Stephen F. Austin State University

Program Requirements

M.A., Emphasis in Public History

Thesis Track (30 hours)

Required Courses (12 hours)

HIS530 - Historiography
HIS535 - Introduction to Public History
HIS590 - Thesis Writing (6 hours)

Public History Courses (12 hours) - choose from the following:

HIS536 - Topics in Public History
HIS570 - Collections Management
HIS581 - Seminar in Public History
HIS582 - Internship in Public History
HIS583 - Practicum in Public History


United States to 1865 (3 hours)
United States since 1865 (3 hours)
Remedial or Additional Coursework

Capstone (Thesis) Project Requirements

Effective September 1, 2013, all incoming public history students must complete a captstone project which will equal the traditional rigour of a thesis but allow the student to better demonstrate his or her skills in public history. Previously matriculated students are encouraged but not required to follow these requirements. Please contact the public history program directors for further information and clarification about the capstone project requirements.

Why do we require this? Because going through the research, analysis, writing, and presentation aspects of a capstone project, including the often dreaded "thesis" section, demands students hone their skills as historians. An October 9, 2014 blog by Abby Curtin about her thesis project - a historic site's landscape interpretation plan - is an excellent example. In 2015 the National Council on Public History issued a guide for students about public history education, the Public History Navigator, which explains the rationale for a capstone project.

HIS308 and HIS465 for Undergraduate Students

We offer two courses for our undergraduate students to introduce them to public history. The first is a semester long course, Introduction to Public History, which is usually offered every three semesters. The second is an independent study in public history which has become increasingly popular. Although most of the activities these students undertake are listed along with the graduate students in the respective museum, archive, historic preservation, and oral history pages, we wanted to provide a general overview here.

HIS308 - Introduction to Public History

Semester Professor Syllabus
Spring 2017 Beisel HIS308

HIS465 - Internship in Public History

Semester Professor Student Partner Institution
Summer II 2018 Beisel Katie Irwin East Texas Research Center
Summer II 2017 Beisel Laura Goodman East Texas Research Center
Summer II 2017 Beisel Christina Tellez Pasadena (TX) Heritage Museum
Spring 2017 Beisel Maria Mougridis Heritage Center of Cherokee County

Here are a few pictures from Katie Irwin's processing of the Blount Collection for the ETRC in Summer II 2018.

HIS465 Summer II 2018 - K Irwin processing Blount Collection at ETRC

One of the historic documents in the Blount Collection, ETRC

Public History Syllabi - 5 Most Recent Offerings

Course #

Title (Topic) Semester Professor Syllabi
HIS530 Historiography
Fall 2018 Chakravarrty HIS530
Fall 2017 Sandul HIS530
(we had two sections this year) Fall 2015 Carney HIS530
Fall 2015 Cox HIS530
Fall 2014 Lannen HIS530
HIS535 Introduction to Public History
Fall 2018 Beisel HIS535
Spring 2017 Sandul HIS535
Fall 2015 Beisel HIS535
Spring 2014 Sandul HIS535
Fall 2012 Beisel HIS535 & Book Review List
HIS536 Topics in Public History
Memory Spring 2018 Sandul HIS536
Non-Profit Management Summer 2016 Beisel HIS536
Non-Profit Management Fall 2014 Beisel HIS536
Historical Memory Spring 2013 Sandul HIS536
Oral History Summer 2010 Sandul HIS536
Local History Fall 2007 Jackson HIS536
HIS570 Collections Management
Fall 2017 Beisel HIS570
Spring 2016 Sandul HIS570
Fall 2013 Beisel HIS570, Bibliography
Spring 2012 Sandul HIS570
Spring 2010 Beisel HIS570 & Bach's Pests Powerpoint Show
HIS581 Seminar in Public History
Historic Preservation Fall 2016 Beisel HIS581
Oral History Spring 2015 Sandul HIS581
Historic Preservation Spring 2008 Beisel HIS581
Material Culture Spring 2006 Beisel HIS581
HIS582 Internship in Public History
Cultural Landscapes of Nacogdoches Summer 2013 Beisel HIS582
Houston Co. Cemeteries Summer 2009 Beisel HIS582
HIS583 Practicum in Public History
Individual students' work is listed in the respective museums, archives, etc. where they completed the practicum.
HIS590 Capstone Project Graduated Director Title
Conor Herterich August 2018 Beisel Design Guidelines: A Practical Guide to Preserving the Historic, Cultural, and Architectural Heritage of Gladewater, Texas
Allison Grimes May 2018 Beisel Remembering the Church in the Wildwood: The Archival Processing and Digitization of the Martinsville Baptist Church Collection
Kendall Gay August 2017 Beisel Design Plan for the Sawmill Town History Wing at the Texas Forestry Museum
Kurt Terry May 2017 Sandul Forgetting the Lynching of Jesse Washington: Manifestations of Memory and the "Waco Horror"
Hayley Hasik May 2017 Sandul "I'd Rather be Forgotten than Dishonored": An Oral and Life History Project with a Vietnam Veteran
Joyce Pitts Dec. 2016 Sosebee The Pickering Lumber Company: An Archival Processing Project
Cody Stanley August 2016 Beisel Albert Thomas: Space in the Bayou
Jake McAdams August 2013 Sandul Cowboy Churches & Oral History
Misty Hurley August 2013 Beisel Cemetery Preservation & Interpretation
Natalie Bach-Prather May 2013 Beisel Harrison County Historic Resources
Lisa Bentley May 2012 Sandul From Rotgut to White Lightening
Stephen DeLear August 2011 Sandul March! Civil Rights in Nacogdoches
Kaitlin Wieseman August 2011 Beisel Power-Heweston Colony: Interpretation
Mary Alice Cook May 2011 Beisel Company Doctors in Sawmill Towns
Jennifer Brancato August 2008 Beisel Material Culture at Durst-Taylor House
Jason Fuqua August 2007 Beisel Tea Drinking & Material Culture after 780