MA in Public History

Welcome to Public History at Western! We are Canada's oldest Public History program, an intensive 12 or 16 month MA that explores how history is understood by and communicated to the public, whether at museums, archives, historical sites and national parks, in films, fiction, or on the web, in policy making, historical consulting, and in academic teaching and research.

Western’s program has many advantages. We believe that the best way to train future public historians is to merge graduate level theory and research with experiential learning, and our courses, collaborative community projects, and internships reflect this. As a result, after graduation, our students possess a well-rounded education with both research and practical experience, a dual advantage in the job market. Students are also well-prepared to continue their graduate education at the PhD level. Starting in the fall of 2016, students may also complete a research-based cognate paper on a topic of their choice in the semester following their summer internship, extending the program to 16 months. Our faculty is award-winning in research and publications, and many have had professional Public History careers before coming to Western. For 2016-18, students are additionally able to draw upon the expertise and mentorship of our MITACS Postdoctoral Fellow who is involved in oral and digital history, heritage designation, historical interpretation, material culture, cultural landscapes, and community-based research. As part of our emphasis on Digital History, we have established a new $150,000 digital lab. The Medical Artifact Collection offers opportunities for research and exhibit development. We are also connected to the Public Humanities program. Our professional development series, Public History Research Assistantships, and summer internship add to the broad range of skills taught and allow students to build a network of influential contacts.

Our alumni have had widespread success in museum, archival, government, media, consulting, and educational careers across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Explore our website to see what makes Western’s program unique. We would be pleased to answer any questions, or arrange a visit to tour our facilities and meet current students

~Prof. Mike Dove, Director 2018/2019


"Western’s Public History MA program set me up for success. Through completing a wide-range of coursework and projects, I feel that I have a more competitive resume when it comes to seeking jobs in the heritage field."
- Robert DeRose, D.K. Seaman Hockey Resource Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF), Toronto, ON


The Public History program is grateful for core financial support from the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation.