The graduate program in public history at Texas State was formed in 1997 to address the widespread interest in the practice of history beyond the classroom and to meet the need for trained public history professionals in the state and region. From the outset, the curriculum built on the core functions of public history in the areas of historic preservation, archives, cultural resource management, local and community history, and museums. Internship and project classes were incorporated as integral program elements, anticipating best practice standards articulated in the field over a decade later. Early project work by students included historical resource surveys, partnerships with local history museums, historic landmark nominations and interpretive exhibit proposals.
The program continues to build on this foundation, currently offering more than 20 courses, including such topics as controversies in public history and writing and editing for the public. Students engage in a wide variety of public history practice through course and project work. Examples may be found here. Internships build on student knowledge and deepen experience and skills at sites throughout the U.S. For a full program description click here.
The Public History Certificate Program was initiated in 2007 and has drawn participants from archives, museums, local historical organizations, government agencies and university administrations. It serves an important function complementary to the M.A. program by providing practicing public historians and volunteer board members/staff of historical societies with the opportunity to advance their skills and knowledge of theoretical and methodological approaches in the field.