Certificate in Public History

BGSU’s Graduate Certificate Program in Public History offers advanced graduate training for professionals in the public history profession in the three-state region of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.  The program is practical and career-focused in its design, featuring courses in historical museum management, museology, local history, archival administration, and preservation studies taught by academic specialists in these topics and by expert practitioners in the field of public history/historical museum management.  The program of study is capped by an internship experience to give students actual hands-on experience in the field.


Students who wish to be admitted to the graduate certificate program in Public History must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in an appropriate graduate program at BGSU (History, ACS, or other related field), with a current graduate GPA of 3.0 or better.

Or, for the stand-alone certificate:

  • Hold a bachelor degree in an appropriate field of study (History, American Studies, or other related field) with a 3.0 minimum grade point average, or
  • Have already completed a graduate degree in an appropriate area of study.
  • GRE scores are not necessary for the stand-alone certificate.


Students must submit the BGSU Graduate College Online Application for admission.  GRE scores are not necessary for the stand-alone certificate.

In addition to the application required by the Graduate College, applicants to the certificate program must submit the following materials with the online application:

  1. One letter of recommendation from recent instructors, employers, or other individuals qualified to evaluate probably success in the program
  2. A personal statement of intent indicating the purpose for enrolling in the program and outlining career goals (2-3 pages).  Careful attention is given to these materials.


The graduate certificate in Public History must be completed within six years from the semester date that the first course is taken.  The certificate is awarded upon the completion of all degree requirements, including the internship.  The graduate certificate in Public History will appear on the student’s official transcript.


The certificate program consists of fourteen to fifteen academic credit hours of work.  These must include twelve hours of course work (described below) plus two to three hours of approved internship credit as a capstone experience as the completion of the graduate certificate program.  The program of course work includes two required courses:

  • HIST/ACS 6540   MUSEOLOGY  (3 HRS)

These two courses are each offered every other year, normally during the Fall semester of each academic year on a rotating basis.  Both of these courses must be successfully completed for the certificate program degree.

The program of study also includes a requirement that students successfully complete any two of the following three courses:

  • HIST/ACS 6760   SEMINAR (For appropriate topics)  (3 HRS)

These three courses are also offered on an every-other year basis. Other relevant courses may be substituted with the written approval of the certificate program faculty committee.

Finally, the program includes a requirement that students successfully complete a capstone internship, to be arranged with the graduate directors of the History/ACS programs at an approved historical museum, historical society, or other professionally appropriate worksite.

  • ACS 6890/7890 or HIST 6880   INTERNSHIP  (2-3 HRS)           

The internship will normally be taken during the second year of study in the graduate certificate program, following the completion of all course work for the certificate, but may be taken somewhat earlier in the certificate program as circumstances dictate and with the approval of the graduate director of the ACS or History program.  BGSU requires that for each hour of academic internship credit, students must complete 45 hours of supervised on-site work. 


For more information about the BGSU Graduate Certificate Program in Public History, please contact:
American Culture Studies Program
Bowling Green State University