Public History

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Public History and Humanities

Department Chair: Glenn Johnston, Ph.D.

Description

Students at Stevenson University who wish to concentrate their studies in history should choose the University’s public history major, part of the Department of Humanities and Public History at the University. One of the nation’s few four-year undergraduate majors in the field, Stevenson's public history major provides students the breadth of a traditional American history major, combined with the opportunity to study and practice the public presentation of history through specialized coursework and internships. Stevenson’s major in public history is distinctive because of its strong liberal arts context which provides students the opportunity to examine history from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students of public history master a body of knowledge about the past, and they also gain the ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate historical evidence; to apply historical perspective to contemporary issues; and to honor historical interpretation coming from those of diverse cultural traditions and values, all with the goal of conveying historical understanding to members of the general public.

The two primary objectives of the public history program are 1) to lay a solid foundation in general historical knowledge and methodology focused on the United States as part of an undergraduate liberal arts education and 2) to offer public history majors the specialized knowledge, skills, and real-world experience in internships and upper-level public history courses to make a career in public history or a related field a reality. Public history majors can pursue a number of different careers following graduation, such as teaching, museum administration, journalism, film-making, law, historical archeology, and government service.

The History Forum (HIST 100), a frequent gathering of all public history majors and faculty, sponsors special speakers and arranges other enrichment activities to enhance these two primary objectives of the major. Public history majors are required to attend mandatory History Forum meetings. In addition, students who are new to the public history major (traditional University freshmen, transfer students, and students who are declaring a public history major for the first time) are required to complete a special section of First Year Seminar that is designed specifically for new public history majors and focuses on strategies for promoting success in the major.

Students interested in majoring in public history should contact the humanities and public history department chairperson.

Objectives

Upon graduation from the Stevenson University, Public History Program a Public History major will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Articulate the significance of various historical periods, persons, events, ideas, and themes in history with a special focus on United States history.
  2. Analyze historical events, texts, and artifacts using the concepts of context, historical causation, conflict, and change over time.
  3. Evaluate the significance of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sex, and religion, as factors in history and in its presentation to the public.
  4. Create research-based history products for the public as well as for traditional historians.
  5. Locate and evaluate examples of public history projects that faced issues of an ethical, practical, or interdisciplinary nature.
  6. Participate in the community of historical practice both within the Stevenson Public History Program and the larger community.
  7. Make informed academic and career choices based on self-determined goals.

Policies

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the major.  The lowest acceptable grade is a “C” in all courses listed in the major under “Program Requirements” for the major, including both courses in the major and SEE courses required by the major. No student, regardless of major, will be permitted to advance to the next course without earning a grade of "C" or better in the prerequisite course(s). When a grade below "C" is earned in a core major course, the student must repeat that course.

In order to enroll in the required history internship (HIST 450), seniors must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 and second semester juniors must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.

Requirements

The courses listed below are required for completion of the bachelor’s degree in public history. Students must also complete the requirements for the Stevenson Educational Experience (SEE).

Specific pre- and co-requisites for each course are listed in the course descriptions.

Public history majors are required to complete 45 credits (15 courses) from the courses listed below as indicated. Students must also complete the 1-credit HIST 100 every semester while enrolled in the public history program. In addition, students who are new to the public history major (traditional University freshmen, transfer students, and students who are declaring a public history major for the first time) are required to complete a special section of the 1-credit First-Year Seminar that is designed specifically for new public history majors. HIST 450 is a variable credit course (3, 6, or 9) based on the number of hours associated with the internship.  Interns earn roughly three credits for every 120 hours worked during the internship.

Major Requirements:

Students must also complete HIST 100 every semester while enrolled in the public history program.

FYS 100First Year Seminar

1 credit

HIST 100History Forum

1 credit

HIST 105World History I

3 credits

HIST 106World History II

3 credits

HIST 109The United States: Colonial America to 1877

3 credits

HIST 110The United States: 1877 to Present

3 credits

HIST 208Introduction to Public History

3 credits

HIST 209Research and Writing in History

3 credits

HIST 410The Great Historians

3 credits

HIST 411Senior Seminar

3 credits

HIST 450Public History Internship

Variable credits

General History Elective Courses

Students are required to take five courses from general history elective courses.  Three of these courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.

HIST 210African American History

3 credits

HIST 211Topics in History

3 credits

HIST 220American History and Community Service

3 credits

HIST 238History of Baltimore

3 credits

HIST 265History of the Family

3 credits

HIST 270Revolutionary America

3 credits

HIST 311Topics in General History

3 credits

HIST 330Riches, Radicals, and Reformers: 1877-1920

3 credits

HIST 336The American Civil War

3 credits

HIST 337The United States: The Sixties

3 credits

HIST 339The United States Since 1970

3 credits

Public History Elective Courses

Students are required to take two courses from the public history elective courses.  HIST 312 is repeatable for credit when the topic is different.

HIST 211Topics in History

3 credits

HIST 312Topics in Public History

3 credits

HIST 325Fieldwork in Archival Operations

3 credits

HIST 331American Material Culture

3 credits

Suggested Course Sequence

2019-2020 Public History SCS

Minor in History

The minor in history requires successful completion of a minimum of six courses and 18 credits with an HIST prefix. Please see the public history department chairperson for more information. General guidelines regarding minors may be found in the Minors section of the catalog.

Other Options

BA Option: Students also have the option of completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public History. The student must fulfill all SEE requirements, program requirements, and complete two semesters of a foreign language from the point of placement or completion of 202 level.

Course Descriptions

See Public History Course Descriptions

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