Praxis and Theory in Public History Graduate Programs

Exploring the Past

The National Council on Public History published their findings today on a new study about public history students and their experiences in graduate school. The study is part of a new NCPH initiative called “Public History Navigator: How to Choose and Thrive in a Graduate Program” that aims to give prospective public history graduate students more information about the realities of employment in the field and what to expect during their time in graduate school.

Two findings in the study stick out to me:

1. “47% of students held an internship in graduate school.”

2. “Respondents believe that they should have gained greater knowledge of practical skills like grant-writing, budgeting, and technology as opposed to theory.”

There is more than a casual relationship between these two findings. Students are not receiving on-the-job training through internships or classroom projects during their time in graduate school, so many responses indicate…

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