Public History

The Public History Program at ASU is one of the oldest in the country. Founded in 1980, it invites students to explore local and community history, digital humanities, historic preservation, oral history, cultural resources management, historical administration, museum studies, archival training and scholarly publishing. We train students to put history to work in the world—in National Parks, museums, universities, archives and the private sector.

Public History at ASU provides a competitive program of grant funding to cover the costs of travel to conferences, supports the development of internships, offers possibilities for paid research assistance through existing community-based public history projects and connects students to a network of regional and national professionals in the field. Graduates of the M.A. and Ph.D. program hold professional positions in historic preservation, government service and archival management, as well as faculty positions at Baylor University, Central Connecticut State University and West Virginia University.

Training at ASU emphasizes the intersection of theory and practice in public history. Students work with faculty conducting research in a variety of historical and applied fields, from archives and museum studies to historic preservation and digital humanities. A professional experience helps students to develop their networks and introduces students to the process and settings in which they will build careers. Short-courses, a unique feature of the ASU program, introduce students to leading thinkers and field professionals, providing insights and connections to the international professional community. ASU believes that public history training must move beyond the classroom. We treat Arizona as a living museum. With our students and community partners, we curate the region’s rich environmental landscapes from its cities to rivers to deserts.

Faculty members embrace a breadth of research fields, geographically, temporally and thematically. Public history students frequently tailor their program of study with courses from various disciplines such as Anthropology, Public Programs, Public Administration, Museum Studies, Urban Planning, Geography, Religious Studies, Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, American Indian Studies, Transborder Studies and Sustainability, among others. 

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