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Public History Program

Do you have a passion for history?

Do you aspire to bring history alive for people from all walks of life?

Come to the University West Georgia and prepare yourself for a career in public history.

West Georgia offers an exciting program with plenty of opportunity to gain hands-on experience and to learn and network with public historians and organizations around the region and throughout the United States.

We offer an M.A. in History, with a concentration in public history; a graduate Certificate in Museum Studies with the Atlanta History Center; and a graduate “add-on” Certificate in Public History. For undergraduate students, we provide a variety of classes, internships, and work experience to introduce you to the field.

Why West Georgia?

The Public History program at the University of West Georgia stands apart from other public history programs because of the diversity of “real-world” experiences that we offer to our students. We have:

  • A partnership with the Georgia Humanities Council to collaborate on a range of projects, including the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program and the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
  • A partnership with the National Park Service Southeast Regional Office through the Piedmont South Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit (PSAC CESU), which includes archival and other National Park Service parks.
  • Our Museum Studies program with the Atlanta History Center, begun in 2000, that allows students to learn from the museum staff and undertake real-world projects at the AHC
  • Internship opportunities with an array of local, state, and national public history organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street program
  • Countless other projects on a host of topics to suit almost any interest. We offer unparalleled opportunities to undertake research and to develop creative ways to present that research to the public. We’ve done work with foodways, roots music, the textile industry, Native American history, military history, rural life, historic architecture, and women’s history, among others. Our students develop exhibits, CD recordings, walking trails and tour maps, oral history and archival projects, websites, documentary videos, concerts, and a range of public programs.

In addition to offering valuable “hands-on” work experiences, our popular graduate research assistantships at the Center for Public History also include a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend.

What can you study?

West Georgia promises academic excellence in a personal environment. Our classes are small, and students work closely with faculty members to explore areas of interest. Public history advisors help tailor a student's coursework to his or her particular academic and career interests.

We offer a wide range of public history courses in oral history, historic architecture, folklife, material culture, archives, and digital history, as well as special topics such as interpretation of Civil War battlefields and documentary film making. Our Museum Studies Certificate includes classes in museum education and interpretation, exhibits, administration, and collections management.

Public History students can explore academic fields including U.S. History, Southern History, Atlantic World, War and Society, History of Religion, World and European History or develop their own fields such as Women’s History.

Explore your horizons. Study Public History at the University of West Georgia.