You are here: Home Undergraduate Public History Certificate

Public History Certificate

Undergraduate Certificate Program in Public History

Are you trying to decide what to do with your History major?  The History Department offers several courses for undergraduate students to explore the field of Public History. Rutgers’ public history certificate program trains students to think critically about the public presentation of history and culture. Students will develop tangible skills that enable them to pursue graduate study in a number of fields as well as professional work at historic and cultural sites. Classroom and fieldwork combine to deliver both theoretical understanding of memory and history and practical experience in historic preservation, community documentation, museums, and cultural program development.

If you are passionate about History and desire to share your knowledge with others then Public History makes a wise career choice. The numerous and varied applications of Public History encompass historical sites and historical archeology; archival collections and museum artifacts; historical society collections; federal and state level park service, landmark preservation, and government and private sector document preservation. A properly trained public historian possesses personal and professional assets which help a person negotiate an impressive array of career choices and callings.

To gain a real-life perspective on working in Public History, undergraduate students will pursue an internship as the final class for the certificate. Internships are available in a wide range of history organizations.  New Jersey boasts a rich network of museums, archives, historical societies, documentary filmmakers, and historic preservation agencies, as well as one of the top public research universities in the nation.


The Certificate in Public History is a 15 credit hour program designed to train undergraduate or post-Bachelor's students of any major in the practical application, scope, methodologies, and procedures of public history. Most of the courses can simultaneously count for the History major and a Public History certificate. Classes offered in the History Department provide the theoretical and content based portions of the program. There will be time spent off-campus in internships which provide hands-on experience and create new opportunities for employment.

To be awarded the Certificate in Public History students must pass all their classes for the certificate with a grade of C or higher. The certificate is awarded with the completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Required Courses

  1. History Workshop 506:299 [506:299 serves as a prerequisite for the other public history classes] **
  2. Public History 506:301 **
  3. Introduction to Oral History 506:302 and/or a class on Digital Humanities **
  4. One approved elective (see list below)
  5. Public History Internship 506:451 **

** These courses can be shared with the History major/minor

pdf Spring 2016 Courses (2.05 MB)

Declaring the Certificate

document Download the application
(19 KB)

To be eligible for the Certificate students must submit an document application (19 KB) to the program. The certificate does not need to be completed before you submit the application. You can submit it at any point and estimate when you will take the courses. However, since there are many electives to choose from, the application needs to include the exact elective you plan to apply toward the Certificate. The Public History Certificate will be added to your transcript during your last semester at Rutgers so please be sure to note your graduation month and year on the application.

For further information, look at the website of the National Council for Public History

Approved Electives

American Studies
050:281 Architecture and Cultural Change on Old Queens Campus
050:284 American Studies Media Culture Project
050:291 Jerseyana: New Jersey as a Culture
050:300 Museums,Monuments,and AmericanCulture
050:304 The American City
050:308 New York City: the Culture of Metropolis

070:208 Surveyof Historical Archaeology
070:333 Colonial Archaeology
070:393 Cultural Resource Management

Art History
082:430 Seminar in Cultural Heritage Preservation
082:300 History of Modern Crafts and Design
082:320 Islamic Art and Architecture
082:391 Nineteenth-Century Architecture
082:392 Twentieth-Century Architecture
082:397 Medieval Architecture
082:420 African Architecture
082:421 Contemporary American Architecture
082:428 The Modern City
082:441 Topics in Historic Preservation
082:444 Studies in Architectural Preservation
082:445 Studies in the Art & Architecture of New Jersey
082:446 Studies in American Architecture

351:314 Documentary Filmmaking for Writers

Environmental Resources
11:372:322 Surveying and Mapping
11:372:409 New Jersey Planning Practice

01:450:331 New Jersey
01:450:321 Geographic Information Systems

Landscape Architecture
11:550:330 History of Landscape Architecture
11:550:430 Advanced Landscape History Seminar

508:321 African Cultural History
506:391 Any CHAPS course (Cultural Heritage or Preservation Studies)

Follow Us

Contact Us

vandyck1111 Van Dyck Hall
16 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

P  (848) 932-7905
F  (732) 932-6763
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.