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Course content

Public history refers to the pursuit of historical understanding and interpretation in the public realm. MTSU was in the first wave of American universities to embrace the study of public history and now offers a master’s degree, doctorate, and advanced certificates. Students pursuing the Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History may choose from five tracks: historic preservation and cultural resource management, museum management, archival management, oral history, and public archaeology. Master’s candidates are exposed to the myriad career possibilities associated with each specialty, helping them select the curriculum best suited to their interests and aspirations. The program carefully balances academic historical methods and scholarship; the intellectual foundations and nature of public history; and professional development in several areas. To prepare students for professional practice, the program partners with a number of on-campus centers and initiatives, including the Center for Historic Preservation, Albert Gore Research Center, Center for Popular Music, and Walker Library digital collections.
Public historians work in a wide range of professional settings with public audiences of all ages. Potential employers include archives, museums, historic organizations, historical societies, historic sites, private consulting firms, and historical agencies at all levels of government. Examples of career possibilities with an advanced degree in public history include:

Architectural historian
College professor/instructor
Cultural heritage manager
Cultural resources manager
Digital librarian/cataloger
Historic preservation planner
Museum/collections curator or administrator
Oral historian
Public archaeologist

Employers of MTSU alumni include:

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
American Association for State and Local History
Belle Meade Plantation
Belmont Mansion
East Tennessee Historical Society
Historic Home of T.R.R. Cobb
Historical Association of Catawba County, N.C.
History Center, Diboll, Texas
Huntsville (Ala.) Historic Preservation Commission
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Land Trust for Tennessee
Manzanar National Historic Site
Maymont Foundation, Richmond, Va.
Metro Nashville Arts Commission
Mike Curb Archives
New South Associates
Ohio History Connection
President James K. Polk Ancestral Home
Rutherford County Archives
Tennessee Agricultural Museum
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Tennessee State Library and Archives
Thomason & Associates
Vicksburg (Miss.) Foundation for Historic Preservation
Williamson County Archives and Museum
War in the Pacific National Hist





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