Professional Training and Development

To ensure that students build networks within and outside UMass Boston, the Public History Track requires students to participate in four skills-based programs during the course of their graduate career. Even students attending UMass Boston part-time should be able to meet the requirements before graduation if they do one professional development activity per semester.

Students will be encouraged to attend workshops, seminars, conferences, webinars, or institutes related to public history, digital humanities, or community engagement. Students should inquire with the director of public history before selecting a specific program. Only one of four programs can be virtual. These opportunities will offer public history students familiarity and training in a variety of professional skill areas important in the work of public historians and provide crucial venues and practice in networking.

These development opportunities can include attending conferences and workshops of relevant organizations such as New England Museum Association, Mass Humanities, National Council on Public History, American Association for State and Local History, The American Alliance of Museums, Society of American Archivists, Oral History Association, American Historical Association, or Organization of American Historians. Students may elect to join one of these organizations to take advantage of their multiple program offerings. Students can also receive credit for the HGSA History conference if they present there. Students should be aware that they may be asked to write a short reflection on one or each of these events and post it on joint UMass Boston Public History and Archives website along with at least one visual aid.

Programs that are passive in nature (attending an academic lecture, going to a museum, etc) are not considered skill-based and will not be accepted as fulfilling this requirement. Below are some examples of what can be considered "skill-based programs." As the list demonstrates, students can participate in these programs at little to no cost.

There are multiple opportunities out there for aspiring public historians. Students should consult with the public history director or the public history internship coordinator before participating in a program to ensure that such a program meets the requirements.

In order to receive credit for the Professional Training and Development requirement, students must submit proper documentation (confirmation letter, receipt, name tag, etc.) to the director of public history, who will keep track of students’ progress. Students who write a thesis must complete the Professional Training and Development requirement before they schedule a thesis defense. Students who write a capstone will not receive their final capstone grade until they have completed the Professional Training and Development requirement.

For additional resources for History MA students, as well as postings about jobs, internships, and local events, please go here.