How to Apply

Your Graduate Certificate

The History Department offers a Graduate Certificate in Public History.

Students pursue challenging, interdisciplinary coursework in addition to their Master’s education in History, Education, or other related fields. Upon completion of the program, receive a certificate recognizing their training in and understanding of public history.

To qualify for the certificate, students must complete 12 credits of graduate level coursework in History, with no less than 9 of these credits chosen from the department’s public history offerings.

Up to 6 credits of the certificate may be double-counted towards another degree.


To apply to the Virginia Tech Public History Program, students must indicate an interest in the public history field and Certificate in Public History as part of their application statement. 

Students interested in pursuing the Certificate in Public History but are already admitted to or currently enrolled in a Virginia Tech graduate program must send a letter of intent (no more than 500 words) addressed to the Graduate Committee, Department of History.  Applicants should explain their interest in and previous experience with public history. Contact LaDale Winling ( with any questions regarding this letter.

For more information on program and the application process as a whole, please contact contact Matt Heaton, Director of Graduate Studies in History (

Public History Courses

Mandatory Courses

  • HIST 5424: Public History (3 credits)
  • HIST 5964: Practicum (Internship) (3 credits)

Public History Electives (choose one)

  • HIST 5434: Digital History Methods (3 credits)
  • HIST 5444: Oral History (3 credits)
  • HIST 5454: Topics in Public History (3 credits)

(View Graduate Courses for more options)

In addition, all students, including those not pursuing an MA in History, must complete a 3 credit graduate level history course.

Altogether, these credits will count toward both the public history certificate and the student’s master’s degree in history. The program can be completed during a full-time, 2 year MA program.