The MA in Material Culture and Public Humanities requires a minimum of 30 credits. Students who wish to complete an optional thesis* will take an additional 6 credits, for a total of 36 credits. All students take 5 core courses in addition to interest-driven electives. All students will also complete an internship/practicum in a museum, historical society, or other cultural organization, and submit a conceptual Report of their experiences. As they formulate their plan of study, each student will be mentored by at least one faculty member.

For more information about specific courses, see our course descriptions page.

  1. Five (5) Required Core Courses (15 credits)

      All of the Following:

  • ART/HUM/RLCL 5104: Historical and Theoretical Frameworks in Material Culture and Public Humanities
  • ART/HUM/RLCL 5204: Research Methods in Material Culture and Public Humanities
  • HUM/RLCL 5304: Material Culture and Humanities in the Public Sphere
  • ART 5984: Exhibition, Design, and Display

       AND Either:

  • ITDS 5124: Preservation of Historic Interiors

     or  One (1) of the following public history courses:

  • HIST 5424 – Public History
  • HIST 5434 – Oral History Methods
  • HIST 5444 – Digital History Methods
  • HIST 5454 – Topics in Public History
  1. Three (3) Restricted Electives in the Core (9 credits):
  1. One of two rotating special topics courses (3 credits):
    • HUM/RLCL 5584: Topics in Public Humanities
    • ART 5584: Topics in Material Culture
  2. An additional two electives (6 credits), subject to approval by an advisor.
  1. Experiential Core Requirement (6 credits)

ART/HUM/RLCL 5904: Project and Report

The 6-credit Project and Report has two parts: 1) a 3-credit practicum/internship experience (180 hours) in such places as historical societies, humanities foundations, cultural planning agencies, heritage or cultural tourism, museums, historic preservation offices, or community arts programs; 2) a 3-credit written Project Report. 

Final Project: The student’s Project Report will, in most cases*, serve as their Final Project. Its write-up will be guided by the student’s advisor and two other MA Committee members. At the end of their last semester, the student will present the final project to their committee in an oral defense that the Committee will evaluate to determine of the student “passes.” (Spoiler: They almost always do).

*Students have the option of doing an additional 6 credits in the program should they choose the MA thesis option. In such cases, the MA Thesis will count as the final project (though the Practicum experience and write-up are still required).  

More information about the Final Project can be found under our Forms and Policies page.