Master of Arts in Public History

Wayne State's master of arts in public history (MAPH) trains its students to interpret the past for public audiences in diverse settings and professions. Public historians work in museums, historical societies, libraries and archives, public policy institutes, parks and recreation departments, tourism, historic preservation and cultural resource management, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, at all levels of government, and as historical consultants.

There is no better place to study public history than in the heart of Detroit, where our program partners with cultural institutions to provide internships and other hands-on opportunities for our students. We now offer courses both at our Midtown campus and online, making earning your master's degree more accessible than ever.

Our students include mid-career professionals who seek credentials for career advancement, recent college graduates eager to put their history degrees to work in the public service, and secondary school teachers who want to gain experience in project-based or community-engaged learning. We have designed our curriculum to be flexible to meet the needs of a diverse student body with a range of interests and with different scheduling needs.

Our interdisciplinary degree combines rigorous graduate work in the fields of history, anthropology, political science, library and information science, and urban planning with practical experience and attention to career development. The 33-credit program can be completed in two years of full-time study or up to six years of part-time study. Students select a track from among the following options based on their interests and career goals: 

  • Museum studies
  • Public policy
  • Cultural resource management
  • Digital history
  • African American history and culture
  • Gender, sexuality, and women's studies
  • Urban and labor history 

The MAPH Curriculum Guide (PDF) contains more detailed information on the requirements for each track.

Students often elect to pursue a joint master's degree in public history and library and information science or earn a graduate certificate in world historyarchival administration, and/or nonprofit management concurrently with their master's in history. Doing so expands career opportunities after graduation.

Learn more about graduate career outcomes

Application deadline

Students are admitted to the master's program for both fall and winter terms. Applicants who would like to be considered for scholarships must apply by January 15 to begin the following fall. Students who do not wish to be considered for scholarships must apply by April 15 to begin the following fall or October 15 to begin the following winter.

Please review the admissions section of the graduate handbook (PDF) for instructions on how to prepare your application materials.

Contact 💬

Tracy Neumann, history graduate director

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.