Share your love of history with the rest of the world with a bachelor's degree in public history from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Rooted in real-world learning, the growing major offers countless opportunities to expand your perspective and build your resume. Explore museums and historical sites in England and Central Europe during study abroad. Gain professional experience alongside public historians during an internship. And pursue a passion project during a seminar in public history course.
Classes throughout the major will provide you with a strong and diverse background in world history and will introduce you to the theories, concepts, methodologies, research methods and historiographic traditions used by historians. Electives within the degree allow you to study the topics that most interest you and best align with your career goals. As part of a required capstone experience, you'll complete a major research project for presentation, enhancing your writing, reading, communication and analytical skills.
Graduates of UW-Eau Claire's public history major are prepared for a wide range of career options, including work in historic preservation, museums, archives, cultural resource management and contract history, as well as other occupations in the private sector or for government agencies. Whether your dream job is working as a small-exhibit coordinator at a museum or as an executive at a historical society or private company — our program will help you launch an interesting, rewarding and successful career.
UW-Eau Claire has built a supportive community and alumni network that can help students pay for college. Many incoming students are automatically awarded scholarships for having outstanding academic achievements, but additional scholarships also are reserved for students pursuing a degree in public history.
For example, the Gary P. Friedli Memorial Scholarship awards $450 to a history major with good academic standing. Another scholarship, the Jane M. Pederson and Ronald E. Mickel History Scholarship, awards $950 to a student majoring in history who intends to do graduate work in history and pursue a career as a historian.
Learn more about which resources are available to you by checking out our scholarships page.
Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire
Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.
To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop-shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your history degree.
Learn more about our financial aid process at UW-Eau Claire.
Public history program details:
- Program length: four years
- Availability: campus
- This major requires a minor.
- History Enthusiasts of UWEC
- Phi Alpha Theta - Lambda Omicron
Valuable student organizations. As a public history major, you'll have access to relevant and fun student organizations that can help take your learning to the next level. For example, History Enthusiasts of UWEC is a student-run club where you can engage in history-related events, socialize with people who share your interests and learn more about history.
Internship experience. A required internship will allow you to gain professional experience in the field, make valuable professional connections and build your historical knowledge — all while earning course credit. The Wisconsin Historical Society's Northern Field Services Office, which is located in the UWEC history department, helps students find placements in Wisconsin, while other partners help place interns across the nation. Internship sites range from local museums to archives, historical sites, public agencies and private businesses.
Career-enhancing study abroad programs. Public history majors have a unique opportunity to learn about preservation and interpretation in England during a short-term study abroad program created in collaboration with Harlaxton College. They can also choose to participate in a buddy program with the University of Winchester during the school year. These programs allow students to explore the history of another culture and its impact on the rest of the world while helping shape them into culturally competent historians.
Groundbreaking research projects. All history majors at UWEC complete an independent research project as part of their senior capstone thesis. Many Blugolds also choose to participate in research collaborations with department faculty on both national and international topics. This work may lead to research presentations at local, state and national conferences. It also will set you apart, especially when applying to graduate school or when pursuing careers requiring research skills and independent initiative.
The skills public history majors gain in research, analysis and writing are valued by a variety of businesses and public sector employers. Our graduates go on to work for government agencies as researchers, analysts or information processors. They also are employed at museums, libraries, historic preservation agencies or historic parks.
You may also choose to expand your career options by pursuing a master's degree in public history, a degree UW-Eau Claire is proud to offer.
Public history jobs
- Public historian
- Museum curator
- Information processor
- Park ranger
- State records archivist
- Coordinator of library development
I didn't really realize how much I liked history until I was out of high school. In high school, it is all about memorizing dates and events for tests, but the discipline is much more than that. I am drawn to people and their stories and experiences. Everyone sees events from a different perspective and understands it differently. Each variation and experience allows for something new to be understood.
The curriculum within the public history bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire will introduce you to the theory and practice of a variety of history-related pursuits, as well as career options available to public historians. Prior to graduation, you'll complete a seminar in public history, a capstone thesis and an internship in the field. These experiences provide you with professional real-world experience and will prepare you well for your chosen career path.
Classes for public history majors may include:
- World History Since 1500
- United States History to 1877
- Introduction to Research Methods and the Profession
- Introduction to Public History
- American Indian History
- African American Civil Rights Movement, 1914-Present
- The History of Middle Eastern Muslim Women
Learn more about the public history major in the UWEC course catalog.
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