Graduate Courses

In previous semesters, the Public History Program at Virginia Tech has offered its students the following courses:

  • HIST 5424: Public History
  • HIST 5434: Digital History Methods
  • HIST 5444: Oral History
  • HIST 5454: Topics in Public History
  • HIST 5964: Practicum (Internship)

To receive credit for the internship requirement, students should work with their program and institution supervisors to draft a contract of , complete 100 hours of work, blog weekly, and write the following reflection paper: 10 pages/2500 words. You may organize it however you like, but it should be a reflection on your practical experience in the internship and relate it to bigger issues and ideas in public history (and including digital history, oral history, preservation, etc., if applicable).  You might recap and discuss a few highlights of your work. This will give you a chance to develop more fully some of the material and ideas you touched on in your weekly blog entries and drawing in some public history scholarship.

 Upcoming Courses:

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  • Fall 2017- HIST 5424: Public History
  • Spring 2018- HIST 5454:Topics in Public History (Archives)
  • Fall 2018- HIST 5424: Public History

Public History

Introduction to the theoretical, interpretive, controversial, and practical issues facing public historians. Focus on interpretations and specific issues surrounding the presentation of history in museum exhibits, documentary films, photographic collections, community history projects, the Internet, and a variety of other public venues.

Oral History

Theory and methodology of oral history methods. Use of oral history interviews in historical research, questions of ethics, interpretation, and the construction of memory. Technical operations and a variety of interview techniques, transcription, and historical use of interviews.

Digital History

Methods for researching and presenting history in a digital environment, with special emphasis on use of digital media as a tool for public historians.


Students pursuing the graduate certificate will gain practical experience through our department’s various internship opportunities. They enable students to students to apply their interpretive skills to concrete projects in a public history institution and reflect on the responsibilities of a publicly engaged historian.