Public History

The Public History concentration within UNC Charlotte’s graduate history program offers students a unique combination of courses, as well as opportunities to learn new skills. In addition to our core courses in digital history, historic preservation and museum studies, students may also take electives in other programs such as Public Policy, Architecture, and Public Administration. The program’s new media emphasis helps students consider how new media can transform the public presentation of history while learning the digital skills to craft multimedia presentations of their work. It allows students interested in a variety of historical fields to create public history projects. Public historians with digital skills are competitive in the public history job market; moreover, the combination of traditional history training with these skills offers graduates a variety of alternative career choices in, for example, web development, public relations, and business. (Note: Students are not expected to have new media expertise upon entering the program.)

What is Public History?

Generally speaking, public history involves the presentation of historical knowledge to the public, or exchanging that knowledge with the public, in a variety of places, and in a variety of ways. Public historians have traditional academic training in combination with practical experience in public history settings.

Where is public history practiced?

  • Museums
  • Historic sites
  • Archives
  • Libraries
  • Historical organizations & associations
  • Through websites
  • NGOs and non-profits
  • Local, state & national government
  • U.S. military
  • Businesses/corporations

What kind of job can I get with public history training?

  • Curator
  • Museum/historic site educator
  • Historic preservation specialist
  • Archivist
  • Researcher/historian with historical agency
  • Writer/editor
  • Living history specialist/historical interpretation
  • Journalist
  • Oral historian
  • Historical consultant
  • Corporate historian
  • Historian for a trade/labor or other non-profit organization
  • Web writer/editor (with some training in technology)

For questions about the program, please contact Dr. Tina Shull, Director.


Karen Cox
Karen Flint
Willie Griffin
Heather Perry
Jill Massino
Tina Shull
John David Smith