VCU launches public history certificate program
March 19, 2018
Graduate Certificate in Public History
In the Fall 2018 semester, the Department of History at VCU will begin offering a new Graduate Certificate in Public History. This post-baccalaureate certificate can be pursued alone or in conjunction with the department’s current Master of Arts degree.
The purpose of the proposed graduate certificate program is to prepare students for professional work in the field of public history. This field can be defined as the practice of history outside the classroom, and it encompasses a wide range of careers including curators, interpreters, researchers, archivists, editors, administrators, and historic preservation specialists.
This is a relatively new and important historical field. The National Council on Public History, an affiliated society of the American Historical Association, is the field’s primary professional organization. Faculty in VCU’s Department of History have a record of expertise in the field, and students have the opportunity for unparalleled internship experience among the state capital’s cultural institutions.
The graduate certificate will help current public history professionals develop their skills and attain credentials. It will help educators redirect their teaching techniques for different audiences. And it will help those new to the field gain experience as well as an understanding of the enterprise as a whole. Students currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in History program may wish to earn the certificate as a supplement to their degree.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, with some prior experience in the humanities. Applications should consist of a statement of intent, undergraduate transcripts, and three letters of recommendation from references. The application deadline for Fall admission is July 1. Application instructions can be found at https://www.vcu.edu/admissions/apply/graduate/
The certificate requires fifteen credit hours. Accordingly, the program could be completed in as little as one year, though part-time options are available.