The Master of Arts in Public History provides training in the research methods and practical skills needed for work in archives, museums, historic preservation, and other areas of public history. The program recently added preparation in digital skills to each part of the curriculum. The MA degree has three components: a core segment with internship and thesis, a traditional history segment, and an applied segment. Professionals in the field teach the applied courses. In each segment students combine theoretical knowledge and historical analysis with practical projects.
The program’s website provides more detailed information.
- Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale) or 3.0 in the last 60 hours.
- At least 15 undergraduate history hours with a grade average of 3.25 or above in all history classes (or the completion of specific preparatory classes).
- Two letters of recommendation, preferably from persons familiar with applicant’s academic work or related work experience, sent to the History Department’s Graduate Coordinator.
- Statement of Purpose: In an essay of 750-1,000 words, explain why you want to pursue the MA in public history and how this degree will advance your career or intellectual interests. Consider including your choice of one of our academic tracks: archival studies, museum studies, or historic preservation. (NOTE: This is not simply an autobiographical statement.)
- One of the following:
- Graduate Record Examination scores of at least 152 on the verbal section and at least 142 on the quantitative section, or scores of at least 152 on the verbal section and 3.5 on the writing section.
- Writing sample: Submit a writing sample, preferably an academic paper of approximately 2,500 words.The writing sample must include a title page with the following information: applicant’s name, original date of submission, and a brief explanation (2-3 sentences) of why you chose to submit the essay.
Students admitted conditionally must complete twelve hours with grades of B or greater before changing to regular status.
Up to six hours of equivalent courses in history, an approved applied area, or suitable general electives may be transferred from other accredited institutions, with approval of the program coordinator and Graduate School dean. Credit may not be applied to HIST 7311 , HIST 7315 , HIST 7391 , HIST 7398 , HIST 7399 , or HIST 7699 .
Special students may take program courses with the recommendation of the program coordinator and may later apply the credit to the program if they are admitted.
The Public History degree requires 36 graduate credit hours, including 18 core hours, nine traditional history hours, nine applied hours, and thesis defense. Core hours include three hours of internship and six hours of a thesis with an oral defense. Up to twelve 5000-level hours may be taken. Courses must have grades of B or greater to count toward the degree.
Students pursuing the Master’s Degree in Public History at UALR have the three following degree plans from which to choose.
Plan I – Students can focus on archives, museums, historic preservation, or digital public history.
Plan II – Students can focus on historical research to prepare for a doctoral program.
Plan III – Students can focus on education, including teaching or museum education.
The applied segment offers emphases in archives, museum studies, and historic preservation and restoration. At least six of the nine applied hours must be in one of these emphases with the remaining three hours selected in consultation with the program coordinator. Students may, with the coordinator’s approval, design an individual plan of study in this segment.
The oral exam covers the thesis. The examining committee, appointed by the Graduate School dean on recommendation of the program coordinator, includes at least the student’s thesis advisor, a history faculty member, and a member of the UALR faculty at large.