History Major in Public History / Bachelor of Arts

Total Credit Hours:  128

Major Credit Hours: 39

The Public History concentration will prepare students for entry into a master’s programs in Public History, for employment in local history museums and government archives, for curatorships, and for writing in Public History. Public Historians provide a great service to society through the study and preservation of heritage. A prime example of the work of public historians is our very own Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University. This special collection preserves the maps, the photographs, and documents related to the history of the Illinois and Michigan canal and surrounding region.

Students in Public History must take workshops and/or internships in Public History. These workshops and internships are important components of this program. The workshops involve such elements as travel to regional sites, hands-on experience with historical artifacts, and written work which will be assessed by the instructor. Internships at such institutions as the First Division Museum at Cantigny, the Joliet Area Historical Museum, and the Adelmann Regional History Collection, have produced successful internship reports as well as positive assessments from the staffs of these institutions. The Public History Portfolio is an additional requirement in this concentration and will consist of reports written for Workshops in Public History and/or Internships in Public History during the course of the major and filed with the History Department chair. The student will submit a minimum of three such reports.

History majors must select History electives from courses numbered 200 and above. No 100-level History courses, except for 09-101 and 09-102 Culture and Civilization I and II, may count toward the 39 credit hours required by the major.

Degree Requirements

I. Core Courses (15)

09-101Culture and Civilization I


09-102Culture and Civilization II


09-203Historiography I: Sophomore Writing Seminar


09-403Historiography II: Senior Research Seminar


09-329Public History


09-397Workshop in History



09-398Internship for History Majors


II. Additional Requirements (24)

A. Choose two of the following U.S. History courses:

09-320United States Colonial and National History


09-322U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction


09-323The Emergence of Modern America, 1877-1941


09-325United States Since 1941


B. Select two other U.S. History courses.

C. Select one course in each of the following areas:

European History (3)

Outside Europe and the United States (3)

D. Select two Department of History Electives.

III. Senior Capstone (0)

The Public History major is required to complete the Senior Capstone. This non-credit requirement consists of one researched essay, which will be orally defended by the student in a meeting with the Department of History faculty. The Senior Capstone must be successfully completed if the Department of History is to endorse the student in continuing graduate studies or teaching the subject at the secondary school level.

IV. The Public History Portfolio (0)

This portfolio is an additional, specific requirement in this track and will consist of reports written during workshops and/or an internship during the course of the major and filed with the History Department chair. The student will submit a minimum of three such reports.

V. The advanced writing requirement is fulfilled by the successful completion of 09-203 Historiography I, 09-403 Historiography II, the Public History Portfolio, and the Senior Capstone, a researched essay written under the direction of an advisor.