Our graduate students in the Public History program receive hands-on training in proper archival techniques.

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Graduate Programs in History

The Master’s programs of the Department of History offer serious students the opportunity:

  • to expand their mastery of the discipline
  • to enhance their understanding of the past

Our faculty of active scholars are committed to providing:

  • rigorous, interesting courses which will increase the students’ knowledge of History
  • both introductions to and advanced training in the methods and theories which inform the discipline

Students in both the Public History program and the Historical Studies program can complete their degrees in four semesters while enrolled at the full-time level of 9 credits per semester.

Public History

The Public History Program at Duquesne University, one of the oldest Public History programs in the United States:

  • offers cutting-edge courses
  • assigns professional internships
  • prepares students to work in museums, archives, and other institutions that interpret the past for the general public

Historical Studies

The Historical Studies Program allows students to:

  • concentrate their studies in either American, European, or Global History
  • acquire a thorough background in significant historical literature of the respective fields

This program is particularly suited for those who:

  • intend to proceed to a doctoral program
  • are secondary teatchers who wish to increase their knowledge of the subjects they teach
  • wish to apply the knowledge and skills in other academic or public service and government fields

Special Student Status

If you already have an undergraduate degree and are interested in taking up to two courses without pursuing the degree program, please contact us for more information.

Our Students

Who Are They?

Our graduate students come from all over the United States, although most come from the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Some of our students enter our graduate programs immediately after college. Others join us after they've been in the workforce for a year or more. And still others enroll in our programs to enhance their current professional positions as high school teachers.

Here are just some of the undergraduate institutions from where our graduate students come:

Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania)
College of St. Benedict and St. John's University (Minnesota)
Frostburg State University (Maryland)
Marist College (New York)
McDaniel College (Maryland)
Montana State University
Pfeiffer University (North Carolina)
The American University (D.C.)
Siena College (New York)
University of Puget Sound (Washington)
Washington and Lee University (Virginia)
Willamette University (Oregon)

And if you really want the nitty gritty, you can learn about our graduate assistants by reading about them in our Graduate Assistant Spotlight Series on our blog!

What Do They Say About Us?

"Over the last two years, my development as a historian has been immense under the guidance and tutelage of Duquesne's graduate faculty. I will always cherish my time at
--2014 Historical Studies Graduate

"I really feel like the internships really helped me to develop as a public historian...[T]he internships allowed us to interact with professionals and have hands-on training that we could not have received in a classroom setting."
--2014 Public History Graduate

"The availability of professors outside of class was helpful. Professors were also very friendly and willing to get to know you, which allowed for a better working relationship."
--2010 Public History Graduate

"The completion of my M.A. degree has not only helped to deepen and widen my knowledge of European history, it has also helped [me] to develop the skills of a historian."
--2014 Historical Studies Graduate

"The courses overall were very worthwhile. Historical Editing and Archival Studies were great for gaining practical skills. In Historical Editing, learning about and practicing skills like grant writing was helpful, as were the opportunities during the course to meet alumni and professionals in the field."
--2014 Public History Graduate

"[A positive aspect of the program was] getting to work with [Professors] Mayer, Coohill and J. Parsons. Excellent professors, all very interesting and engaging."
--2012 Historical Studies Graduate

"The combination of professional classes with the internship experience was extremely helpful. I would have to say, however, that my favorite part of Duquesne is not the classes or academic experiences, but the people."
--2011 Public History Graduate

"I really enjoyed my interactions with the faculty. Everyone was accessible and generally enthusiatic. Reaching out to the faculty was easy, and no one made me feel my requests for help were an imposition. I also like how the Public History program is both structured and flexible. The expectations are very straight forward, but also did allow some students wiggle room to really tailor their course selection to their interests. It made me feel like I knew what to expect without feeling trapped into a curriculum."
--2012 Public History Graduate

"[A positive aspect of the program was] the chance that I was given to 'find' where I fit as a historian. Also the flexibility of the professors and their desire to work with me even when my field of study did not match theirs was not just helpful, but encouraging."
--2012 Historical Studies Graduate


We encourage our graduate students to participate in scholarly discourse outside of the classroom through both national and international conference presentations. The Dean's Office within the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts can provide a portion of funding for one conference paper presentation per year for interested graduate students, which is a wonderful incentive for our students to share their research within the greater academic community. 

Our department sends out Calls For Papers (CFPs) on a regular basis to our graduate student community, informing them of various opportunities to present their scholarly work. We also direct our students to H-Net Academic Announcements, which serves as a tremendous resource for upcoming conferences and publication requests.

2014-2015 Graduate Student Conference Presentations

JOHNSTON, Sarina. "Unstable Spheres: Suffragists and Antis Traverse the Home and Public Arenas in Twentieth Century Pittsburgh." Milton Plesur Graduate History Conference: University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, March 7.

LEW, Carl. "The Value of Natural Philosophy in Traditional China." Milton Plesur Graduate History Conference: University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY,  March 7.

VAN ZANDT, Lauren. "The U.S. Capitol Columbus Doors and the Catechism of Expansionism." Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC): Sarasota, Florida, October 8-11.

2013-2014 Graduate Student Conference Presentations

HADLEY, Carrie. "'History' Painting? The Fictional Literary Influences of John Gadsby Chapman's Baptism Pocahontas." Western PA Regional Phi Alpha Theta Student Conference: Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, March 25.

O'DATA, Aaron. "Disguising Northern-ness: Confederate Commemoration and Northern Ambitions in Richmond, Virginia." Western PA Regional Phi Alpha Theta Student Conference: Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, March 25.

LUKASZEWICZ, Kate. "A More Inclusive Narrative of Pittsburgh: Race Representations in a Regional History Museum." Whose History Is It Anyway? Public History in Perspective: University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire, England, September 5-6.

VAN ZANDT, Lauren. "Slavery and Sentimentality: the Columbus Doors." Western PA Regional Phi Alpha Theta Student Conference: Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, March 25.


Department of History Organizations

Art/History Club

• Interested in art and/or history?

• Want to go to galleries, museums, and other areas of interest?

• Passionate about art and public history advocacy?

• Like participating in social events for the historically and artistically inclined?

The Department of History and the Art History Program offer students the opportunities to engage in the above-mentioned activities through the Art/History Club. Contact student president Noelle Nelson at nelsonn@duq.edu and she can answer your questions about the club and would be happy to take any recommendations for activities.

Phi Alpha Theta

The Department of History at Duquesne University is a member of the Epsilon Phi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. Each spring semester, our department holds an initiation ceremony and social for new inductees. You can learn more about membership requirements here.

Professional Organizations

The Department of History holds memberships in several professional organizations in the field of History. We encourage our students to explore all these organizations have to offer, including student memberships.

American Historical Association: The Professional Association for All Historians

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online (Especially check out the discussion networks.)

National Council on Public History

Organization of American Historians (focuses on the history of North America)

Pennsylvania Historical Association

Phi Alpha Theta: National History Honor Society


Where do our students end up getting jobs?

The knowledge and skills our students gain after completing our graduate programs allows them a competitive edge in the job market.

Our Public History students have gone on to work at some of the most pretigious institutions in the country, including:

  • The Supreme Court of the United States
  • The National Scouting Museum
  • The Heinz History Center
  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center
  • Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
  • The Jewish Museum of Maryland
  • Department of the United States Navy
  • The Carnegie Museum of Art

Our Historical Studies students have gone on to work in various sectors, including:

  • Ph.D. programs at instutituions such as
    • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
    • University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, CA
    • University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • Teaching at secondary schools
    • Currey Ingram Academy, Brentwood, TN
  • Private consulting
  • Law firms