New graduate concentration: Public History/War & Society

Some of you know about this already, but now it’s finally here: a joint MA/History concentration in both Public History and War & Society. When we started the W&S graduate concentration, a good number of Public History students expressed their regret that they couldn’t do both. That was a compelling reason to make a “hybrid” of the two, in and of itself, but it also occurred to us that there were possibly better reasons to do so. Perhaps most important is career-based — namely, that there are LOTS of military museums in the United States (one of the largest, the National Museum of the United States Air Force, is practically across the street, so to speak) and LOTS MORE museums that have significant military components. Military history is a popular topic in most college/university history programs, but as far as we can tell there’s been no effort, anywhere, to integrate military history and public history. So, I think it’s safe to say that we have something to brag about. While there are many “military history” and “war and society” programs, undergraduate and graduate, nationwide, Wright State University has the ONLY program to combine the two.

The basic outline of the degree is the same as that for a conventional concentration in Public History, but with an emphasis on the history of war and additional coursework in the history of war. In a nutshell, here are the concentration requirements:

1. Total number of credits: 44 credit hours (instead of the current 38).

2. Required Academic Core courses: 18 credit hours (instead of the current 12). Students in the Public History/War and Society concentration are required to complete fifteen hours (five courses) of designated “War and Society” coursework. At least six of those hours (two courses) must be earned in seminars (HST7100 – 7830). Students must also take Historical Methods (HST7000, 3 hours) for a total of eighteen hours. Two of the courses (excluding HST7000) may cover non-US topics.

3. Required Public History courses: The same requirements as for the conventional Public History concentration, except that the required “capstone project” (HST7900) will involve a war-related subject, collection, or exhibit, at the discretion of the director of Public History and the coordinator for War and Society.

Any questions? Email Dr. Lockhart ( cropped

About Paul Lockhart

I'm a history professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio...and I write books about history.
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