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Applied History, MA

Shippensburg University’s Master of Arts in Applied History trains students as museum professionals, cultural resource managers, and community researchers. The program provides limitless hands-on-learning opportunities at on-campus historical sites and with community partners, so that our graduates can use their skills and knowledge to make a meaningful impact on the world.

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What Will I Learn?

Students can complete this 30-credit degree in approximately one-and-a-half years of full-time study (part-time enrollment also welcome). The program prepares both educators and those pursuing public history through professional training in historical research, writing and practice. Students may also pursue real-world experiences through fieldwork, community based projects, and professional internships. Graduates have applied their expertise to careers in education, government, and at reputable museums and historical sites.

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have?

Applied History faculty are dedicated to helping you tailor your experience - considering and developing your unique interests to prepare you for a world of professional possibilities. Our faculty supports students with personalized attention and advisement.  

Shippensburg is nearby many historically rich sites offering opportunities for research and internships. The program will inspire you with diverse and interesting coursework.  Combined coursework and opportunities offer great hands-on experiences such as:

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

Internship Opportunities

  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • The United States Army Heritage and Education Center
  • The Pennsylvania State Museum
  • Shippensburg Station and the Cumberland Valley Railroad
  • The Fashion Archives and Museum of Shippensburg


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.

The Master of Arts in Applied History with a focus in museum studies program trains you for careers at museums and historic sites. Students of this program will apply what they learn at several nearby historic sites and 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.


The Master of Arts in Applied History with a focus 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.


Shippensburg University’s Applied History program and PennWest’s Library Science program have a cooperative program that allows you to earn two degrees: a Master of Arts in Applied History and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. The Master of Science in Library and Information Science program is offered entirely online.



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.
Contact The History & Philosophy Department Dauphin Humanities Center 122-124 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1621 Fax: (717) 477 - 4062