Applied History, M.A.

The Master of Arts in Applied History program is flexible and provides educators, public historians and those seeking advanced graduate work with practical professional training. Students in this program can apply what they learn at several nearby historic sites or at the university's museum, The Fashion Archives and Museum. You may enter the program as a degree candidate or take individual courses as a non-degree student.

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What Will I Learn?

This program provides practical academic training and experience through:

  • 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
  • A specialized summer K-12 educators institute

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.

The Graduate Catalog provides details about specific courses and requirements.

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, M.A. Degree Plan

Full-Time (30 Credits)

First Year

Fall Semester: 9 Credits


Spring Semester: 9 Credits

Second Year

Fall Semester: 6 Credits

  • Applied History Skills Elective Credits: 3
  • HIS Elective Credits: 3


Spring Semester: 6 Credits

  • ​HIS Elective Credits: 3
  • HIS Elective Credits: 3


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, 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?

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.

Some specific jobs include:

  • Archivist
  • Museum educator
  • Museum curator
  • Collection manager
  • Historic preservationist
  • Historical administrator
  • Historical interpreters

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