Applied History, Local and Community History Concentration, M.A.

The Master of Arts in Applied History with a concentration in local and community history program trains you to apply the methods and approaches of professional historians to projects focused on telling the stories of local people, places, sites, organizations, and events. You may enter the program as a degree candidate or take individual courses as a non-degree student.

What Will I Learn?

This concentration focuses on learning to use a variety of sources and techniques, including archival research and oral interviews, to examine local history. It also examines diverse ways to share local stories through publications, public programs, exhibits and digital media. As a student of this program you'll have opporutunities to apply what you learn at several local historical sites and at the university's museum The Fashion Archives and Museum. 

What are the requirements for this degree?

You must complete 30 credits to meet degree requirements. As part of these requirements, you may choose either an internship or a thesis option.

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.

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.


Applied History, Community History Research Concentration, M.A. Degree Plan

Full-Time (30 Credits)

First Year

Fall Semester: 9 Credits


Spring Semester: 9 Credits


Second Year

Fall Semester: 6 Credits


Spring Semester: 6 Credits


Planning Notes for all students:

  1. 30 total credits required
  2. Students can begin in any semester or term, including, fall, spring, winter or summer.
  3. Students can take elective courses in any semester or term. See program for list of electives: Applied History, Community History Research Concentration, M.A. 
  4. Students can take core courses in any semester or term.
  5. The above sequence is for illustrative purposes only. Students can tailor their program to their individual needs.

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

This concentration is ideal for librarians, local historians, family and church historians, students wishing to explore community history and pursue advanced training in historical research methods, or individuals seeking a foundation for additional graduate or doctoral studies.

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.

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have on Campus?

Shippensburg is an ideal place to study history because of the many historic sites and resources nearby including Gettysburg National Military Park, the United States Army Heritage and Educational Center, the Pennsylvania State Museum, Shippensburg Station and the Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum, and the Fashion Archives and Museum of Shippensburg University.

Our faculty members each have unique interests and passions. They provide students with personalized attention and advisement through great hands-on experiences such as:

  • Involvement with student groups and activities
  • Research
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Service-learning