UW-Eau Claire's master of arts in history - public history program prepares students for a wide range of career options by familiarizing them with museum work, historic preservation, archives and other public history subfields. The program is designed so graduate students can prepare themselves in an area of expertise that best meets their interests and needs. Areas of expertise may be defined by broad themes, topics, chronology or geography.
Many of the courses throughout the program are chosen by you, giving you the ability to personalize your degree and align it with your career goals. Choose from a variety of history courses, including those related to American history, American Indian history, public history, modern military history, comparative world cultures and women’s history.
Students are able to further customize their experience at UW-Eau Claire by choosing between three program options: 1) a 30-credit thesis option; 2) a 30-credit thesis and practicum option; or 3) a 33-credit non-thesis option. All three paths are rooted in experiential education, providing countless opportunities to connect with local organizations, secure internships and get involved in the growing field. They also include incredible support and guidance from faculty mentors and advisors, who will work with you directly in planning and designing your degree.
Whether your goal is to work for a government agency as a researcher or analyst, curate museums, preserve historical sites or become an executive at a historical society, our supportive, expert faculty — combined with a rigorous, experiential curriculum — will prepare you well for a successful and rewarding career.
Beneficial, on-campus facilities. While pursuing your master of arts in history - public history, you'll have direct access to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Division of Public History and Historic Preservation, which houses its Northern Field Services Office in the history department. The Field Services program provides programming and assistance to history and preservation organizations statewide and regularly collaborates with the public history program to coordinate internships and other opportunities.
Strong community partnerships. The public history program also works closely with UW-Eau Claire's Special Collections and Archives, which regularly hosts interns. The archives area is home to one of a network of 14 Area Research Centers (ARCs), which the Wisconsin Historical Society and UW System administer cooperatively, providing students access to the resources of the society as well as the other 13 ARCs.
Real-world experience. A required internship in public history gives you both course credit and firsthand experience in the field. Working under supervised assignment at either a museum, archive site, historical site or other agency, you'll learn what it's like working as a public historian. Projects within the internship will also give you the opportunity to apply research skills and knowledge of history to help solve community problems.
Exceptional faculty. UW-Eau Claire is known for its top-notch faculty, including those you'll learn from while working toward your degree. In fact, two of our history professors have been recipients of Wisconsin Professor of the Year awards. The history department also was a recent recipient of the University of Wisconsin Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Academic Departments and Programs.
- Program length: two years
- Offered: in person
- Campus: Eau Claire
- Credits: 30 (with thesis), 30 (with thesis and practicum) or 33 (no thesis)
- Cost per credit: $522
- Students will earn a Master of Arts (MA) degree.
UW-Eau Claire's public history master's program is designed to provide training and experience in the career fields in which public history practitioners work. This includes positions in historic preservation, historic sites and museums. And thanks to the broad training and real-world experience students get, our graduates have no trouble finding jobs upon graduation.
Those pursuing their master of arts in history - public history at UWEC will choose between three program options: a 30-credit program including a thesis, a 30-credit program including a thesis and a practicum, and a 33-credit, non-thesis program.
While pursuing your degree, you can expect close supervision and guidance from a faculty mentor. A counseling and advising system has also been devised with the intention of providing each student with a personalized program encompassing both breadth and depth. Your advisor will work with you directly to design a plan that will allow for the completion of program requirements in the most efficient way possible while studying the topics that most interest you.
No matter your path, curriculum throughout all three programs will teach you to appreciate the historical method of searching for truth, make judgments about concrete issues and exercise careful analysis along the way. Graduates leave able to gather, analyze and present material, and understand the complexity of human history and historical developments.
What classes do master of arts in history - public history students take?
Your classes may cover topics like:
- Trends in history
- Readings in European history
- Museum work
- Major issues of historical debate
- Historic preservation
- Readings in world history
Learn more about the history - public history master's degree in the UWEC course catalog.
To apply to the MA in history program, please submit:
- A completed graduate application.
- The required application fee.
- Official transcripts from all postsecondary schools attended.
- A letter of intent stating, as precisely as possible, your special area of interest in history as well as career goals and expectations.
- Three letters of recommendation from professionals who are familiar with your past work and potential to do graduate work. These letters also may be used for applying for graduate assistantships and fellowships.
- A research paper or a writing sample of at least 10 pages in length.
Application deadlines and information
Applications for the fall semester are due by March 1. Applications for the spring semester are due by Jan. 1. Applications are accepted until seats are filled.
Note: The department admits the best-qualified applicants from a pool each year depending on available space in the program and its assessment of a student’s potential for graduate work. Students normally are admitted from this pool for the fall semester and should have completed their applications by March 1. Students may occasionally be admitted for spring semester or the summer session if their qualifications and space in the program permit.
Please send materials to:
Schofield Hall 111
Eau Claire WI 54702-4004
Applying for graduate assistantships, fellowships or the AOP
To apply for a graduate assistantship, fellowship or the Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP), please also complete the online Graduate Assistantship/Fellowship/AOP Application. Applications completed by March 1 will receive priority consideration for assistantships, fellowships and AOP grants. Applications completed thereafter will continue to be considered on a rolling basis.
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
- A minimum of 24 semester credits of undergraduate history. The department strongly recommends at least 30 semester credits.
- A GPA of at least 3.0 in the second half of all undergraduate work and a 3.30 GPA in the history concentration.
- Completion of an undergraduate research seminar involving the writing of a major research paper.
It is also strongly recommended that a student have completed two years of foreign language study at the college level.
The department may consider the admission of a student whose GPA and/or other qualifications do not meet all those specified above where there is convincing evidence that the student is capable of performing satisfactory graduate work in the department.
For more information, please contact: