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Explore Public History

A specialization in public history prepares masters students in history for a career outside the traditional classroom.  Through coursework in museum studies, archival principles, and historic preservation, students acquire theory and practical skills in documentation, preservation, and management of cultural resources.

Stephanie working.
My experience in the public history program equipped me with the knowledge and tools I needed to pursue a career in a history- related field. As a graduate assistant at the W.K. Gordon Center I learned from true professionals the standard practices and methods present today in the public history arena. Most importantly, the program granted me access to a social network of expert professionals eager to assist by dispensing advice, answering questions and advertising job opportunities. The public history program at Tarleton gave me a firm foundation on which to build and the resources to get started.--Tarleton Graduate 2008

Instructors conduct classes on Tarleton's Stephenville campus and at the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas.  The center, a museum and special collections library, is located on Interstate 20 at the ghost town of Thurber, a National Register Historic District 28 miles north of Stephenville.

Students are encouraged to enhance their learning through mini-internships, graduate assistantships at the Gordon Center, and opportunities to attend professional conferences and workshops.  Through the program students interact with curators, archivists, park rangers, heritage tourism specialists, preservationists, publishers, and others who protect, promote, and preserve history every day.

The Public History program offers students with a passion for the past an introduction to the wide array of professional careers available to historians.