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Public History

School of Humanities

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Department of History

(440) 826-2076



If your dream job involves designing museum exhibits, discovering untold stories in archives, or presenting history to public audiences, public history is the major for you. Public history is one of the newest and fastest growing areas of employment for students of history. It spans public presentation and engagement, as well as government and corporate consultant work.

Public history majors work with our archivist in the university archives starting their very first semester and will meet and network with history professionals. All public history majors complete internships at museums or archives and leave the program with practical experience in the field.

Coursework includes working with practitioners to learn historical analysis, digital technology, research, exhibit design, historical presentation and archive management.

In the classroom and in the field, you'll learn from BW's knowledgeable faculty and impressive career professionals. Following National Council on Public History guidelines, the major combines coursework in History with internship and practical skills-archival research, information management, writing, web design and digital media, oral history and more.

It is intensively experiential. Much of the coursework takes place in archives and local museums. Starting your first semester, you'll work in BW's University archives and be mentored by a professional archivist.

A capstone internship offers you the opportunity to apply your skills and insights in a professional setting.

What is Public History?

BW offers Ohio's only undergraduate major in public history. BW is a partner of the National Council on Public History, an organization that offers career information about this dynamic, growing career field.

National Council on Public History offers an explanation of public history as a major and career field.


Public history is ideal as a single major or as a companion for a double major. Opportunities include:

  • Archivist
  • Museum curator/manager
  • Historical consultant
  • Librarian
  • Urban planner
  • Government historian
  • Historic preservationist
  • Film/media producer

Which BW History Major is Right for You?

The department of history offers three majors for different career tracks.

B.A. in Public History

If you aspire to a career in a museum, archive, library, the National Parks Service or other venue that teaches history to members of the public, the B.A. in public history is for you. BW offers the only undergraduate public history major in Ohio.

B.S. in Applied History

If you love history but want to work in a corporate, nonprofit or tech field where you will need a foundation in historical knowledge but also skills in data analysis, presentation and technological applications, consider the B.S. in applied history.

B.A. in History

If you want to prepare for law school, paralegal certification, grades 7-12 social studies teaching, government employment or public policy work, or if you love history but want to remain flexible in your career options, BW offers a B.A. in history. Students in this program can easily double major in another discipline such as science or English.


Public history is offered as a major, minor and certificate program. The major is intensively experiential. Much of the coursework takes place in archives and local museums. There is a required capstone internship. See full list of required courses and electives.

The public history major prepares students to:

  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of historical events, people, and concepts, such as would be necessary to teach or as basis for career in history-related field
  • Demonstrate mastery of writing skills and documentation
  • Demonstrate mastery of historical reasoning and argumentation
  • Possess a plan for a career and/or further education
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Whether it's historic Berea, nearby Metroparks, downtown Cleveland or beyond, BW is within easy access to an array of museums, historical societies, community and professional organizations and more. You'll benefit from practical learning experiences as well as networking opportunities with leading professionals in the field.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:

Adams Street Cemetery Project is a collaborative research-based community service project offering you integrative, real-world field experiences. You'll work with faculty, professional historians from the Berea Historical Society and City of Berea personnel to rediscover the lost histories of persons buried in the Adams Street Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Berea.

Students majoring in public history have a wealth of internship opportunities available to them in the Cleveland area. Recent internship experiences include:

  • Shannon Kee '17, intern at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Riza Miklowski '16, intern at Hale Farm and Village


Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world.

Colleen BenoitColleen Benoit '09 is archivist at the Library of Congress in the District of Columbia. She earned an M.A. in history from Kent State University. BW faculty mentors connected her to internships and community-based work experiences and helped her develop confidence in her skills. Colleen is from Fairport, N.Y.

Jeremy FeadorJeremy Feador '08 is team curator for the Cleveland Guardians. He holds an M.A. in history with a specialization in museum and archival administration from Wright State University. At BW, he completed research with faculty and local historians, an experience that has helped the North Olmsted, Ohio, native stand out in his field.


Indira Gesink

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Indira Gesink

Kieth Peppers

University Archivist
M.A., Cleveland State University

Kieth Peppers

Tamara Rand

Lecturer of History
Ph.D., The University of Akron

Tamara Rand

Full-Time Faculty

Kyriakos Nalmpantis
Chair, History Department
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Kent State University

Indira Gesink
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Nicholas Mays
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Kent State University

Robert Montgomery
Ph.D., Indiana University

Kieth Peppers
University Archivist
M.A., Cleveland State University

Steven E. Siry
Ph.D., University of Cincinnati

Adjunct Faculty

Tamara Rand
Ph.D., The University of Akron

Thomas Uthup
Ph.D., SUNY-Binghamton