Public History at Appalachian State

group of students listening to an instructor inside a museum

What is Public History?

Though a definition is always changing, the National Council on Public History currently states:

"Public history describes the many and diverse ways in which history is put to work in the world. In this sense, it is history that is applied to real-world issues."

NCPH Board members described public history as "a movement, methodology, and approach that promotes the collaborative study and practice of history; its practitioners embrace a mission to make their special insights accessible and useful to the public."

Public Historians may be found in the following professional positions:

  • Government and Business Historians
  • Museum Professionals
  • Historical Consultants
  • Oral Historians
  • Film and Media Producers
  • Archivists
  • Curators
  • Policy Advisors
  • Teachers and Professors
  • Cultural Resource Managers
  • Historic Preservationists

Why Study Public History at Appalachian State?

The Public History program at Appalachian State University has a diverse group of graduate students with varied professional experiences in the field. This diversity promotes engaging discussion on recurring and contemporary issues in public history. Our students are interested in a broad range of professional positions, while others seek to enter Ph.D. programs. Our program emphasizes "hands-on," practical training in public history with rigorous study of public history theory and methodology.

How to Choose and Thrive in a Public History Program

Click here for the NCPH's Public History Navigator: How to Choose and Thrive in a Graduate Public History Program. This guide walks you through some questions that will help you choose the best program to match your goals and also has many tips for making the most of a program once you are accepted. Follow #PHnavigator on twitter for more information about how to use the guide.

Students of HIS 5585: Historic Preservation listen to a tailor discuss his work at Old Salem, Single Brothers House.

Students of HIS 5585: Historic Preservation listen to a tailor discuss his work at Old Salem, Single Brothers House.

Historic Preservation students tour a former car dealership in Winston-Salem, now home to Foothills Brewery.

Historic Preservation students tour a former car dealership in Winston-Salem, now home to Foothills Brewery.

Students of Dr. Burns listen to a presentation given by Dr. Tom Hanchett, Historian for the Levine Museum of the New South.

Students of Dr. Burns listen to a presentation given by Dr. Tom Hanchett, Historian for the Levine Museum of the New South.

Dr. Burns in front of the Boone Post Office with a National Trust for Historic Preservation sign reading, "History Happened Here."

Dr. Burns in front of the Boone Post Office with a National Trust for Historic Preservation sign reading, "History Happened Here."