UMass Boston

Public History Certificate

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Develop your career as a public history professional.

The Certificate in Public History is a graduate-level certificate for students enrolled in other MA programs at UMass Boston, or those who already hold an MA in a related field, such as History, Anthropology, Historical Archaeology, American Studies, English, or other fields. In all cases, the certificate provides training that supports career development for public history professionals. It does not confer an MA degree.

The Certificate in Public History offers knowledge and practical experience in the theories, issues and methods of public history practice, preparing students for work in a variety of public history venues, such as museums, archives, historical organizations and historic sites. With its focus on collaborative practice and community partnership, public history training can be useful in other contexts and fields as well.

Certificate Requirements

Students who graduate with a public history certificate will take an introductory course in the field’s historiography and theories, a course on interpretive methods and practice in public history, an internship consisting of 120 hours of supervised work under the direction a professional public historian, and three skills-based elective courses.

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How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (or international equivalent) in all undergraduate work
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of recognized standing or an international equivalent at the time of enrollment
  • Official transcripts for all institutions where you have earned more than 6 credits
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores (GRE recommended but not required)
  • If applicable, request official TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo scores to be sent to the University of Massachusetts Boston

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: April 15 for fall

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Required Courses (9 Credits)

  • HIST 620 - Introduction to Public History and Popular Memory 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 625 - Interpreting History in Public Approaches to Public History Practice 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 698 - Internship in Public History 3 Credit(s)

Electives (9 Credits)

Complete three from below.

  • HIST 627 - Archival Methods and Practices 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 630 - Transforming Archives and History in the Digital Era 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 688 - Oral History 3 Credit(s)
  • ANTH 635 - Material Life in New England 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 18 credits from six courses including three required courses and three electives.

Statute of limitations: Three years


Director of the Public History Track Jane Becker
jane.becker [at]
(617) 287-6885

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History Department

The History Department equips students for success by exploring how past societies grappled with complex challenges. It explores how people have structured & managed their relationships with one another; how and why those structures and relationships changed over time; and how globalization has shaped life, identity, opportunity, and justice. Studying history deepens our understanding of the human condition and of how the past continues to shape our lives today.

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