking work with historic preservation or cultural resources.

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

If you are interested in working for museums, historical societies or archives, entering this program is a great first step.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in History can pursue an accelerated Master of Arts in Applied History through the 4+1 B.A./M.A. program.

Wages

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have on Campus?

Internships, guest speakers, field trips and community-based service learning projects complement your academic experience. This allows you to get significant training and hands-on experience while pursuing employment and/or an advanced degree. Nearby sites that offer opportunities for Ship students include:

  • Fashion Archives Museum of Shippensburg University
  • Cumberland County Historical Society
  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Pennsylvania State Museum and Archives
  • United States Army Heritage and Education Center
  • United States Civil War Museum

You can also join the History Club to take part in activities and field trips to historical sites, as well as Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. The student-run organization also connects with alumni often, allowing you to learn about careers through lectures, workshops and shared experiences. Ship also has an active chapter of Pi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, for those who qualify.