Public History Graduate Program

Public history is the presentation of history and culture outside of the traditional classroom setting. These pursuits include, but are by no means limited to, museums, historic preservation, historic site management, archival management, cultural resource management, documentary film making, digital history projects, and policy applications.

The public history program at WMU is one of the oldest in the nation; WMU faculty helped to found the National Council on Public History (NCPH) in 1980. The WMU public history program, like the NCPH, stresses an interdisciplinary approach to the field. It prepares professionals to engage the widest public audience in the continually emerging questions of history and culture. At WMU, our graduate and undergraduate programs emphasize public history, offering B.A. and M.A. degrees as well as a Graduate Certificate for those interested in the field.

The WMU public history graduate program trains socially responsible professionals to serve in diverse venues at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Our graduates work for the government, in private foundations, at museums, archives, historic homes, and in a multitude of other settings. Public history enriches communities, offering educational opportunities and planning information that may structure essential choices about our natural and built environments. WMU's public history program relies on a rich blend of resources and methodologies, emphasizing the examination of regional environments, places, and economic systems. 


Public History Coordinator: David Benac. Public and Environmental History, Historic Preservation, Cultural Resource Management

Contributing faculty
Linda J. Borish. American Studies; Women, Sport and Health History; Rural History; Material Culture

José António Brandão. American Indian; Canada; Comparative Colonial; Ethnohistory

Sharon Carlson. Director, Archives and Regional History Collections; Archival Administration; Women and Organizations; 19th-century U.S.

Mitch Kachun. African American History; Memory and Commemoration

Michael Nassaney. American Indian; Anthropology; Ethnohistory; Historical Archaeology; Material Analysis


Contact the Graduate Studies office for assistance.