students work in the Lambda archives

Advanced Certificate in Public History

The SDSU Graduate Certificate in Public History is designed to offer a deep examination of public history methods, theory, and practice, while preparing students who are interested in the public history jobs sector. Offered through the Department of History, the 12-credit certificate allows students to engage with critical analysis of the practices of public history, including oral history, digital history, historic preservation, archival practice, museum studies, public interpretation, and non-profit management. Through attention to the diverse forms of public historical discourse, students will consider important questions including the relationship between history and memory, the politics of historical practice, about the exercise of authority over historical narratives and identity, and the relationships between historical questions and public audiences for historical work.

Courses that comprise the certificate in public history offer students the opportunity to engage in these issues as they explore the practices used by historians in the public realm. We believe that training in public history offers a useful skill set to all historians, not just those seeking jobs in the public history sector. Students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Public History will gain practical experience through at least one 150-hour internship with one of the many public history venues in San Diego. The internship enables students to apply their interpretive skills to concrete projects in a public history institution and allows them to reflect on the responsibilities of a publicly engaged historian.

Students in the Certificate Program will learn how to research and present historical projects to a broad range of audiences and institutions outside the University; will be ready to advance, through research and demonstration projects, the theoretical frameworks of public history; and will gain basic skills necessary for entry level positions in museums, archives, historic preservation agencies and many other places that engage the insights and methods of historians.

The certificate requires 12 credit hours, distributed as follows:

Required courses are: 

  • HIST 587: Topics in Public History (3 units)
  • HIST 610: Public History: Methods, Theory, and Practice (3 units)
  • HIST 793: Practicum (Internship) (3 units) 

Note: Hist 587 will rotate through topics to include: Oral History, Digital History, Historic Preservation, Critical Archival Studies, Museum Studies, and Management for Historians. This course may be taken and applied twice for a maximum of 6 credits. 

And at least one of the following:

  • HIST 601: Seminar in Historical Methods (3 units)
  • ANTH 529: Urban Anthropology (3 units)
  • ANTH 532: Anthropology of Development and Conservation (3 units)
  • ANTH 533: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity (3 units)
  • ANTH 560: Advanced Archaeological Field Methods 3 units)
  • ANTH 561: Archaeological Laboratory Methods 3 units)
  • ART 547: The Modern Built Environment 3 units)
  • GEOG 683: Advanced Geographic Information Systems (3 units) and GEOG 0683L Advanced Geographic Information Systems Laboratory (1-2 units)
  • MALAS 600A: Seminar - Cultural Studies (3 units)
  • MALAS 600B: Seminar - Science and Society, Environmental Studies (3 units)
  • MALAS 600C: Seminar - Science and Society, Environmental Studies (3 units)
  • MALAS 600D: Seminar - Media Studies, Fine Arts, Transformative Arts (3 units)
  • SOC 607: Advanced Quantitative Methods - Core Course (3 units)
  • SOC 608: Advanced Qualitative Methods - Core Course (3 units)
  • WMNST 536: Gender, Race, and Class (3 units)
  • WMNST 585: Local Feminist Activism and Organizations  (3 units)
  • WMNST 604: Seminar - Gender, Culture, and Representation (3 units)
  • WMNST 606: Seminar - Narrating Women's Lives (3 units)

Current SDSU students can fill out the Request for Permission to Enter Advanced Certificate Program to enroll in the certificate.

For additional information, please contact Professor David Cline at [email protected].